7 PHP UK 2017’s talks you must see


PhpUK is a conference I have wanted to attend for a long long time. I had watched all the videos on youtube really carefully for the last few years and always got this weird feeling this might be one of the best and most important conferences in Europe. So, here I am.

3 totally different paths available for attendees made the choice of my own quite difficult. Sometimes, I had to skip presentations I wanted to see, because they were happening at the same time as those I wanted to see even more. From time to time, I was bored. But, at the end, I have created my own track and I am happy with the result. If you do not have the time to watch all the presentations online, and it does not matter if in video or slides format, then I would be happy to share my totally subjective choices.

Serving 30,000,000 Requests an Hour in the Cloud by Terrence Ryan

In my professional life I have done at least a couple of things that I am not proud of but which make me laugh every time when we are talking about them with co-workers (like generating 800 Gb of logs in one night). The story presented starts with some kind of disaster. Terrence explains how he accidentally, by a simple mistake, generated 30 000 000 requests in an hour and, surprisingly, how the google cloud service handled that.

Is it the end of the story? Not at all, it is a beginning. Because of his deep curiosity he decided to investigate the issue and re-generate the same traffic, but, this time, handle it with purpose and actual knowledge of how google scales infrastructure and where the limit is.

The presentation is like a good book — you are waiting for next step of the hero, you are waiting for the next wonderful twist to that tale and, at the end, you want to see a slide — to be continued…



Kicking off with Zend Expressive and Doctrine ORM by James Titcumb

As much I am not Zend’s guy anymore, converted into Symfony, as much I love this talk. A pure presentation of Expressions, Pipes and Middlewares. A clean code always makes me happy and I was smiling all the time during the James’ talk.


Speak to your computer — Build a Trivia game using Amazon Alexa and AWS Lambda by Rouven Weßling

This presentation was not even about PHP. And I do not care. It was a perfectly presented way of creating a simple quiz game with Amazon Alexa API and JavaScript. This talk was so good that I even enjoyed watching JS.

Amazon Alexa is a sound interpretation system in the cloud, which makes devices without interfaces more intuitive. You can speak right to your computer, phone, car, refrigerator etc., and it will easily communicate with you.


Driving Design through Examples Ciaran McNulty

I have been amazed be the new way of thinking about the programmer’s job for some time. That it is not just about producing code and implementing requirements, but also understanding business needs. Ciaran makes an introduction to this concept, he defines a good combination of BDD and DDD with a simple conversation with the client. He shows how important it is to ask the right question and how to improve that process with examples.

This kind of conversation is the bread and butter or developers.

Quote from the talk: Computers are communicating with computers really well. The communication between people is where the problem is.


Websockets and Torrents: A match made in PHP James Mallison

An impressive story about using sockets for own, totally legal, purposes. James describes step by step, with all ups and downs, how to successfully implement sockets, which libraries and solutions are good  to implement and which will fall into fail.


Real Time Communication To Simplify Your Life by Karina Popova

The Internet of Things has been making my heart beat faster for a long, long time. I have started playing with Arduino modules some time ago, and I must admit that I have some fun with creating solutions for everyday problems or areas where I am just lazy. Karina Popova’s presentation takes my little toys to another, higher level.

She demonstrated how to solve Arduino’s communication problems when you have no wi-fi connection, you are out of home, driving a car, or even in the middle of the ocean. What problems? They have created e-health monitors, house energy savers, security systems, transport telemetry, systems for retail stores or agricultural industrial tools. Karina shows how they collect data from sensors, transfer them, analyze and deliver to customers through an API.

Quote of the talk: Go beyond useless dashboards and notifications.

Slides available here

Unit test by example by Anna Filina

I have read a couple of books written by Gojko Adzic with the by example phrase in the title. Because of that I have attended this presentation with my own expectations, which were not met. But still, I enjoyed the talk. Anna started with a simple example of how tests should be written, why you should change your mindset about TDD and everything that was said before about test automation. Nothing new for the guy who writes unit tests daily, huh?

And then, one slide also changed my mindset — Usually, when a programmer writes a part of the code, he checks what is inside a variable to confirm that everything is (or is not) ok. But we are only human. Imagine a long table with dozens of fields and you need to catch the difference between tax values 0.05 and 0.5. Would you like to pay ten times more taxes because of a simple bug which was not caught by unit tests?

On the other hand, what do you do when you call `var_dump`? You are examining the result. You are testing. What stops you from writing your expectations in code? As a test?

Quote of the talk `Automated tests are like climbing — you can never go too far with security. What happens when you place many nuts in cracks? Nothing, you are just better secured.

Slides available here


Videos with the presentations probably will be published in a half of year in the meanwhile I propose you to review slideshows. If you were on the phpUK Conference and/or have got any favorite talk please do not hesitate to leave a comment below.

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  • Sebastian

    Great, thanks. When they will be available where I will be able to watch those presentations?