Keeping up-to-date with changes in the web industry is vitally important to a well established digital agency like Studio 24, so we sent three of our team along to the PHP North West conference 2013 to develop and enhance their programming skills. Here, Junior Developer George Mickleburgh, shares his experience and some of what he learnt:
On Friday 4th October, myself and senior web developer John Hunt and developer Joe Beaver from Studio 24, journeyed to Manchester for the annual PHP North West conference. The Friday night began with a hackathon, which was a mixture of social programming, guitar hero, burgers and beer. This was the first hackathon I had been to, and it was a great experience! I would highly recommend attending one to anyone who enjoys programming as it’s a great opportunity to meet fellow developers and swap ideas.
On the Saturday, we began with a Keynote talk by Lorna Mitchell and Ivo Jansch, titled 0x0F (15) Ways to be a Better Developer. The talk was not about programming; it was more about how a developer can work better by improving how they think, and improving their physical health. This talk was interesting, as unlike most other talks it did not focus only on the programming side of being a developer.
The day continued with good talks on lots of areas of PHP that focused mostly on coding standards, application architecture and performance. I am personally interested in following the programming standards closely, so I wanted to know how I could improve myself and which tools I could use to do that; all of the talks helped me with ideas on how to do this.
The evening after the first day we had a social event with an open bar, food, and the opportunity to talk to the speakers and discuss their talk topics. I spoke a lot to Akihito Koriyama, who wrote a framework called BEAR, which breaks a lot of the principles that the popular frameworks follow. It does this in a way that improves the object-oriented structure of the application from more traditional architectures.
On the Sunday we attended a morning of talks that I felt would improve my overall development ability. They covered topics such as security and how the framework that the application is built on, can determine a lot of the speed of the application as a whole.
Overall, I found PHP North West 2013 to be a very enjoyable and educational experience and I would recommend any PHP developers to attend.