Belated php|works Recap24 Sep 2006
I've been traveling non-stop since php|works, so I haven't had a chance to reflect on the conference, what I learned, who I met, and things like that. (Zak has been doing a good job of this lately, and I'd like to follow his lead.) I've probably forgotten more than I remember, but this is my recap.
I had the pleasure of meeting a number of people for the first time:
- Robert Treat is a PostgreSQL expert and the newest addition to the OmniTI brain trust. We're lucky to have him.
- Joshua Eichorn is best known in the PHP community for his Ajax work, such as HTML_AJAX [sic], and his nifty Webthumb project.
- Sebastian Bergmann is the author of PHPUnit, a popular unit testing library for PHP.
- Chris Hartjes spoke at the conference about what PHP can learn from Rails.
- Clark Everetts is a prominent member of the Nashville PHP User Group. (I had actually met Clark before at one of their user group meetings, but never really had a chance to chat.)
I presented The Truth about XSS and Agile PHP Testing, both of which went pretty well. I enjoy the cross-site scripting (XSS) talk, because it gives me a chance to highlight some new trends in web application security as well as discuss some of my current research. (If you're interested in keeping up with the latest developments, I highly recommend RSnake's blog.) I wasn't really in the mood to give my testing talk, so I spiced it up a bit by adding some information about security testing. I think everyone appreciated that, as it made the talk more fun.
After my talks, Cal Evans interviewed me for the Zend Developer Zone. His first question was how I became interested in computers, which is the same question Nat asked me for his Burn In series on O'Reilly Radar. I was too busy at the time to respond to Nat's request, so it was nice to get a chance to reminisce with Cal about my Commodore 64 and such. I'll let you know when the interview gets posted.
Other interesting highlights for me were the Zend PHP 5 Certification panel and the Great PHP Trivia Tournament. The latter was a trivia contest with questions like:
- Spell Andrei's last name.
- Name the King of PECL and the PECL Princess.
- Who started the PEAR project?
- When did Rasmus first announce PHP?
There were also plenty of crazy PHP syntax questions that seemed more like a showcase of PHP's oddest behavior than trivia questions, but I guess that's what makes it trivia. :-) Regardless, this was a fun event that everyone seemed to enjoy, and the winner walked away with a new Apple MacBook. Hopefully Sean and the other folks at php|architect will make this an annual event.
My friend and colleague Wez gave his PDO talk as well as one on mail that became known as "Not PDO" among conference attendees. :-) Sadly, I had to miss the latter, because I had an early flight on Friday, but I ended up spending almost 12 hours at the Toronto airport after four consecutive flights to New York were cancelled - not a good way to end my trip, but I enjoyed my time in Toronto and hope to be back next year.