We’re sharing a series of posts from our developers who attended DPC 2011, telling us about their experiences of the event.

This year as part of the Ibuildings team I attended the Dutch PHP Conference for the first time. What can I say? Well, it was an unbelievable experience; I enjoyed every moment spent there. I found it good first of all for the big names of the involved people such as Sebastian Bergmann, Derick Rethans, Fabien Potencier, Enrico Zimuel plus many others. There was also the high quality of the presented talks, but also for the great opportunity to spend good time with my colleagues at Ibuildings and people from other companies all around the world.

Day 2 started with Helgi Þormar Þorbjörnsson’s keynote about First Class APIs development, why the API should become a first class citizen in the company development strategy, how to achieve this results in the most effective way possible and what the benefits from this approach can be.

After that I needed to decide which talks to go to and this decision was anything but simple because most of them were very interesting, not forgetting the uncon submissions that were very good too.

I chose first Profiling PHP Applications by Derick Rethans, who is known to be the father of Xdebug, possibly one of the best friends of all the PHP developers out there. The interesting thing in his talk has been not only the way he introduced and talked about profiling with Xdebug, but finally for the first time I enjoyed listening someone mention and talk also XHProf, a tool too many times not properly considered but actually very good especially when you need to profile production environment because of its low impact.

The second talk I attended has been Managing a shared MySQL Farm by Thijs Feryn, has the title can suggest you he basically presented a use case and a practical solution about how it’s possible to manage a shared MySQL farm with databases distributed on many servers, basics concept related to the standard MySQL user management and the problems you encounter when you have to spread those information across the network. I very much appreciated the comprehensive and complete explanation about using phpMyAdmin on the top of all the provisioning and management system using PMA Single Signon module and custom fallback function to determine database and nodes and properly switch to them.

Next I saw Modular Application Architecture by Kore Nordmann and Tobias Schlitt, which was interesting as two speakers presented at the same time. The talk was mainly focused on how to achieve code maintainability. So they introduced different solutions and different approaches exposing pros and cons for each one, topped with a good number of code examples.

Last (but not least!) Large-Scale Data Processing with Hadoop and PHP by David Zülke about map reducing implementation, how it can be used and how good it can be when you need to deal with huge amount of data. He introduced his talk with some numbers from Facebook, Yahoo and Twitter, numbers that can really make your eyes water! While Map Reduce itself is not really a new concept, this talk covered hadoop which is a framework to make working with map reduce much easier. What’s cool with it? Well it works with streams and it uses STDIN and STDOUT, which means that even though it is written in Java, you can use it with any language you like able to deal with streams. Luckily for us David already did the hard work for us writing “HadooPHP” (I’ll let you guess what it does).

Overall Impressions

One thing I really appreciated about DPC was the Open Source and Open Knowledge spirit found there. Speakers were not there just only to talk and present something, they were there more to share their own knowledge and to share ideas and maybe a new solution to their problems. This, in my opinion, is one of the best things I took with me from DPC.

In the end I had an excellent time, both personally and professionally. If you weren’t there, you missed out!