Speaking at PHPNW February

If anyone is able to make it to the PHPNW User Group meet in Manchester next Tuesday 2nd February - I'm the speaker there! I'll be giving a talk entitled "Best Practices for Web Service Design", which covers lots of information about web services and how to write one that your users will love! Details of the event are over on upcoming, you can find out more about the talks, the venue and the group as a whole. If you're able to make it then I'll see you there - its a good crowd :)

Speaking at PHPNW09

I have experience of PHP conferences from all possible angles - as an attendee, as a speaker and as an organiser. At PHP North West this year I will be taking this to new heights and combining all three roles into a single one-day conference. I have a speaking slot at the event entitled "Passing the Joel Test in the PHP World", which I'm very excited about. Its a talk that I think brings together the best ideas from a general software engineering world and puts them into the context of PHP development. If you're wondering what the Joel Test is, then you can read about it on wikipedia.

Having spoken at a few different events now, some local and some quite high-profile PHP conferences (OK, so php|tek - the event of the year!), I'm really delighted to be bringing my ideas to the local conference that I help to organise and attached to a user group full of bright and interesting people. The experience of launching a call for papers, submitting my own abstracts, and then trying to figure out where it fits in when evaluating the CfP was a bit split-personality but with Jeremy's input we decided this was a good fit - and I'm looking forward to delivering it!

The event itself is in Manchester, UK on Saturday 10th October and there is only one week remaining on the early bird ticket price!! So all those people who think its ages away and you'll sort out arrangements nearer the time - you have been warned. The schedule is world-class (quite literally, these speakers do speak right around the world), and the price is pocket money (50 GBP + VAT until 11th September). As well as the technical content you get a fun weekend in Manchester, plenty of social activity, there's more geekery happening the following day and all attendees get a 12-month subscription to php|architect magazine to keep them learning all year long. Now you're persuaded - you can buy you tickets here and let me know to expect you!

PHPNW is the highlight of my year - I hope to see you there :)

PHPNW09 - PHP Conference in Manchester

Last night at the PHPNW user group we announced this year's conference - PHPNW09. We don't have a lot of detail but here is a run-down of all the information I have:

  • Date: Saturday 10th October 2009
  • Location: Manchester Conference Centre. It's a new venue but just as central and actually easier to get to.
  • Website: http://conference.phpnw.org.uk which currently points at last year's conference but feel free to click around to get a feel and we'll update that soon.
  • Focus: PHP in the team - we're having a real focus on PHP teams, tools and practices for them.
  • Price: We're aiming for the Early Bird tickets at 50 GBP + VAT, similar to last year (OK so last year was inc VAT but hey, it's still excellent value). This price will run until 10th September, a month before the conference, at which point they'll become more expensive.
  • Speakers: Yes please! Like last year, we'll be running a call for papers and we'll be looking for some well-known speakers and some we haven't heard of yet. Like last year the speaker's package will include the speaker's dinner, a conference pass and hotel accommodation, but won't include travel expenses - if you are interested then look out for a CfP in August
  • Schedule: See previous point ;)

Did I miss anything? If so, drop me a comment.

The timescales (all subject to change for no apparent reason and without warning) are something along the lines of getting the site live in June, the tickets on sale in July, the CfP out in August, closing towards the end of that month, publishing the schedule at the start of September to give people chance to get tickets still on the early bird rates which expire on 10th September - then another month for people who like their tickets more expensive and finally the event itself on 10th October.

A few other things I would like to mention:

  1. We want sponsors, including some quite small ones! If that's you, please contact us or just leave a comment with your details
  2. We will need some volunteers on the day, all of whom get free entry - again, let us know if you are up for that
  3. We're considering running a "day 0", probably a hands-on day on the Friday, currently we don't have either venues or clear plans for this so if you have any thoughts or ideas, add a comment!

PHPNW TestFest

Yesterday saw the PHP North West User Group hold their first Test Fest in Manchester. As a relatively young user group (at less than a year old) with not a single @php.net email address between us, this was an ambitious venture. Scott MacVicar very kindly offered to come and be our mentor - to show us around PHP and get us started writing tests, and in fact he did very well and everyone was able to begin quite quickly.

ScottMac's To-Do List

With 14 attendees to support, Scott had his hands full but between all of us we managed 84 tests which was very impressive!! Most people seemed to pick it up really easily and I'm almost certain that there will be a few more tests coming in from various people who were there on the day - which is great because the increased test coverage really does make a big difference to PHP itself.

PHPNW TestFest Crowd

I'd like to say a huge thanks to everyone who turned up and wrote tests, to Scott for coming and dragging us all through the process with such good humour, to Salford University for lending us the space for the event and to Ibuildings for sponsoring the event and making it all possible! There are a few more photos as well - a huge well done to everyone who took part, here and at the other test fest events!

PHPNW Test Fest Event - May 9th 2009

The PHPNW user group are taking part in this year's PHP Test Fest. Our event will be on 9th May - you can sign up to attend (limited places so do let us know) on the upcoming page for this event: http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/2299548/

The idea behind Test Fest is twofold: firstly, to give an approachable way for PHP developers to contribute back to the core - we'll learn how to write tests on the day and can continue to do so after the event of course! Secondly, PHP itself gets better tests, and the language itself gets better. All in all, I can't see a reason not to do it!

There are events right around the world so if you can't be in Manchester then take a look around and see if there is something nearer to you that you could be involved in. Northen people - I'll see you there :)