Ben Ramsey has a new post to his site today related to a talk of his that was accepted at this year's ZendCon conference about contributing to the PHP core:
I've been accepted to speak at ZendCon this year. One of the three talks I'll be presenting is a new one: "Contributing to Core: My Journey to Add array_column() to the PHP Core." While PHP conferences sometimes include talks or tutorials on creating PHP extensions or the intricacies of the PHP internals, I've never seen a talk about one's personal experiences contributing to core, from start to finish, and how one would go about getting started. That's what this talk is about.
He also shares a tool that he used when he was doing his own work on the array_column function - a PHP development Puppet setup that could be spun up and reproduced as needed. He also spends some time talking about the build cycle, how to run tests and a link to the Puppet Cookbook he kept close for reference.