Once again, the Magma Digital team were out in force as three of our PHP Developers (Jeremy, Adrian and Alan) travelled to Antwerp, Belgium to attend the PHP Benelux 2013 Conference. Like several other PHP conferences (for example, PHP North West), the organisation and planning was led by their local PHP community for their members and the wider international community. The feedback about the conference in the Magma office was wholly positive – the event was well organised by some lovely people, with great socials and some really interesting talks. The Magma team enjoyed their visit to Belgium and the conference gave them some real food for thought and insight into the future of PHP.
Alan enjoyed the ‘Git (and GitHub) for Ninjas’ talk from Ben Straub. While we at Magma currently use SVN (subversion), we are always looking into the best practice for version control tools and approaches. Alan added: “This talk was really useful. Ben showed off some cool tricks that I didn’t know much about. For example, bisect, filters but particularly the seamless SVN integration for GitHub.” The three Magmites also attended the ‘Password Storage (and hacking) in PHP’ by Anthony Ferrara. Security is usually high up on our clients’ requirements because of the business-critical nature of the systems we build and so we strive to be on the cutting edge. Adrian said: “Anthony made the talk particularly interesting by giving us some surprising stats about password cracking. There was some uncomfortable shuffling in seats as he quoted timings for a dedicated, $50,000 password-cracking machine”.
The post-conference socials were as important as the talks but in different ways. The socials enable delegates to get to network, get to know each other, discuss approaches and confer on business and community issues. Everyone joined in with the socials on both nights with Friday offering the PHP Benelux speciality of ten pin bowling, while Saturday brought mini golf to the masses. Throughout both nights sponsors ensured that there was no lack of local Belgian “delicacies”.
As many of you may already know, Magma Digital strongly believes in supporting the web community and promoting best practice within our wider industry. That’s why, we decided to sponsor the PHP Benelux Hotel Shuttle Bus. This bus allowed visitors staying at specific hotels to be transported from the hotels, to the venue and back.
We must say a huge thank you to the organisers of the conference for hosting another fantastic conference. We really appreciated their hospitality. Now that all of Magma are back at their desks post conference all we hear talk of is PHP North West 2013 and PHP Benelux 2014.