Leaving PHPTek

As I'm waiting for my flight at Chicago O'Hare airport, I decided it was a good time to write up my experiences I had at PHPTek in Chicago. I can describe the event as AWESOME as I met a ton of new people and learned quite a bit during the sessions and in hallway tracks.

If you're not familiar with PHPTek, let me enlighten you a bit. PHPTek is an annual PHP conference organised by php[architect], the company that publishes books and a monthly magazine. Each year PHPTek is being held in Chicago (USA). Even though this conference is a commercial conference by nature, once you attend it you don't feel that commercial pressure at all. The talks are all technical or soft-skill related without service or product sales pitches which makes PHPTek a great conference to attend if you're a developer. For business owners, managers and other non-technical folks it's also a great conference as you get in touch with an international community of PHP developers and businesses that allow you to establish long-lasting relationships and first class support on products or services you might use from the sponsors of the event.

This edition of PHPTek the crew behind the conference really raised the bar compared to last year. The food was incredibly good, the sessions were divided better with enough time between sessions to talk to speakers, get a drink or have a smoke. The crew created a schedule where more than once I had to decide between sessions and not once I regretted making a tough choice.

In2it sponsoring the PHPTek Open Spaces
It was also the first year that the conference offered "open spaces" besides the presentations which my company in2it sponsored. The concept of open spaces is simple: you have a round table discussion about a subject for the length of a regular talk, and the topic can be anything: keysigning, community discussions or business/customer discussions to improve the products or services. Each slot the open spaces was taken and it was great to see lots of people had great discussions there. So on behalf of in2it: thank you all for participating and we hope to be able to sponsor this opportunity again next year.

Ben Marks discussing Magento with users
The evening socials were inspiring, educative and above all: a lot of fun. From boardgames to hackathon, all was possible.

So all in all, I had a blast learning a ton of new things I need to try out at home and I'm really happy to have seen so many new faces. I hope to keep seeing them in the future at any other conference on this planet. And I would like to express my gratitude to the organisers of PHPTek, because they pulled of a great event and I'm already looking forward to next year's edition of PHPTek!