php|works 2007: Day 3

It’s been a week since Day 3 (Day 2 for those on the zero-indexed conference time-table), and it’s high time I got around to writing up my thoughts on the conference…

I arrived late to Sebastian Bergmann’sGraph-Oriented Programming with PHP” presentation, where he showed how to use graph-oriented programming to implement workflows in PHP applications.

Next up was Maggie Nelson’sHow to Optimize a Database Query,” about which others have written nice things. (As a side note, Maggie presented this with live examples from the Oracle command line interface instead of using slides–a difficult and risky way to present, but she pulled it off flawlessly.)

After that, I sat in on Ed Finkler’sIntro to Code Igniter” presentation. As a minimalistic framework (which I love), Code Igniter appears promising, but I was a bit disappointed to see that it makes attempts to be supported on PHP 4, so there are no advanced OOP techniques being used.

The highlight of the day came next with Terry Chay’s new talk “The Internet Is An Ogre: Finding Art in the Software Architecture” where Terry was his typical self, dropping the f-bomb and pointing out where popular books are dead wrong. I look forward to watching him present this again at ZendCon and seeing how it’s evolved by then.

Finally Chris Jones and Ed Finkler rounded out the day with “Next Generation Database Applications” and “Securing the PHP Environment With PhpSecInfo” (respectively).

In all, this was one of the best PHP conferences I’ve attended. I agree with Ed, who said:

php|architect conferences lack pretension, and that’s really nice – it’s about the people and sharing knowledge.

This really was the case. And there wasn’t a time slot that I couldn’t find something of interest to attend; all the speakers and topics were interesting and relevant. Kudos to the folks at php|architect for having the discernment to select excellent presenters/topics!

There was one thing, however, that was a shame: although the event was held in Atlanta, there were few locals in attendance. I counted about five or six from the Atlanta PHP user group, but apart from that, I don’t know of any others from Atlanta who attended.

Atlanta PHP developers: you had a PHP conference in your backyard, and you missed it! What a wasted opportunity!