PHPUK 2024

This week I had an amazing opportunity to head on down to London for the 2024 PHPUK Conference.

This was my first in-person developer conference since before covid, with more recent events Ive attended being either online or more commercial/product focused events with vendors, so it was great to get back to an in-person event where I can geek out a bit more.

I do really enjoy online events and will continue to attend them, but nothing beats getting to talk to fellow devs in a conferences corridor track sharing thoughts or getting the opportunity to speak directly to the people that build the tools we all use every day.

For those that dont know, PHPUK is a two-day conference with three tracks sandwitched with a keynote to start/end the day. In its 19th year its got a great history of industry leading speakers on a range of topics related to PHP and its surrounding eco-system.

The schedule this year interested me as now Ive moved to more of an architectural role at work Im keen to focus at bit more on the future and where we’d like to be and what we could use to get there. The schedule this year seemed to tick that box repeatedly in several talks with the added bonus of a few names Ive seen speak several times before so felt like a no brainer that this would be benifitial not just to me but to bring back to the wider team too.

PHPUK conference venue – The Brewery

As with all good conferences the schedule had several clashes, so I initially planned the day by picking out speakers Id seen before so knew they’d be worth seeing over a clash, but after a conversation with one of the organisers who mentioned they would be live editing and uploading straight to Youtube I decided to switch to talks where I might have questions and watch back some of the others later.

All the videos are available in the official PHPUK 2024 Youtube Playlist.

There are a few highlights for me I recommend you take a look at, the top two would be Marcel Pociot’s talk on Building desktop apps with PHP and Paul Dragoonis’ talk on Cutting Edge CI with Dagger. It feels like both of these are going to become big over the comming months, especially Dagger, so this is the perfect time to start exploring how they would work within your business and start taking advantage as soon as possible.

Not sure if I misread the description on Rob Allens talk on An Introduction to DDD but I was glad as it was a great insight into how he aproaches a project and even better theres so much alignment with what I do already. Its really insightful to hear how a legend in the industry such as Rob follows a similar path and noted some great tips to take back to the office to tweak what Im doing.

A talk I was looking forward to was by Dave Liddament on Elevating Legacy. We are planning a similar project ourselves at work and while I’ve been through framework upgrades like this many times now, you can never have too much experience in situations like this. Espacially when theres a large jump, so was keen to understand what hurdles he tripped over that would be useful for us to plan for as well. I wasnt left disapointed the talk was really informative and a new tool to look into as well a great overview on how to setup custom rector rules.

No PHP conference would be complete without the legend Derick Rethans giving us an update on whats new with PHP itself. PHP8 is maturing really well and extra features highlighted really help make things just that bit better.

These are just my initial thoughts from what I saw on the day(s), there are so many more talks to catchup on, and Im looking forward to watching them over the coming days/weeks.

So, next steps… I think the first thing has to be getting Dagger installed and get something building, it really does feel like this could be a game changer and save us all so much time and effort. After that Im diving straight into my first desktop app I think.

“PHP is dead” we keep hearing echo round the internet, several times during the conference this came up and we all laughed, its so far from dead, its alive and growing and its heading in an exciting direction.

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