The PHP North West User Group ran it’s 4th (and largest yet!) PHP conference – PHPNW11 in Manchester last weekend.

This year, many of the sponsors were here not to drum up new business, but to hire new talent, continuing a trend from PHPUK11 earlier in the year. Sponsoring a conference is cheaper than paying traditional recruiters, with no shortage of motivated attendees to talk to.

Community tech conferences like PHP North West simply could not happen without the funds raised from the organisations who sponsor each conference. This short set of photos is my way, as a conference speaker, of saying thank you to every organisation who sponsored this year’s PHPNW conference.

PHPNW11 Conference Sponsors: Namesco

PHPNW11 Conference Sponsors: O'Reilly

PHPNW11 Conference Sponsors: ibuildings

PHPNW11 Conference Sponsors List

PHPNW11 Conference Sponsors List

PHPNW11 Conference Sponsors List

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The PHP North West User Group ran it’s 4th (and largest yet!) PHP conference – PHPNW11 in Manchester last weekend.

The audience is a key part of any conference, and each year the PHP North West conference manages to attract more and more people back as it establishes its reputation for being one of the very best PHP conferences (and indeed, one of the very best UK tech conferences) around.

If you’ve never been to any PHP conference anywhere before, I hope these photos manage to show you just a little bit of the cracking atmosphere you’re missing out on 🙂

PHPNW11 Audience

PHPNW11 Audience

PHPNW11 Audience

PHPNW11 Audience

PHPNW11 Audience

PHPNW11 Audience

PHPNW11 Audience

PHPNW11 Audience

PHPNW11 Audience

PHPNW11 Audience

PHPNW11 Audience

PHPNW11 Audience

If you like these photos, please do let me know – leave a comment on my blog, or click through each photo to Flickr and leave a comment there. Thanks!

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The PHP North West User Group ran it’s 4th (and largest yet!) PHP conference – PHPNW11 in Manchester last weekend.

This year’s conference line-up was particularly strong, both with the quality of speaker and the quality of topics, but there was one talk in particular that topped them all. It all began with Rowan’s laptop …

Estimation or 'How To Dig Your Own Grave' : Rowan Merewood

So Rowan had this laptop … but no matter how hard he stared at it, it just wasn’t going to work with the projector at the conference …

Estimation or 'How To Dig Your Own Grave' : Rowan Merewood

… so his friends rallied round and swaped his laptop for one that would work …

Estimation or 'How To Dig Your Own Grave' : Rowan Merewood

… the audience watches on with growing hilarity as Ben, Lorna and Ian try to get Rowan’s PDF slides presenting nicely in OSX’s Preview … only to be thwarted when the remote control for moving from slide to slide doesn’t work …

Estimation or 'How To Dig Your Own Grave' : Rowan Merewood

… in the end, Rowan press-gangs the conference’s keynote speaker into being his Speaker Slave (TM), advancing the slides forward on command throughout the talk.

Many speakers would have been destroyed by the sequence of problems, but Rowan successfully turned them into a great warm-up for what was without doubt the funniest talk all day.

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The PHP North West User Group ran it’s 4th (and largest yet!) PHP conference – PHPNW11 in Manchester last weekend.

Once again there were three main tracks to the conference, a total of 15 speakers from both near and wide to choose from. New this year was the fourth track – the Unconference (perhaps lightning talks would be a better description tbh) organised by Elizabeth Naramore. Unfortunately, it was too dark in the Unconference to shoot handheld, but hopefully Rob Allen snagged some of the speakers from there during the day.

At times, I struggled in the main rooms too with the low light, so my apologies to those speakers I didn’t snag clean shots of this year.

These are my photos of all of the speakers from the main tracks on Saturday.

Keynote Speaker: Ian Barber

Unconference - Derick Rethans

Zend Framework 2 - State Of The Art : Enrico Zimuel

REST and HATEOAS - A Case Study : Ben Longden

Magic Behind the Numbers - Software Metrics In Practice : Sebastian Marek

PHP Tester's Toolbox : Sebastian Bergmann

Doctrine 2 : Juozas Kaziukenas

Derick’s talk on building extensions for PHP was so popular that there wasn’t room for me to get the door open far enough to snag a shot, sorry 🙁

Scaling Your Development Team : Scott MacVicar

Varnish Your PHP application, Make It Fly! : Alistair Stead

Deploying PHP Applications With Phing : Michiel Rook

Estimation or 'How To Dig Your Own Grave' : Rowan Merewood

Rowan’s talk deserves its own blog post and photo set, coming soon 🙂

A Practical Look At Symfony2 : Stefan Koopmanschap

Acceptance & Integration Testing Using Behat : Ben Waine

Are Your Tests Really Helping? : Laura Beth Denker

DocBlox: Your Source Matters : Mike van Riel

CLI, The Other SAPI : Thijs Feryn

If you like these photos, please do leave comments either here on the blog, or on Flickr by clicking on the photo.

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The PHP North West User Group ran it’s 4th (and largest yet!) PHP conference – PHPNW11 in Manchester last weekend.

New this year was Tutorial Day: the opportunity to spend half a day or more in hands-on tutorials getting into the nitty-gritty of useful subjects such as Zend Framework 2, Security, Drupal, Web Services and Component Architectures.

These are my photos from the Tutorial Day.

Jenny Wong

Zend Framework 2 Tutorial - Rob Allen

Zend Framework 2 Tutorial - The Students

Security Tutorial - Arne Blankerts

Drupal Performance And Tools - Marcus Deglos

Drupal Performance And Tools - The Students

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Coming to my Friday session Maintainable Applications In PHP Using Components at PHP NorthWest 2011 Conference? Great! I’m looking forward to meeting you.

And I have a little bit of prep work for you to do before the session, please 🙂

  1. This is a hands-on session, so make sure that you pack your laptop and its power supply!
  2. Please get your dev environment setup and working before you leave – in particular, make sure that you have the latest version of phix (current 0.13.2) installed.

    I’ve published installation instructions for:

    If your operating system of choice isn’t one of those, there are also manual installation instructions on the Phix Project’s website.

    There’ll be a few minutes at the start to help anyone having trouble with their development environment, (and I’m free all morning for anyone who needs longer) but because we only have about 3.5 hours to cover everything, anyone who turns up with a seriously fscked dev environment will be asked to pair-program for the rest of the session, sorry!

  3. Have a clear idea what you need to get out of our afternoon session together.
  4. Bring along a list of any questions you might have. Hopefully the session will cover most of these … the rest I’m sure we’ll cover in the bar afterwards!

I’m not expecting you to have read my series of blog posts about creating and maintaining packaged components of PHP code, but you will find the session easier to follow if you have.

Interested, but haven’t bought a ticket yet? Buy one now 🙂 In the US? I’ll be doing an all-day version of this session at ZendCon in mid-October together with Chris Hartjes.

Already using phix, and got ideas and suggestions to make it better? I’ll be around throughout the Saturday and Sunday of #phpnw11 (normally with my beloved Nikon at hand – that’s how to recognise me!), and I’d be delighted to get your feedback and discuss your ideas further.

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We Need An Oktober(blog)Fest!

Posted by Stuart Herbert on October 3rd, 2011 in Community.

After Chris Shiflett‘s Ideas of March call earlier in the year, we had a fantastic period where the conversation moved from Twitter back to longer pieces on blogs.

Sadly, that has faded out once more. We need another blog revival.

To (slightly) paraphrase Chris’s original call, it’s very easy to take part in Oktober(blog)Fest:

  • Write a post called Oktober(blog)Fest.
  • List some of the reasons you like blogs.
  • Pledge to blog more the rest of the month.
  • Share your thoughts on Twitter with the #oktoberblogfest hashtag.
  • If we all blog a little more than we normally would this month, maybe we can be reminded of all of the reasons blogs are great.

Over in Germany, it’s currently the OktoberFest, where much beer gets consumed. And it just happens that October is also one of the important months in the PHP conference calendar … where much beer gets consumed 🙂

  • There are two of the larger PHP conferences this month – PHP NorthWest 2011 and ZendCon.
  • If you go to either of these conferences, please blog about your experiences of the conferences, the topics you see and hear, and especially the fantastic ideas you come away with that you’re dying to try for yourself
  • Share the link to your conference blog post on Twitter with the #oktoberblogfest hashtag, so that we can all find and read your blog post.

It should be a great month of reading 🙂

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I’m a great believer in the power of self-education, especially if you are (or want to be) in a more senior role in your firm or organisation. A regular reading list is a great way to learn more about how others are solving problems that you might be, or are about to be, struggling with. I’ve been surprised at how little people I know read, though.

Over the years, I’ve built up a list of blogs that I read daily to try and keep up with what is happening in the wider digital world. It isn’t a complete list for sure, but it’s a good start.

I’m certain that there are many other blogs out there that belong on this list. If you know of any, please send me a pull request 🙂

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At #phpsw this week, former Gradwell-er and all-round good guy Ade Slade delivered a great talk about DbUnit. Testing in general, and doing testing the right way in particular, is one of his great passions as a developer, and he certainly brought a lot of enthusiasm and hands-on experience to an often-neglected part of unit testing one’s code.

The talk and slides are on Ade’s blog.

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March’s meeting of the PHP SouthWest User Group will be at The Golden Guinea in Redcliffe, Bristol, from 7pm on Wednesday 13th April.

What Is Planned

Ade Slade will be giving his talk on unit testing (something he has a deep passion for). We’ll also discuss progress on the #phpsw community website, and be looking for more volunteers to help build and maintain it.

How To Get There

We’ll be at The Golden Guinea, 19 Guinea Street, Bristol BS1 6SX. It’s a short walk from Bristol Temple Meads Railway Station if you’re coming by train.

How To Get Involved

Please join the PHPSW Google Group and say hello!

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