Onebip at PHPBenelux 2013

Editors Note: Giorgio Sironi from Onebip’s Tech Team shares his notes, experiences and photos from the recent PHP Benelux 2013 Conference held website like this in Antwerp from 25 – 26 January 2013.

During these last days of January, I’ve been representing the Onebip tech team at the PHPBenelux (2013 edition) – a conference organised for developers and companies using PHP, a server-side HTML embedded scripting language. I (Giorgio Sironi) myself held a talk on the second day of the event discussing the Pomodoro Technique, a time management tool adopted widely in our team.

The conference was opened with a keynote from Chris Hartjes, widely known as the grumpy programmer. He presented his theory on the balance of optimists and grumpy programmers in developing new ideas and experiments but also pointing out all the fixes needed to get these new, exciting things in production reliably.

During the afternoon I followed Rafael Dohms‘s talk on annotations,  a magic tool for declarative programming. Definitely a clear take on the subject, teaching me quite a few things on how the PHP interpreter and extensions work and on the right use cases for annotations with respect to ordinary code.

The concentrated person you see in the middle of the photo is Benjamin Eberlei, lead developer of the Doctrine ORM for PHP. He told me about how Value Objects could make their way into Doctrine as @Embeddable classes in Hibernate style, do you want to contribute some code to make that a reality?

If you think all PHP developers write spaghetti code, people like Rafael would surprise you with their object-oriented skills.

The problem with well-designed features of PHP is that they struggle to get into the core PHP releases, at least with respect to the goto statement.

I found this on a wall, a by-product of the morning’s tutorials. Really, at Onebip we think we do not have time to not write tests: we know each feature not covered by automated test is a form of technical debt that will bite us very shortly when we have to rework it and build on it in the future, slowing us down.

Julien Paulis talk followed, explaining how to really measure PHP memory usage and (from our point of view) make sure that everyone can get his own 1-million transaction reports out of Onebip without crashes.  Julien is a contributor to the PHP interpreter and PHP 5.5 release manager.

Getting to a DevOps culture is not only a technology problem but also a people problem. In fact, one of the tools proposed (to get developers and operations to talk to each other) was beer:

All talks were video recorded, and will probably be released on the Internet in the future for the benefit of the PHP community.

Of course rooms get really empty during coffee break:

Because the social aspect of the conference is as important as the formative one.

The conference was really well organized and I got a lot of knowledge and contacts out of it. I hope to see you all next year!

(All photos are shot by myself but the last one and the header photo, which is property of Paul Borgermans. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License)

By Giorgio Sironi, Onebip Tech team