International PHP Conference: Spring Edition, Berlin

logoThis year's Spring edition of the International PHP Conference ran from May 30 to June 2, at the Maritim proArte hotel and conference centre in the heart of Berlin. The weather wasn't great, but the talks more than made up for it. With a mix of talks in German and English, and running concurrently with the RailsWay and Webinale conferences, there was something here for all sorts of web geeks.

May 30 was workshop day. There were two in German and two in English. Sebastian Bergmann (@s_bergmann) covered continuous inspection and integration, which set the tone for most of the conference. Johann-Peter Hartmann's (@johannhartmann) Softwarearchitektur mit PHP — a shorter version of which he did as his day 2 keynote in English — covered different types of application architecture.

The main conference started on May 31, with more talks on architecture, Agile development, continuous integration, and frameworks touching on the good, the bad, and the nasty. The Cloud also had fair representation.

Derick Rethans' (@derickr) talk, "Inside PHP," was quite interesting: he showed how he built a Twitter client for his NEO phone. There's nothing special about a Twitter client on its own, except that Derick had to start with compiling Apache, PHP, and PHP-GTK for his phone, each of which had its own complications. He also went into details of how he had to manage the size and resolution of the screen, and how his data plan influenced his decision to proxy the twitter API to reduce the amount of data he needed to send to the phone. He then demoed a few more applications, including his implementation of D-Bus for the phone. An awesome talk all around.

This was followed by a talk on HiPHoP by Scott MacVicar (@scottmac) from Facebook, in which he showed off their benchmarks. He also briefly touched upon how Facebook upgrades their frontend servers with zero downtime.

June 1 had a track completely dedicated to Agile development, which really shows us where PHP developers see themselves in the years to come. I delivered my talk on scaling MySQL, one of three database-related talks at the conference.

Hans-Christian Otto's (@muhdiekuh) talk (in German) on how he's using Asterisk through PHP preceded mine, and was also interesting from what I could make of it with my broken German. The day 2 keynote was a panel discussion involving a few of PHP's big boys. Later in the day I also managed to slip in a bonus session on YQL when I noticed that a few people were interested in it, but not many had heard of it before.

Day 3 started out with one-month-old Yahoo Guilherme Blanco (@guilhermeblanco) from Sao Paulo speaking about his work on the Doctrine project, followed by Derick Rethans doing his third talk of the conference, "Premature Optimization Mistakes."

In all, this was an information-packed conference. The theme was clearly software quality and architecture, and is a good indication of where the PHP community wants to go. I'm glad to have been there.

Philip Tellis
Philip Tellis (@bluesmoon)
Doing performance and security stuff at Yahoo!