Pragmatism in the real world

DPC '09

The Dutch PHP Conference is over and so it’s time to write a short wrap-up.

Day 1

The conference was opened by a cool animated video and then Cal Evans welcomed us, with a nice short speech. The keynote was given by Andrei Zmievski of Digg. Andrei is a core devloper and gave an interesting overview of what we can expect to see next in PHP.

Cal opens DPC 09

I then listened to Paul Reinheimer talk about some problems you can encounter in conceptually easy situations. I found the section about handling account login issues very interesting and it’s an area that I now intend to improve in my code. Ben Ramsey followed with a talk on the theory of REST architectures which was interesting, though not directly relevant to anything that we’re doing at the moment. Making sure that I understand it when we come to make web service APIs is important though.

After lunch Matthew Weier O’Phinney talked about contributing to open source projects. Matthew gave a great talk with useful information in it. As a contributor to Zend Framework already, I mainly used this talk to learn how to evangelise the concept of contributing to other people.

I stepped out of the next session into the hallway track where I caught up with some people and then checked my email. Then Jan Lehnardt was on to talk about CouchDB. CouchDB fascinates me as it’s so different from the relational databases I’m used to. I don’t see that we’ll be using it soon though – the paradigm shift is significant.

The day ended with the speakers dinner followed by drinking :)

Day 2

Day 2 dawned bright and far too early and I managed to leave my power adapter at the hotel, so I had to go back for it, missing the opening keynote. I got back to see most of Eli White’s talk on scaling. Eli is a good speaker and the talk was well researched. I know that if I ever need to scale a website to 20 database servers and too many web servers, then I’m going to try and head hunt him…

I was intending to see Juliette Reinders Folmer’s talk on UTF-8, but Paul suffered from a video adapter failure and so I lent him my laptop and stayed to watch and make sure he didn’t break it. Paul gave another interesting talk whilst looking good in his suit.

After lunch, it was my turn to talk. Although I was nervous at the beginning, I think that I got into my stride and the presentation went well with intelligent questions asked by the audience. I think it helped that I advised the people who knew more than I did to leave before we started :) If you were there and haven’t yet rated it, then please leave feedback!

The final breakout session that I attended was another by Ben Ramsey about HTTP. There was more here that was directly relevant to work, but I’d have preferred more on the codes side with less emphasis on the methods.

The session was closed with a conversation between Cal Evans, Ivo Jansch, Andrei Zmievski, Lorna Mitchell and Paul Reinheimer. This took the form of an interview by Cal and Ivo with their guests. It worked quite well, but I felt that the questions for Andrei and Paul were not as well structured as the ones for Lorna. There was a slide show running above their heads with Twitter and Flickr photos from the conference playing. This was very funny :)

In the evening, I went for a meal at a Pancake house that was very enjoyable and I got to see a little bit of Central Amsterdam!


Overall, The 2009 version of the Dutch PHP Conference was very successful. It’s clear that it is being positioned to become a major conference, not just for Europe, but for the world with a significant focus on the advanced developer.

I will certainly be submitting to talk in 2010 – assuming I can think up some advanced topics to talk about!


3 thoughts on “DPC '09

  1. Hi Rob,
    great post. It is always fun to read how other people from the community experience these conferences. I will post my first blog entry on the dpc tomorrow.

    Thx for your input and see you at the next conference.

    Nick Belhomme

  2. Sorry about the intelligent questions ;)

    I certainly learned something from your talk.

  3. I thought I missed you ;-)

    Guess this blog means you got home all right. Was lovely to see you again. I look forward to our next meeting.

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