PHP Benelux 16 Conference

On Thursday 28th January bright and early on a crisp Manchester morning, Jeremy set out from the airport for #PHPBNL16. Again this year he was selected to speak and rising to this challenge, he made his chosen subject “The Lost Art of Defensive Programming” into fun, new talk.

Once again this sell out PHP conference was an absolute success from our perspective. Magma Digital sent three team members including Jeremy. Two of our PHP Developers – Chris and Sandra attended the conference last weekend for the first time and spoke very highly of their experience at this great conference.

Chris, one of Magma Digital’s PHP developers said “PHPBenelux 2016 was both my first time in Belgium and my first conference outside of the UK, which was a fantastic experience in itself. The quality of the guest speakers was high, meaning I took a lot away from many of the talks at the conference. I especially enjoyed Bastian Hoffman’s “HTTP/2.0 101 Introduction” and; Beau Simensen’s “Hello, PSR-7” which were great introductions into what were previously unfamiliar topics. On the whole the conference was well organised, the people were friendly and I’d recommend the conference to any developer – local or not!”

At Magma Digital we have a culture of encouraging all our staff to take up opportunities for continuous professional development (CPD). Attending a conference, in our opinion is a great way to: enhance your individual skills, engage with the wider PHP community and progress your organisation. Magma Digital obviously help the community by hosting the PHPNW conference and organising the user group here in Manchester, but we also firmly believe in supporting the other international and national conferences also.
Sandra talked about her experience of the conference and stated, “I thoroughly enjoyed PHPBNL16. After some initial ‘new country, new people’ moments, I then recognised plenty of friendly faces. I benefited from some inspiring conversations, eating some tasty food, riding in bumper-cars and waving at some of Cal Evans’ role models and other awesome people.” One important lesson she learned in regards to wearing glasses in bumper-cars was – Don’t Do It!

As an added bonus however, she won her very first elePHPant for her Lego creation during the conference. Well done!

Sandra continued to describe the conference saying: “I learned a lot of interesting elements about HTTP/2.0 and how requests/responses are handled, caching, security (encrypt and authenticate!), RESTful APIs, PSR-7, home automation. I also picked up on some useful learning about Scrum stand up practices and tools/services (Guzzle, Monolog, PHPMetrics,, continuousphp, StatsD & Graphite, FOSRestBundle with Symfony, MQTT).”

Jeremy was a speaker at the conference and he told us that “this conference continues to get better and better with each passing year. I really enjoy the stimulus of speaking at these types of conferences and hearing the fallout conversations and ideas that come from the talks and networking that happens between the engineers who attend. Conferences are a highlight in my annual calendar and for all these reasons and more I continue to make them a priority in my own development and that of my organisation and suggest others do the same.”

As a team from Magma Digital we really enjoy conferences and the learning experiences that they afford to engineers. Linking in with the PHP community is also a very valuable asset to any individual engineer and organisation.

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