At Carbon we are allocated our own budget to help further our skills. I chose to spend a proportion of mine on attending the PHPNW 2013 conference at the Manchester Conference Centre.

The conference is one of the ‘must go’ conferences for PHP developers. People travel from all over the world to talk or attend so it’s great that it’s right on our doorstep.The PHPNW user group began in 2008 with the desire to do the following:

  • Improve PHP skills in the north
  • Encourage personal development of Web Developers
  • Provide opportunities for innovation and creation
  • Create a support network for the developers run by the development community
  • Provide opportunities to share experiences and best practise

I’m always keen to learn and regularly attend talks and events throughout the North West such as: MancJS, McrFRED and the PHPNW-UG to name but a few.

The PHPNW conference ran over 3 days from Friday to the Sunday. Friday was a Hackathon event where delegates could come in the evening and hack on open source projects, which was a great start to the social aspect of the event.

The line up as in previous years was fantastic and on Saturday I attended the following talks:

  • Keynote: 0x0F Ways to be a Better Developer: Lorna Mitchell & Ivo Jansch
  • Easy HTTP Clients with Guzzle: Nathaniel McHugh
  • Introducing Dependency Injection: Rob Allen
  • Your (coding) standards matter: Volker Dusch
  • Bringing the Symfony Components into your Legacy Code: Hugo Hamon
  • Models and Service Layers; Hemoglobin and Hobgoblins: Ross Tuck

I particularly enjoyed the keynote, which was delivered in two separate rooms with two separate speakers, linked together by video link.

Rob Allen did a great job breaking down DI and explaining the implementation in PHP terms so I could get stuck in with that immediately.

There were a few bleary eyes on the Sunday morning however the fascinating talks kept coming:

  • Your user stories are bad and you should feel bad: John Cleary
  • Unbreakable Domain Models: Mathias Verraes
  • Debugging HTTP: Lorna Mitchell
  • Keynote: Building Better Developers: Rowan Merewood

I got a lot out of John Cleary’s talk on user stories, which really got me thinking about the software project management processes we implement at Carbon.

Rowan Merewood as always delivered a fascinating and humorous talk to cap off an already brilliant event.I hope to attend a few more conferences within the new year as I continue to learn and implement my newly developed skills into my day to day job.