Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dutch PHP Conference 2009 wrapup

A couple of days ago I came home from one of the best PHP conferences in the world, Dutch PHP Conference 2009 with again a very elite list of speakers.


Day 0: Tutorial Day

Thursday, June 11 was tutorial day. A whole day dedicated at learning new things by the greatest PHP minds in the world.

I attended the "Zend Framework Workshop" by Matthew Weier O' Phinney, Chief Architect at Zend Framework.


I went to see this tutorial session to see all the goodies that are put in Zend Framework 1.8 and to learn how to do stuff better. Great stuff like Zend_Tool, Zend_Application and other Zend Framework components are worth checking out.


As it appears, I have to look into the Zend_Acl adapter using a configuration file or an external source and contribute my solutions to the Zend Framework wiki.


Afterwards a Belgian delegation went down-town Amsterdam to have dinner at an Italian place and a drink afterwards at "Leidse Plein".


Day 1


Day one was a very hectic day for me since I was scheduled to speak at 10:30am. But we'll get there in a minute.


Opening keynotes

Before the opening keynote of Cal Evans, Director of PCE at Ibuildings, an awesome animated movie was shown to the public.

Cal Evans talked about what everyone could expect at the conference, what the rules of engagement were and what tags to use during the conference (a very important note).

Andrei Zmievski opened the conference officially talking about "PHP: people, code and ideas". Too bad I had to flee the scene half way the presentation to set up my gear for my own talk about SPL.


Morning Sessions

I hosted a talk called "SPL, not a bridge too far" where I discussed on a low level (according to some, a bit too low) the funky features SPL brings to the table. And looking at the comments left on joind.in I actually got people interested in using SPL in their future development projects.
Too bad I cut it short, like most people mentioned, because there's a whole lot to tell about SPL. Thanks everyone for you feedback, I will definitely keep it mind to make my presentation better.


Ben Ramsey showed us that "Grokking the REST architectural style" is worth thinking about when dealing with REST web services. He also talked about ATOM as a protocol, and he really got me interested in it to find out more. Thanks Ben, it was awesome.


Afternoon Sessions

Matthew Weier O' Phinney impressed us all again with another talk about "Contribute" and what we developers could do to make a difference.
For everyone involved in open-source projects, a must see presentation and again lots of kudos to Matthew for bringing this point to the attention of the masses.


Unfortunately I missed Stefan Esser's talk about "Secure Programming with the Zend Framework" and I'm now waiting for the slides to appear online.


Closing talk of the day was Christian Wenz with "Web Accessibility - A Primer" about the directives to make your web applications more accessible. Although I do appreciate the topic, Christian listed many items straight from the W3C Website and read them out to the public.
A good topic but not much new stuff in it, if you've checked out the W3C Website already.


Speakers Dinner

In the evening the DPC crew had organized a speakers dinner, where all the great minds joined together enjoying talking with each other about PHP and other non-PHP related things.

After the dinner, a social event was held at the tiki bar Strand Zuid.


Back at the hotel I was engaged in a few conversations about Zend Framework and PHP in general. Although I enjoyed those conversations, ending up in bed at around 3:30am was certainly not good for getting up in time the following day.


Day 2

Still in a sleepy state of mind, I headed out to the conference for day 2 missing the opening keynote by Owen Byrne on "Digg: The first two years". But the coffee break afterwards I certainly attended.


Morning Sessions

Eli White introduced us to the wonderful world of scalable websites with his presentation "Habits of Highly Scalable Web Applications" and believe me, there are a few things that you might want to investigate further !


Then our dear friend, icon of the Dutch and Belgian PHPWomen and most definitely a great host Juliette Reinders Folmer (@jrf_nl) gave by far the best presentation at DPC titled "Everything you always wanted to know about UTF-8 (but never dared to ask)" where she takes you down the road of UTF-8 encoding issues and looks ahead of the nifty features PHP 6 brings to the table with it's Unicode support.

Since everyone rated this talk as "best talk ever", I won't be surprised to see it on the ZendCon 09 scedule (hint for @EliW) or on other major PHP conferences worldwide.


Afternoon sessions

After lunch I went to see Rob Allen to learn more about "Caching for Performance", but right in the middle of this very interesting session I had to bail because a mix-up with the hotel had taken place. Believing my room was booked until the 14th, I was surprised to hear I had to clean up my room. So I was rushing back to the hotel to get all my stuff.


When I returned, Lorenzo Alberton was already rounding up his talk about "Trees in the Database: Advanced Data Structures". Too bad, since I believe it was also a very good and interesting session.


Closing Keynote: The Cal & Ivo Show

Rounding up the conference, Cal Evans and Ivo Jansch were giving sit-in session where they invited 3 guests on stage to talk about PHP: Andrei Zmievski, Lorna Mitchel and Paul Reinheimer.

Although the discussions were very interesting, most of the attention was drawn to the big screen behind them where tweets and photos were shown that were taken, uploaded and tagged during the conference.


Afterwards drinks were served for attendees, but I had to catch my train ride back home so I couldn't stay to enjoy the good vibes DPC audience was generating, but even in my train I could feel the air buzzing PHP.


Conclusion

Ibuildings has done it again, DPC 2009 will certainly go in the history books as being the best conference ever !

Many thanks to the Cal, Ivo and all organizers, the Ibuildings Design team (for making an awesome video and creating very cool speaker avatars) and to the sponsors of the event (Zend Technologies, Inc., Oracle, IBM and Microsoft) for their participation in this event and lowering the price of the tickets.


If you missed the event, or you want to catch up on great talks and tweets about the talks, I've provided here a small list of important sources where you can find more about DPC 2009:

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