Dutch PHP Conference

Often when I attend PHP conferences, I blog as I go along, upload a few photos and generally share with others who aren't in attendance. At DPC this year I completely failed to do any of the above - no excuses, I was just having too much fun :)

I travelled over on Wednesday and met up with a bunch of colleagues/friends at the airport, so we could make our way to the hotel together. We arrived to find colleagues and speakers already in the bar and it was great to see so many old friends and meet new ones. Thursday was tutorial day, this is a separate day with in-depth sessions that run all day. I attended the Zend Framework tutorial delivered by Matthew Weier O'Phinney from Zend, which was really good. There was a similar session last year but that was quite basic - since then I've worked a bit with Zend Framework so this session suited me really well and showed me some stuff that I've been struggling with. We rounded off the day with an Ibuildings social, giving me chance to catch up with my colleagues and enjoy the free bar (thanks Ibuildings, great opportunity to see everyone!).

On Friday the sessions got off to a flying start with the keynote from Andrei Zmievski, Open Source Fellow at Digg. One thing that I always find simultaneously wonderful and intimidating is how the speakers at these events mingle with everyone regardless of how qualified they are. This creates a great atmosphere at the events, and makes the speakers very available. You couldn't pay for the experience of running into someone in the bar whose talk you saw and having them happy to answer a couple of your questions about it. I have no idea if this happens in other industries but it surprises me every time.

Probably the biggest "problem" at this conference was the excellent schedule. Its a good problem to have but it does mean that I had issues with every session deciding what I wanted to see - more so than any conference I've been to yet (are you listening, conference organisers?). I only sat out for one of the time slots and that was mostly because I was very tired and the talk I wanted to see was packed :) Friday ended with a happy hour social at the bar next to the venue, which was great - it seemed like all the speakers and most of the attendees were there, and everyone was moving around and talking to everyone else, which was a lot of fun.

Saturday was more great sessions and held a couple of highlights for me - two friends of mine, Ian Barber and Juliette Reinders Folmer, gave their first conference talks at DPC this year, in consecutive sessions. I was able to attend both sessions and they were both excellent (and handily they both spoke on subjects I was interested in!) - and I even managed to put my head around the door of the Oracle Installfest which was also happening through Saturday morning. Saturday afternoon saw the last of the sessions and a closing keynote entitled "The Cal and Ivo Show (with friends)", in which Cal and Ivo talked over a couple of points between themselves and then invited some of their "friends" onto the stage to be asked a few questions. It turns out I fall into the "friends" category so despite the fact that I wasn't there as a speaker, I still managed to find myself on stage with a microphone!

I'm a big fan of conferences, I like to get to a few each year. Sometimes I'm an attendee, sometimes a speaker, and sometimes an organiser - if you've seen me talk about communities, professional development, or speaking then you've probably heard my thoughts on these events and how much can be gained whatever the reason that you attend. DPC is a pretty special event - Amsterdam is well connected and we had attendees from all over Europe, some from the US, and even a few from further afield! The sessions, as I say, were the best I've seen and I wish we could do it all again so I could try to get to the bits that I missed. Its a great crowd at the Dutch PHP Conference, always someone to talk to and I actually know quite a few people who attend - and I don't often manage to see some of those as they live elsewhere in Europe.

I hope everyone who attended had as much fun as I did - see you all next year!

DPC09: Looking forward to the Dutch PHP Conference

This time next week I'll be full of new ideas and enthusiasm as the Dutch PHP Conference 2009 will have ended. Last year was the first time I attended the event and I have memories of a great crowd and some fabulous sessions, also my first experience speaking at a conference (yes really, a year ago!). This year it looks like the event will be better than ever with an extra day and a schedule absolutely rammed with fabulous content. And best of all, I work for Ibuildings, so I get to attend (I'm not speaking this time around).

Conferences are a great opportunity to meet some like-minded people, find a peer group to drink socialise with, and of course get to hear all the sessions that are around and chat to the speakers. Amsterdam is a great place to do this, its well connected and there are speakers and attendees from right across Europe and beyond. Since I know the PHP community quite well, I'm looking forward to getting to spend time with this cool crowd - and of course all my developer colleagues will be there as well so a party spirit is guaranteed :)

There's a few other things going on around the main conference - with social events and add-ons like the Oracle Installfest. I hear there are still tickets remaining so if you're feeling a bit left out - come and join us! If you're there, do stop and say hi to me - I know more people this year than I did last but its always nice to meet new faces too. Next stop, Amsterdam!

DPC - Dutch PHP Conference June 2009

I keep getting asked about the Dutch PHP Conference so here's a quick outline about the event.

The conference is in Amsterdam, on 11th to 13th June 2009. Thursday 11th is the tutorial day, Friday and Saturday are the main conference days. The schedule is entirely in English and it looks excellent to the point that I am wondering how I can clone myself to see multiple sessions. http://www.phpconference.nl/schedule/ - don't think I'll be seeing much of the hallway track at this one.

Since this event is organised by my employers, Ibuildings, I get to attend, which I'm very pleased about - and I'll also get to meet up with all my colleagues which is always great fun. The phpwomen will also be in evidence. The speakers list includes people from all over Europe and also North America which is nice, there will be some crossover between existing geographical communities which is always good for swapping ideas (and conference anecdotes of course). Its a varied linedup of talks but its all pretty advanced, so I'm looking forward to learning a lot even though I've already attended quite a few PHP conferences.

I notice the early bird pricing is valid through to 30th April so if you are thinking of coming along then its worth making your plans sooner rather than later - its very easy to get to from pretty much all of Europe so no excuses! Hope to see some of you there, do come and say hi :)

DPC 2009 - Currently Calling for Papers

The Call for Papers for the Dutch PHP Conference 2009 is currently open - with only a week left, it closes next week on Friday 13th. I went to this conference in Amsterdam for the first time last year, when I was still relatively new in my job at Ibuildings. This year, I'll be there again and looking forward to attending the sessions, the social events - and of course a great excuse to catch up with all my colleagues and the wider dutch PHP community. Hope to see you there :)