PHP[World] All Your Projects...

Cal Evans , Developer Advocate Reading estimate: 3 minutes

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PHP[World] logo

This week in Washington DC: Several related developer communities got together for a joint conference titled php[world]. In the true spirit of "all your projects belong to us", members of the Drupal, Symfony, WordPress, Laravel, Joomla, and Zend Framework communities gathered together to cross-pollinate ideas, share stories, and show what they are working on, while learning what others are working on. 

Read on for more, I've got pictures! 

 

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Man teaching PHP class using a projector

The week started on Tuesday with a Tutorial Day. Ok, technically, the week started on Monday with a Training Day. PHP[architect] trainers taught a day of beginner PHP sessions. This was a great way to lay the foundation for participation during the rest of the week.

Tuesday, the conference itself kicked off with half-day tutorials taught by some of the best teachers from their respective communities.

Day 1

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Luke Stokes on stage presenting

Wednesday morning, bright and a bit too early, my good friend, Mr. Luke Stokes took the stage and presented "Turning Your Code Into a Company: The Parts They Don't Tell You". It was a great talk about Luke's experience building one of the premier shopping cart systems on the web, FoxyCart.com. It was a rousing talk that any developer who is building a company on the side should listen to. Luke share the ups and downs of working for yourself. He shared what got him through the long nights of working on FoxyCart after spending eight hours at his day job. He helped developers understand that though it's not always roses, there are still more roses than thorns. 

After an inspirational opening keynote, we were off to sessions. The sessions were much more varied than the sessions you would expect at a PHP conference. This is because instead of just covering PHP, php[world] strove to bring all the different communities together. Each session time slot had a variety of topics from all the participating projects. It was great to see people associated with one project attend sessions about another project. Cross-pollinating ideas was the point of the conference and the attendees did a good job of making that happen.

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Jeffery A. McGuire on stage teaching

After lunch Jeffery (JAM/@HornCologne) A. McGuire took the main stage like a Tasmanian Devil to talk about "Idealism embodied: Philosophy, Code, Empowerment". If you've never seen JAM speak, believe me when I say he is a bundle of energy on stage that is both informative and entertaining. JAM got the audience pumped up and over the afternoon food coma. Energetic speakers are great for the after lunch slot.

Day 2

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Angie Byron teaching on stage

Thursday kicked off with Angie Byron (@webchick) - another Drupal community superstar - presenting "Drupal 8: A Story of Growing Up and Getting Off the Island". This was a great talk. Angie talked about where Drupal came from—complete with a picture of Dries in his college dorm room wearing a Sombrero—to where it is today, Drupal 8. It was thought-provoking and positive community talk.

The Thursday afternoon keynote belonged to WordPress, "Trust, Community, and Automatic Updates". As the title suggests, Andrew Nacin (@nacin) talked about the WordPress auto-updater feature, how it came to be, the challenges they faced, and how they overcame the challenges. I had heard pieces of this talk before but Nacin never gives the same talk twice, so there were plenty of new things to learn. All of it, no matter how new or old, was fascinating. WordPress is such a large project and has so much data on its users, that diving into it is always fun.

Day 3

Had no keynote but ended in a panel discussion with representatives from all the respective projects. It was a great Q&A with the attendees of the conference.

Wrap-up

The sessions were awesome, the keynotes were well presented and thought-provoking, but it was the hallway track though that really stood out at php[world]. With so many important projects represented, there were some great conversations that went on. The conference sessions were centered around the hotel lobby, and it was common to see five to seven conversations happening around the lobby as the rest of the attendees wandered off into the sessions. Members of different projects discussed the finer points of architecture and implementations while other interested attendees joined in on the conversation. Thank you to the php[architect] crew for putting this conference on and bringing these groups together to talk. All of us in the PHP community will be the better for it.

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