Last week, the 8th PHPUK Conference took place. Due to a previous commitment I could only attend Friday’s session so if you think I am missing something, do not hesitate to leave a comment. Here is my personal point of view of the PHPUK Conference this year.

Talks

The conference opened with Aral’s keynote “You are a designer”. I have to say that the talk was just brilliant, probably one of the best talks I’ve ever been to. Unfortunately, in my humble opinion, the opening keynote for one of the biggest events on the PHP scene should be related to PHP. I know this is a matter of taste and I actually talked to a lot of people who thought it was an excellent opening.

Event Stream Processing in PHP

The next talk in my agenda was “Event Stream Processing in PHP”, by Ian Barber. I couldn’t have been happier to have picked this talk. Ian started from zero, introduced the basic concepts of event stream in an excellent way and went on to show us some code. This is the kind of talk that puts an idea in the back of your head that months later will pop out when you realise that you need it in a real life project.

Looking ahead: PHP 5.5

David Soria Parra, in “Looking ahead: PHP 5.5” introduced some of the new ideas coming up with the latest version of PHP. He announced that PHP is going to change its release cycle and is going to be bundled with the following new features:
- generators
- the password API
- DateInmutable
- ::class
- finally, mysql extensions are deprecated (At this moment he pointed out that WordPress core developers are going to have a lot of fun due to the intensive use of this function in the code, ;))

Probably, the best piece of news for the PHP community is that Zend Optimizer is likely (but not confirmed yet) to be included into the core.

You can read more about the new features on php.net.

It was quite shocking for me that when he was leaving the stage, he said he was eager to answer any questions throughout the event, but please, “don’t ask me any PHP code question, I am really bad at it”. It got me thinking and I realised that, ironically, he´s more of a C/C++ developer.

API Design: It’s not rocket surgery

Dave Ingram was explaining everything you should bear in mind when building an API. The talk was quite accurate but I would have added more spice in order to make it a little bit more dynamic. Anyways, with no hesitation, if I have to build an API in the future I will try to get back to these slides, I am pretty sure it’s going to be quite helpful going through all this valuable information.

Pair Programming, TDD and Other Impractical Things

Marcello Duarte, Head of Training at Inviqa, exposed with quite a sense of humour some of the new TDD practices. I really enjoyed the talk, not because it was mind blowing or there were new concepts I’d never heard of before, but how he managed to dazzle everyone in the room by exposing all these ideas from a completely different point of view.

If you are a newcomer to all the TDD philosophy, I really encourage you to check the slides for this talk.

Refactoring to Symfony Components

I closed my first and only day at the conference with this talk by Michael Peacock. Throughout the talk Michael showed us how he managed to rebuild an old legacy project using some of the Symfony Components (namely Routing, ClassLoader, Yaml, HttpFoundation and EventDispatcher) and some other third party libraries (Twig, Pimple and Swiftmailer). In my opinion, his strategy to rebuild the project was quite clever and showed us how sometimes you can’t follow the path marked by some of the biggest frameworks but you can still take advantage of all this code.

You can check all the slides of the event on joind.in

Venue

The conference was celebrated in The Brewery, in the heart of the City of London.

The Brewey Conference Venue

I first discovered this site last September, during the SensioLabs UK Conference and I have to admit I really like it. It’s really well located and it has an English style that makes it attractive for foreigners like me.

The talks were split into four different rooms. The keynotes and the panels took place in the main auditorium. The acoustics of this massive room are impressive. Moreover, for the people sitting at the very end of the room there were several screens broadcasting the slides.

Track 1 PHPUK13
(Picture courtesy of @aral)

The rest of the talks were running in three smaller rooms but they were spacey enough to host 200 people each. There was a room that was considerably smaller than the others but it was amended with a complimentary room where the talk was broadcasted live, and I have to say that the quality of the sound and the video was really good.

The only “but” had to do with the main track where the bottom of the slides were quite close to the floor and it was hard for the people at the back of the room to see.

On a side note…

Even though the PHP UK Conference is a British conference, you can’t lose sight of the fact that there are a lot of non-native English speakers attending. I really liked the fact that none of the speakers had a broad accent, actually, the delivery of their speech was quite neat. I am not sure whether they were making a conscious effort but I’d like to thank them all for this.

Also, the food was quite good. I am used to attending the sort of geeky conference where you get served pizza or cold sandwiches. Having a proper hot meal was great and sets the conference at a professional level, as it rightly deserves.

Summing up

It was a great conference. Everything was great, from the talks and speakers, to the organisation. I have to own up this conference is becoming a must in my diary and I am pretty sure I’ll go next year.

Javier Conference Badge