DC PHP ’08 Highlights

Earlier this week, we had the 2008 DC PHP Conference at George Washington University. A lot of new faces showed up this year and we had quite a few speakers from the local community. Here are some of the sessions I found particularly interesting:

Automated Unit Testing. Mike Lively presented PHP Unit, which I will definitely be using the near future. His presentation on Monday morning was very helpful and made Unit Testing seem much more approachable. He had an afternoon session as well with more PHP Unit tricks (like mock objects and database testing) that I’ll have to look into on down the road.

Fed Up of Framework Hype? Tony Bibbs had a lot of straight-talk about how to choose a framework, why you might want one, and when you could stand to roll your own. He brought up the fact that you need to keep is flexible enough so that your highly talented programmers can stay productive, while keeping it consistent enough for less experienced coders.

SPL Iterators. A lot of Eli White’s presentations I’ve previously seen have been about scaling challenges he’s worked on at Digg. He seemed just as excited to talk about beautiful code :). One of his samples was so short and succinct, I ended up tweeting (forgive the 140 character formatting) it.

Security Centered Design. In his own words, Chris Shiflett hijacked a security talk to cover User Experience. However, he did a good job of tying everything back to security; people have certain expectations for how a web application should behave when they’re logged in. He also plugged myVidoop: the secure, passwordless OpenID provider that some friends of mine work for :).

Also, Keith Casey moderated an IDE/text editor panel. He asked a good set of questions and fortunately there was no physical violence, or even shouting. :D

This was also my first conference where Twitter was out in full force, except when it was down early on Monday morning. You can catch up on most of the tweets here.

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