php|tek 2008: day 2

May 23rd, 2008 by Ivo

Thursday at php|tek started off with a keynote by SugarCRM's co-founder Jacob Taylor. Although Jacob is a seasoned speaker, it wasn't as interesting as I would've thought. It was more or less the success story of SugarCRM, and it even contained some slides to introduce PHP. I think with an audience consisting of developers that are usually not very much involved with CRM software and who know PHP's history, it would've been a better presentation if it had focussed on the technical aspects a bit more.

After the keynote, I visited Jason Sweat's talk on 'Test Driven Design'. It was an interesting presentation, demonstrating the SimpleTest test framework, but the talk was more on development than on actual architectural design.

Next up was Scott MacVicar, with a presentation on SQLite3. Although SQLite has been around for a while, a lot of developers haven't worked with it, so it's very useful to have an introductory session like this at a PHP conference.

After a good lunch consisting of pizza and salads, Joe Stagner from Microsoft did a very interesting keynote. See this blog post for a report that I wrote right after the keynote.

After Joe's keynote, I remained in the Grand Ballroom to watch Greg Beaver give his talk on Phar. I haven't worked with phar yet (a method to deploy applications as a single file in a so-called 'PHp ARchive'), but it sounds very useful so I'm definitely going to look at that. I was amazed to read on Greg's blog that he's never done a PHP presentation before. That is pretty weird for a guy who's done so much work on PEAR and phpDocumentor. In any case, he did great and his presentation came across very natural.

The last presentation I attended was Maggie Nelson's presentation on database migration. She presented methods for maintaining two-way database patches, and the use of SVN to make patch management easier. I think this is an important topic, as deployment often only covers source code files, but the database is just as much a part of the deployment process as the code.

In the evening, there were 2 parties. First, Mashery had a Pizza party at the 11th floor of the hotel, which was attended by a lot of people so it kind of was like a sauna in there. The pizza's were unfortunately rather exactly the same as during lunch (same caterer) but as they were good pizza's, we still had a nice diner. Second, there was a party hosted by Zend in the Grand Ballroom, with some snacks and free drinks (for about an hour only unfortunately, after which prices went up to their old 8$ a bottle insane hotel pricing scheme). This party was attended very well too.

During the party I had many conversations with old friends and new friends, tasted a very nice Scotch that Scott had brought along, and a weird (but tasty) licorice/wodka drink that Hilmar Hallbjornsson was passing around, and had a chat with Oracle's Christopher Jones about PHP, Oracle and other things.

Around 22.00h the party had ended, but Eric David, Shahar Evron, Andrew Culver, Gennady Feldman and I remained in the grand ballroom and had a very interesting discussion about religion, politics and science. With 5 different nationalities represented and 4 different religions (if you count atheism as a religion), this was a very interesting talk, which went on until 1am even (so we had to snatch Marco's water bottles which they had left unattended, in order to not dehydrate. :) ) The discussion featured interesting IT metaphors such as "praying is like a communication bus with each religion having its own protocol" and "reincarnation requires a stack because the number of souls is not constant". 5 people with different backgrounds but with one thing in common: IT and PHP. It's nice to see what interesting discussions come from that.

At 1am, I noticed on twitter that people were still hanging out at Homeless Joe's, but since I have to fly back later today, I thought it would be better to get some rest.

Today is the last day. I had the honor of announcing a partnership with php|architect, and in about half an hour Terry Chay will close the conference; but more on that in day 3's report.

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