PHPNW 2017 - The End of an Era

Author: Kiel
Friday, November 3 2017

PHP North West has always been one of our favourite events, for some of us it was our first conference, and has held a special place ever since. This year the team went along to PHPNW17 to learn, mingle, and get to know more of the development community that we love so much.

PHPNW has become the event that we really look forward to each year, and is a default 'approved' event for our training budgets (it's that good) - so tickets were bought at the blind bird stage, travel was organised, hotels booked, and excitement was building.

With orange hoodies at the ready, the team set off for Manchester. For us, wearing the orange hoodies isn't just about wearing company colours, it's about belonging to something we all care about. We're a team, as a team we succeed together, or we fail together. So for us wearing orange is saying "I'm a part of that, and I'm proud to show others that my team is important to me" (plus it makes finding others in a sea of people much easier, people seem to gravitate towards the people in orange as we stand out from the crowd!


Friday includes workshops during the day for those that have bought tickets for them. They end at around 5:30pm and then the pre-conference Friday night event starts. The Friday night hackathon is usually a fairly chilled period. Some will sit and hack away at open source projects, often led by a some of the contributing members in the main room, others will head to a space where they can sit, chat and catch up with friends and peers.


Saturday is when the conference enters full swing. The keynote this year was from Rasmus Lerdorf and covered some of the technical aspects of the upcoming PHP 7.2 and 7.3 releases. It included a nice explanation of the new Dead Code Elimination (DCE) features that should help less than optimised code perform better. One of the takeaways from the talk for us as a team was Phan - a static analyser for PHP that we're looking to integrate within our workflow to ensure that we're constantly improving on how we write software.

The main conference had 3 tracks, and each was filled with talks from some world-class speakers, it's often a tough choice deciding which talk to go to - thankfully talks are recorded and any that we didn't get the chance to go to will be available to watch sometime in the future.


Sunday is a half day of talks, with the conference closing at about 1pm.

The talk that caught our eyes was MySQL Worst Practices. Bring your system to its knees by Andrew Moore - after nearly having to grab a replacement speaker, the talk turned out to be really informative! Andrew's delivery was incredibly fun as well, and it really made a potentially dry talk into something everyone enjoyed.


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