Several years ago series of PHPers meetups gathered the whole PHP community in Poland under a single name. Now time has come for the first PHPers Summit, a single event to sum up everything related to this initiative. The event took place on 19-20th of August in Poznan, one day for workshops and conference each. I attended only the conference, but I heard positive opinions about the workshops. I was honoured to take part of it as a speaker, and I’m more than happy to share my experience with you.

The conference was divided into two tracks at rooms X and Y. It started with an “introduction talk” where organisers briefly thanked people for coming in and sponsors for supporting the idea. Then they welcomed Leszek Krupiński who told the story about origins, history, and the future of PHPers. A round of applause for everyone mentioned during the talk concluded his speech.

I decided to stay in room Y because minutes later Mariusz Gil took the stage to talk about microservices and the ways of dealing with them. Mariusz has a nice track record of giving content-rich and well-researched talks, and this one was no different. He ended his talk by asking the audience a question about the name of the rule that described a relationship between company structure and software written by people working there. Too easy, Mariusz, too easy… guess who came back home with a new white ElePHPant? For the reference, it’s called Conway’s Law.

After a small break, it was my turn to engage the audience by talking about the functional approach in software design. The main premise was to encourage “functional thinking”, something that can be done in most programming languages without diving head-on to purely functional ones like Haskell. I was quite happy with the outcome, but talking with people afterwards totally exceeded my expectations. It turned out that I really convinced people to write code in a more functional way and in turn make it readable and understandable. I also received a stream of engagement on Twitter, so once again: thank you for coming, and… there will be more!

Next in schedule was Piotr Kacała with Event Sourcing in PHP. He started by showing a classic basket example and then proceeded to explore gotchas and challenges to be faced when implementing ES in various kinds of projects. I guess that audience will remember him most for his baseball cap. He could have started rapping in the middle of his talk and no one would be surprised. :)

Among all the problems we face in the industry, writing parsers and analysers for various kinds of data has a special place in my heart. That’s why I decided to change tracks and listen to Alexandru Pitis in the room X. He explained the whole process and even managed to talk about things like shift-reduce conflicts, so even though there wasn’t anything new for me, I was still happy to refresh my knowledge.

Right after dinner, it was time for a recent Symfony addition - the MicroKernel. Kuba Zalas is the right man at the right place when it comes to Symfony ecosystem. With the knowledge gained from his talk, everyone should be able to feel the freshness of microframework even though full-stack Symfony is still in place.

I tried to listen to the rest of talks, but as we all know the best part of going to conferences is talking with people. PHPers Summit was not different - MicroKernel talk was the last of those I attended. Right after it I was engaged in many interesting conversations that lasted until it was time to come back to Warsaw.

Since it was the first PHPers Summit I was really surprised by the quality of the event. You could expect some serious technical problems or other organisational issues, but neither I nor the people I spoke with noticed anything. Based on my experiences from other conferences I was even surprised that there were no issues with WiFi, projectors, sound, microphones, or schedule. On the other hand, there is a number of things that could be improved, for example, recording talks or microphones for the audience when asking questions, but these are negligible given the number of things that could go wrong.

You can find photos on the Facebook event page. Shout out to the organisers for all their work that led to such wonderful event!