June 2nd, 2008 by Ivo
This weekend I was at the Pinkpop Festival enjoying bands such as Metallica and Rage Against the Machine, when I received a tweet from Marco Tabini announcing that the book I have been working on, "php|architect's Guide to Enterprise PHP Development", is about to be published and can now be pre-ordered! I've been working on the book for quite a while and it's nice that it's finally being released now.
In the book I talk about the entire development lifecycle of PHP projects, from preparations such as building a team, gathering requirements, creating an architecture, all the way through implementation to delivery, operations and maintenance. It is intended to help improve every step of a PHP development project.
Release dates for the book are June 12 for the PDF version and June 26 for the print version.
All three can be pre-ordered, and if you do, you'll receive a 15% discount.
March 17th, 2008 by Ivo
Martin, one of our system architects, has written an article on our corporate blog about scalability in PHP.
He covers things like frontend generation (as opposed to request based caching), database replication, loosely coupled components to increase the scalability of the application, and he even mentions SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). We've recently had some good results with implementing SOA architectures in PHP. Traditionally SOA is associated mostly with Java, but with PHP5 it's very well doable.
February 26th, 2008 by Ivo
I was recently interviewed by Computerworld UK regarding our launch in the UK and the current rise of PHP in the corporate world.
The result is online here.
The 'leading PHP expert' phrase are not my words, but pretty cool.
How do you see PHP pickup in your country? The Nexen stats are one thing, but how businesses are using it is another. Post a comment to let me know how 'PHP' and 'Business' go together in your region.
December 31st, 2007 by Ivo
Unfortunately, Derick Rethans just announced that this year he will do no more PHP lookback. Derick: thanks for the years that you wrote them, and let's hope someone else will take over.
When I look back at 2007, what strikes me most is how strong a foothold PHP has gained in business environments. Sure, overall PHP usage has been steadily growing as always, but PHP is seen more and more in large corporations. Sometimes next to java (a common scenario is a java J2EE backend with a PHP frontend), but sometimes it's just PHP. I have encountered publishing agencies, retailers, manufacturers and even large insurance companies. They are running internal applications on PHP, and although often their external websites are pretty plain, their internal systems are very critical systems, with cashflows that are depending entirely on applications written in PHP.
I think what we see happening here is very similar to what happened to Linux a few years ago. Started as someone's hobby, adopted by enthousiasts, then for a while growing in popularity as an important OS in internet environments, and finally making its way into the enterprise. It has happened to Linux, to Apache (and its spin-off projects), it is now happening to PHP and I predict for 2008 that we will also see MySQL moving more and more into that direction (it's ubiquitous on the internet already, it just needs to take the leap to the enterprise).
Some say that Ruby was a big threat to PHP in 2007 (thanks to the Ruby on Rails framework). I have flirted a bit with Ruby myself, and language-wise, it's much cleaner and consistent. However, selecting a programming language is not just about the language. It's about factors such as community support, learning curve, installed base, companies supporting it and many more factors, and I think PHP has proven to be pretty strong in that area.
A fact supporting the statement that PHP has become 'serious business' in 2007 is the availability and adoption of 'enterprise' tools. Zend, for example, has always catered to the developer with tools such as their Zend Studio IDE and projects such as Zend Framework, but now they also have tools that the managers of those developers will like, such as Zend Core and Zend Platform; tools focusing on things like productivity, scalability, reliability and several other business-friendly *ity words. This is in line with other components of the LAMP stack: there's already 'Enterprise Linux' and 'Enterprise MySQL'. Zend positions Zend Platform as 'Enterprise PHP' (they're just not calling it that yet ). It's natural for a company like Zend to move into this direction. I hope that more PHP companies will follow suit and release professional products around PHP, there's definitely a market for tools.
I think however that still the biggest driving force behind PHP aren't the companies, but the community. It's the community that leads; businesses just follow. With many conferences in 2007, it's clear that there's a big PHP community. The community is not just the 'celebrities' that write the language or that speak at conferences, it's everybody working with PHP. I've met many people from the community this year, and hope to meet even more next year.
It's great to be a part of this community!
P.S. It would also be nice to have another PHP Throwdown competition next year, and it would be nice if someone would actually win this time (hi Elizabeth! ).
December 27th, 2007 by Ivo
I am happy to announce that I've just signed a contract with PHP|Architect to write the book 'Enterprise PHP Development'.
It will be one of the first books about PHP that will not cover PHP code. It is loosely based on my 'enterprise PHP development' talk at the Zend UK Business Conference last year. It will cover the entire development lifecycle of a software project, but targeted at PHP development teams. From project management to test driven development and from architecture and design to release management. I will try to cover anything a development team needs to take their development efforts to the next level.
I'm planning to deliver a first version of the book in March, so I hope it will be released in the first half of 2008.
I'm currently working on the rough outline and writing the first chapters. I welcome any input from my blog readers. If there's any topic that you think should be covered in a book about professional PHP development, post your ideas below in the comments. Also, I will be looking for one or two case studies: companies that are already applying PHP in a professional context, and that have moved well beyond the 'scripting stadium'. If you work at such a company and are interested to work with me on a case study, let me know.
July 4th, 2007 by Ivo
On june 16th we organized the first Dutch PHP Conference in Amsterdam. The event was attended by more than 250 people and with speakers such as Cal Evans, Kevlin Henney, Lukas Smith, Derick Rethans and many others, I think it was a great event.
We've decided to make it a yearly event, so mark June 14, 2008 in your agenda for the next instalment.
The DPC was not the only new conference, last monday I visited the first Zend UK PHP for Business Seminar organized by the London office of Zend. This conference was targeted at 'business people', and featured speakers such as Zeev Suraski, Harold Goldberg (Zend's new CEO), David Boloker (IBM) and Clint Oram (SugarCRM).
I had the honor of presenting a talk on 'enterprise PHP development' on the seminar. Since it was targeted at business people, I explained the development process of PHP applications using metaphors. What may be obvious for most of us, isn't so obvious for a lot of people and companies, so I found it important to talk about the process surrounding PHP development, and not just plain PHP coding itself.
Below are the slides of this talk:
This is the 7th presentation I did in 3 months time; I'm beginning to get the hang of this.