Dutch PHP Business Seminar == excellent

I like to learn, it might seem odd for some people but I just like it. There is never enough time to learn everything but attending a Seminar is surely one way to increase your learning efficiency.

And so I did attend the Dutch PHP Business Seminar for the first time. It was offered by iBuildings and Sogeti and covered SOA and Security in PHP. Both are topics in which cannot get enough attention! Two tracks were available, Engineering and Management. In my role as developer and ‘representative’ of my company I choose to attend the Engineering track.

Opening

First off, Ivo Jansch (CTO iBuildings, www.jansch.nl) opened the Seminar with a speech about the penetration of PHP into the Enterprise business’. Although technically it did not give insight into any subjects, I very much enjoyed the statistical and historical information which was given. For example: Did you know that of the top 10 visited sites in the Netherlands, 7 are running on PHP? And that 45% of the dutch domains use PHP to display their pages?For me as trivia fanatic I love to hear about those facts, I believe I even bored some friends and collegues with those afterward.

Webservices in PHP

After Ivo finished his talk it was time to start the Engineering Track. Here we were welcomed by Peter Verhage. Who gave an overview of Web services and which technologies are being used. Basically he named REST, SOAP and JSON as ways to accomplish interaction between the services and showed some source code. Although it usually is a matter of choice which way to go, every technology has it’s advantages. I do not intend to repeat his speech here, so i will just post the sheets from slideshare.

PHP Secure Application Development

Robert van der Linde gave this rather impressive speech. What he told sounded like it should be common sense but you could not get the feeling ‘Am I doing enough about it?’. This rather distinct and at times uncomfortable feeling was amplified by the strong points given by Robert. I could feel myself consciously implementing whitelisting on services, two days after this speech when I was working on a Webservices platform. Thus I can only conclude that it had made an impact on me.

Last but not least: the keynote

The keynote was given by Cal Evans, a PHP Evangelist and Editor at Zend (if you know PHP you should know him). As last year his talk was amusing, insightful and at times disturbing (in a good way). He gave a speech about the changing role of the IT Specialist, that we change from ‘Gatekeepers’ to ‘Gardeners’. Although I would like to rephrase the words as changing from ‘Secret Society Member’ to ‘Caretaker’. And I could not shed the feeling that I had to agree that we need to be open to our users and give them a voice. I think Cal told it best and should you wish to reread his comments about the seminar you can so do on his blog.

Conclusion

At first my conclusion would be that this blog posting has become far too big, but I just had to write down my experiences of the Seminar and with them my thoughts and feelings about the talks which have been held.

All in all, I had a blast!