Wednesday, April 30, 2014

LoneStarPHP 2014 in review

Last week I returned from LoneStarPHP conference in Addison, Texas. The first thing I noticed flying over the area that all is flat and very extend. Later I heard from Omni Adams, who came to pick me up at the airport, that this was as a protection measure for storms and tornadoes that appear from time to time.

The hotel was Marriott SpringHill Suites Dallas Addison/Quorum Drive which was a very nice hotel. The hotel staff was very friendly, common to the area I was told and had the best feature: non-stop supply of coffee! Already scoring good in my book.

As tradition dictates, all the speakers were invited to a dinner the evening before the conference kicked off. The LoneStarPHP crew arranged something at a traditional BBQ & Grill called "Hard Eight BBQ" which was about an half hour drive away from the hotel.
The meat at Hard Eight BBQ
This was the first time I was at such a place, but I enjoyed the delicious meats they served. Surprising to see that just a bit of meat could fill one up so quickly.

The conference lineup was incredibly well orchestrated and it was sometimes difficult to choose which session to attend. I was able to sit in sessions of Adam Culp, Keith Casey and a small part of Eryn O'Neil before I had to go on stage and present my talk "Your code are my tests". I received good feedback on joindin to improve this talk even further and got compliments on Twitter and in the hallway from people that needed this type of talk to see that you can get started with unit testing on any given project at any given time, even though writing tests close to writing the code it covers is still better (and TDD is still ruler in this field).


The closing keynote was given by Alison "Snipe" Gianotto about security. Even though we all know how important security is, Alison showed us with some statistics how bad we all are at security and gave us tips to improve. If you care about security (and you should), go grab her slides now!

That evening the crew had activities in store but I had the pleasure to sit outside and talk with Alison. Soon our conversation took a full 180ยบ turn and draw out a decent amount of people joining our conversation. It was awesome!

The second conference day was again challenging to choose between all the great talks. I had chosen for the talks of Eli WhiteJeremy Lindblom and Jeff Carouth. Again, it was tough to choose but my chosen talks were exactly what I needed and picked up a couple of things.
Eli White talking about his time working for the NSA
I closed the sessions track with my "Community works for business too" presentation, talking about how businesses and their employees could do little things to give back to the (PHP) community.

Larry Garfield closed the conference with a keynote on refactoring explaining the challenges they faced on their road towards Drupal 8. An excellent keynote!

This was a superb conference I enjoyed so much, I want to book my ticket for next year already. I want to thank the whole LoneStarPHP crew who made this possible and I hope to see you all next year.
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