PHPNW kicked off the weekend with a tutorial session on Friday. This was a great way to get a deeper look at some topics in a smaller group with more ready access to the speaker.
It was incredibly hard to choose what to attend as all the sessions sounded great, finally went with MySQL Optimisation and What Symfony Components Can Do For You.
Both sessions were really interesting, and the MySQL talk by Adrian Hardy was especially useful to the work I'm currently doing as our data is expanding rapidly.
While I enjoyed Andreas Hucks session on Symfony immensely, it was far less applicable to my work at the moment and I must admit to a slight wish I'd chosen the MongoDB talk instead.
As I said, all the talks sounded great and it was a hard choice to make between MySQL and PHPUnit in the morning and the various afternoon sessions all looked good.
I'm not going to list out all the talks from the weekend sessions. I'd be here all day and you'd get bored reading. All I'll say is that all the speakers were all outstanding and the topics were broad and interesting. The whole experience has left me more inspired about PHP than I've felt in a long time.
It was great to see what other people are doing with PHP at the moment and inspiring to see so many who are pushing this language forward despite the shit that gets thrown at it from the general development community from time to time.
PHPNW13 was a truly great conference, and I strongly recommend that you check out the videos of the talks when they come out. Hopefully they'll whet your appetite and you'll be at PHPNW14 in person. I know I'll be keeping an eye out for next years tickets…
I know I said I wasn't going to list talks, but if I had to pick just a couple to take away (or to recommend you watch):
Ross Tuck's "Models and Service Layers; Hemoglobin and Hobgoblins" was both funny and interesting in bucket loads. Ross' delivery was perfect and I think this may have been my favourite talk of the weekend.
Volker Dusch's "Your (coding) standards matter" again was a funny delivery of what could be a dry topic and he introduced some useful ways to clean up your code.
Lastly, Rowan Merewood's closing keynote "Building Better Developers" was the perfect way to end the conference, although there were suggestions of chopping up developers to build better compositions… Anyway, Rowan made some really valid points and left me with great food for though on the journey home.
Please don't take the above as anything but a poor synopsis of just a couple of the many amazing talks. If you have the time please stock up on the whole conference. I know I'll be re-watching some I saw in person and catching up on the tracks I missed as soon as the videos are published. I can't wait.
It's often weird how these things occur, but it took a trip to a conference in Manchester to meet some like minded developers from back home. We've already chatted about the possibility of a regular meet up and maybe even starting our own user group.
Watch this space, but PHPNW13 could have already spawned a sub-class… oops inheritance is bad so maybe we'll skip that analogy.
Anyway, I'm going to end by saying a huge thank you to everyone involved at PHPNW13. The organisers, speakers, sponsors and delegates. This was one of the best conferences I've attended and I can't believe I've been missing it for so long. It is going to become a regular fixture in the calendar from now on.