PHP London Conference: In Review

I’m really late with this post, but I wanted to write about the PHP London Conference which was held in London last Friday. The event was in a great venue and had hoards of people – this was my fourth year in attendance!! They do, however, have the longest twitter tag in history #phpuk2010!

This year I had the privilege of speaking at this event, although I was concerned that I had to stay coherent and alert right through to the graveyard slot at 4:30pm (conference organisers take note: I really am much sparklier in the mornings!). I kept myself awake by attending what I affectionately refer to as the “Ibuildings track” – with 4 speakers at the event, it did feel like a bit of an invasion by myself and my colleagues. In our defence I can only say that we are a pretty big local PHP employer and, as a developer, I’m happy to be working for someone who sends all their developers to these events, and even happier to be in the company of those other excellent speakers as colleagues!

My talk was entitled “Best Practices in Web Service Design” although perhaps “Things I Wish Web Service Creators Would Consider Before Writing Unclear and Unstable Useless And Frustrating Services” would have been a better title! I talked about web services in general, a bit about HTTP and the various service types, and also gave some general tips and tricks for writing good, stable services. In a bit of a break with geeky tradition, I then talked about services as a whole package, and how to deliver and document them in a way that helps users help themselves. If you are interested the slides are here:

The experience was overall very positive for me, I haven’t spoken at this conference before and I was very pleased to be included. My talk went quite smoothly, with my nerves nicely hidden away (I’ve had issues with this lately), and I also avoided falling over either the curtain or the piece of screen that was carefully placed to trip unwary speakers! I’d like to thank everyone who came and asked questions afterwards, and all those who saw my talk and left comments for me on my talk page – it all helps me to do better next time, thanks and I’ll see you all next year!

12 thoughts on “PHP London Conference: In Review

  1. Hi LornaJane, and congrats for your speech. I write this just to point out that #phpuk2010 is not the longest hashtag: for the next phpDay in Italy we use #phpday2010, which is one character longer… nothing to be proud of, anyway ;)

  2. Cesare: Thanks for your kind words, I’ve heard good things about phpday although I haven’t been there myself; sounds like another great event with another horrible hashtag! What’s wrong with #phpday or #phpday10?

    • Hey, nothing wrong with #phpday10 (we didn’t choose #phpday since we’d like a differentiation between the years), only we didn’t think about that… next year will be phpday11 :-P
      Why don’t you come this year? It’ll be near the sea! Plus we have an interesting schedule I think:
      We’re trying to attract a broader/more international audience, could you speak about us if you find the schedule interesting? Thanks!

      PS: BTW, I didn’t receive notifications from the blog about your post, although I asked to subscribe to the entry…

      • I am receiving e-mail notifications, but it seems my original longer comment (about scheduling and the tag used for the conference) wasn’t approved – don’t know why?!

        • Cesare: Indeed, it is a great lineup, you have my colleague Felix speaking as well as many other well-known PHP characters. I won’t be there myself but phpday is definitely on my list of events to recommend!

          Dave: Your first comment set off my spam trap and was moderated, but it took me a while to notice it was there. I didn’t publish after the fact because it seemed you had written it in anger … I blogged how much I liked your event and you refuted my every point in turn1?! I figured since all the other comments were so positive about the event in general, I’d leave it at that – “phpuk” deserves its good publicity this year so let people on the internet be wrong (me) and bask in your well-earned glory :)

          • Sorry, I didn’t mean for it to come across like that. I was just addressing your two criticisms (the slot you were on, and the length of the tag we were using for the event on other service).

            I appreciate that your post was mainly positive but I just wanted to explain the reasoning behind your two negative points (essentially: you were in the last slot because your talk was believed to be less technical that a lot of the others and so would be a nice gentle end to the day, and… the tag at 9 characters is not that long [the # is optional and was never promoted by us], and we couldn’t just use ‘phpuk’ because it’s already in use by someone else on Twitter, and it doesn’t indicate that we are an event rather than an ongoing topic [which just using ’10’ instead of ‘2010’ wouldn’t have done either] nor separate photos or blog posts, for instance, from each individual annual event).

            I think I did try to end it by thanking you for your talk?! :-)

          • The thing is, now you’ve written an essay about the twitter tag, which just makes the whole thing funnier. And you’ve re-iterated that I’m not considered a technical speaker, which doesn’t feel great. I was sort of hoping to keep the comments to “wasn’t it great?” “yeah!” but never mind!

          • Hmm, that was a couple of statements – not really an ‘essay’! :-)

            No, I didn’t say you’re not considered a technical speaker, just that the *talk* that you submitted, that we gratefully selected, wasn’t believed (and we may be wrong, as I personally didn’t see it on the day and haven’t had a chance to listen to the audio recording yet or go through the slides yet, though am very much looking forward to it!) to be a technical one, which is not in any way a negative thing. As I’m sure you would agree there is more to the world of PHP and web development in general than just writing code, and as I would imagine was the main message of your talk, it’s important to think about other broader things about the services you are building too.

            We do appreciate all your positive comments about the event – but if you’re going to make negative ones, at least let us explain in response why the things were why they were :-)

  3. Hey Lorna, loved your talk! Helped me consider more about making my own service and what kind of general direction/considerations I should take! No doubt I’ll be hassling Sam about his Kohana REST plugin at a future pub standards :) Thanks again!

  4. Hi Lorna, Thank you for the slides. Just recently I had to use a web-service and it was a nightmare, so it would be a good idea to send those slides to the guys who implemented it. Your presentation was great and I must say it was the main reason I decided to fill out the feedback form (the prizes had nothing to do with it – lol). Even if you say you were nervous, you are a good speaker because we didn’t notice anything. I would probably die of shame if put in front of a hundred programmers :).

  5. joe: Glad to hear you enjoyed the talk – you have my full permission to hassle Sam as much as you like!

    Alexandra: I am very happy to hear that you found my talk interesting and helpful. As for the nerves, I was always told it would get easier over time. It does but it takes a LOT more time than I expected!

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