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Zend Developer Zone:
Move That Bus!
August 31, 2009 @ 11:25:19

There's nothing more telling about the quality of a conference than a personal experience and the Zend Developer Zone has posted one from Jason Austin and Garrison Locke about the ZendCon conference they attended back in 2006 and some of their experiences there.

One day when browsing around the internet Jason came across a posting about the 2006 Zend Conference being held in November. It was billed as "the premiere PHP conference." We asked our manager if there was any way we could attend. If we were going to be "real" PHP developers, we felt like we needed to be at this event '" it was the definitive place to be if you were in the PHP world.

They talk about the reality check they got when attending the conference - learning things they'd never heard of before ("fantastic and intensely frightening") in talks like Matthew Weier O'Phinney and Mike Naberenzy's "Best Practices for PHP Development" session.

The article's a good read for anyone considering attending a conference, either ZendCon or any others through out the year.

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Community News:
ZendCon 2006 Roundup Day 1
October 31, 2006 @ 07:29:20

It's 4:46am and after 4 hours of sleep I'm up again, blogging and trying to get as many (work) things out of my way to clear my day for the upcoming sessions and social events here at Zend Conference 2006.

Yesterday was a blast! The first tutorial I attended was Best Practices in PHP Development with Mike and Matt. I had initially planned on attending the ZCE crash course (6 hours) and then taking the test, but due to the fact that I hadn't taken the time to prepare at all for the test I figured it would be better to get my ZCE on my own time. Each of the sessions were well attended with around 80 - 120 people attending each tutorial.

After a surprisingly good lunch, I attended the first half of Chris Shiflett's talk on PHP Security. Most of the material covered was straight out of the book, however it was surprising to see how many people were unaware of some of the most basic types of intrusion attacks. There is still a big need for security evangelism. It was also interesting to hear and partake in the various discussions on PHP security with the other attendees of the tutorial.

While I was listening to Chris, my trusted iRiver recorded Marcus and Sara's talk on PHP Internals, so that should make interesting listening material for my 20 hour trip back to Frankfurt.

By 5pm the tutorials had wrapped up and the ZCEs and Speakers met up to have pizza and beer. The party continued until 10pm when the remaining beer was taken away and we were forced to move the party into the lobby and bar. The fun continued for a couple more hours, there was talk about moving into the pool, but by this time I was exhausted and retired to the comfort of my room and bed.

It's been great meeting all the people who I've known from the mailing lists/irc (Stas, Pollita, Wez, George, Andi, Shiflett, Terry, Enygma, JBauer, Zircu) as well as seeing all of the other conference regulars (groupies?) now the remaining question is if the pool is still open...

Pictures here.
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ZendCon 2006 Notes:
Best Practices for PHP Development
October 30, 2006 @ 15:26:55


Matthew Weier O'Phinney & Mike Naberezny, did a great job on this session. The talk went very smoothly, each of the speakers traded off on presenting the various sections.

The session also dealt with other collaboration topics (commincation using IM, wiki etc) however I with the PHP/Development issues.

Source Documentation

  • PHPDoc is the defacto documentation standard, it can be parsed by PHPDocumentor and Doxygen
  • Use @category and @package to manage your documentation
  • Using PHPDoc allows all developers to immediately understand your code

Unit Testing
  • Focusing on PHPUnit
  • Test religiously
  • Without tests, code is fragile and will regress - there is nothing to tell you when you break your code.
  • You are not wasting time by creating tests, you're wasting time by peppering your code with var_dump() and trying to debug code manually.
  • Learning to write good object oriented code that is testable takes practice and discipline. Learn to design for usability.
  • Test-First methodology allows the tests to become the specification of code you are writing.
  • Using Classes is not Object Oriented Design

Source Control
  • Source control was on the benefits of using SVN to manage your code.
  • Learn to use tagging and branching instead of committing everything to HEAD
  • Trac is cool (I caught up on emails during this section - great wifi)

Deployment
  • Never edit code on the server
  • Check out tagged branches from your svc software
  • Deploy to a staging server on your production server, test first then modify the symlink.
  • Write acceptance and integration tests: http://manuals.rubyonrails.com/read/book/17)
  • Monitor Health of Servers: http://www.plope.com/software/supervisor/
  • Store schema of your database by committing the schema into your svc server - suggestion: http://www.mysqldiff.org/ and pre-commit hooks
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