Veronica Bolognesi Veronica Bolognesi avatar

4 minute read

The 2020 edition of PHPDay took place on September 8th in a remote fashion.

Having experienced the 2019 edition (indeed my first one, despite being a PHP developer from eons!) I would say that it was a little difficult to stay focused for such a long event. However, given the high-quality level of lecturers and talks, it was totally worth the effort.

I would like to thank the folks at Grusp for their passionate work. Please support them!

What follows is a mere recap of the event, with my some comments of mine.

Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Playing Developer

Gary Hockin (@GeeH)

A trip into developers’ mindset from a ludic (and hence, engaging) point of view. Gary is a natural born speaker ;) and this talk deserves to be seen at least once by anyone interested in programming, no matter their background and interests.

What’s new in PHP 8

Derick Rethans (@derickr)

Personally, I did not like the style of the presentation. I’m not referring to the graphical layout of slides, but how they were presented! 🙂 However, the information provided is very important and so you should take a look here

Symfony 5, the new bit

Andreas Hucks (@meandmymonkey)

A deep dive into Symfony 5 features and enhancements. By knowing where the framework is heading, we will make better-informed decisions in our daily work.

#Leveraging Typed Exceptions for Cleaner Error Handling

Chris Holland (@chrisholland)

This speech was mainly intended for entry-level or mid-level developers. However, it is very useful to learn (or recap) how to build a long-lasting relationship with exceptions. In fact, exceptions are not our enemies, they can help us contextualize the scope in which they occur and thus speed up the debugging process. Slides available here

Kubernetes for PHP developers

Alessandro Lai (@AlessandroLai)

A well-presented talk by my colleague Alessandro - Too many screenshots of the dashboard for me, but that’s only because I am more dev than ops ;)

Technically Speaking: Improve your code with documentation

Alexandra White (@heyawhite)

Brilliantly presented by Alexandra! A tidbit that I brought home: there are moments to be (like) Shakespeare and others not. One of those when not to be Shakespeare is when writing documentation. I must say that this talk lighted my interest in technical writing. The icing on the cake was that the presentation had subtitles, which should definitely become a de-facto standard at least for pre-recorded videos. Very inclusive! Slides available here

Looping the Loop with SPL Iterators

Mark Baker (@Mark_Baker)

A tour of the little-known iterators world. . There was also time for a little mea-culpa about the almost-not-existent documentation when the library was first published and its initial years.🙂 Slides available here

Getting started with ReactPHP - Pushing real-time data to the browser

Christian Lück (@another_clue)

This is the real React! Not that other little thing made by Facebook! An introductory talk to the React world and the pillars it is based on: async and event-driven programming and, of course, promises (

Pragmatic Optimism: How PHP Conquered the Web

Samantha Quiñones (@ieatkillerbees)

I really enjoyed the final talk that was a historical retrospective of the web and web developing, starting from Charles Babbage up to (fast forward) CGI, the Personal Home Page Tools - PHP Tools and its evolution. There was a point in this talk worth mentioning: sometimes people are ashamed to tell others they are using PHP because of (insert here any drawback you heard of - probably already fixed by now). The fact is: why should we be ashamed by declaring that we’re using PHP? Every problem could be sorted out by several approaches and tools, some better suited than others. Well, pragmatically speaking, PHP is a tool that has helped us solve our problems for a very long time and it has proven to listen to its community and to evolve. I liked the comparison with CoBOL: at the time it was published it was the perfect tool to program business applications because the alternatives were, more or less, not-existent (unless you would go low-level). So, CoBol was the right tool at the right time. And still it is… (that’s why big companies find cheaper to maintain their big underdocumented monoliths than re-engineering it, but this is another story).

So, let’s be proud to be PHP developers, and let’s hope that the 2021 PHPDay edition will be held in person in Verona!

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