The Top 5 Worldwide PHP Conferences

Despite the rapid growth of new programming languages and platforms, PHP continues to be a stable workforce that powers much of the web. More than 82 percent of the internet is powered with server-side programming apps using PHP — more than ASP.NET, Java, and ColdFusion. For a while, it looked like other stacks might surpass PHP. However, with the release of the first major update in more than ten years, PHP 7 has silenced many critics.

PHP conferences continue to offer attendees the opportunity to learn new skills, keep up on PHP developments, discover recent trends, view the latest technologies offered by exhibitors, and meet new friends and contacts in the industry. Here are five of the top PHP conferences around the world you should consider attending to broaden your horizons, update your skill set, and build relationships with key developers and decision makers.

SunshinePHP

The SunshinePHP conference is held in the first part of the year in Miami, Florida, usually in February. It is produced by the South Florida PHP Community and features speakers, talk topics, panels, breakout sessions on the latest news, best practices, and technologies related to PHP. The conference lasts three days, with the first day filled with in-depth workshops and tutorials. The following two days feature high-level industry keynote speakers as well as more than 40 talks about PHP covering four different tracks.

SunshinePHP is directed to veteran programmers and newbies alike. It is organized and hosted by working developers at the South Florida PHP Community, so it naturally focuses on current industry topics and real-world challenges. The 2017 SunshinePHP conference will be its fifth consecutive year and it set for February 4 – 7, 2017 in Miami, Florida. It sells out every year, so be sure to plan ahead.

In 2016, around twenty companies sent at least five developers, and several others sent around ten developers. Conference sponsor participation was also strong, with a majority of participants taking space in the exhibit area.

At that conference, several topics were discussed that aren’t normally covered at many PHP conferences. For example, speeches covered diverse areas such as teamwork and collaboration, how rest affects the way we think, brain functionality, how humans learn, and how to help customers and developers meet mutual goals.

The 2016 conference speaker lineup consisted of 36 percent female speakers and 20 percent female convention attendees. These were promising numbers, as all areas of tech seek to engage more women in the industry. Evening hours were spent with panel discussions and games, as well as an outdoor buffet and a fully stocked bar.

Despite the growth of newer technologies such as Node.js and Go, PHP remains dominant. Review these five top PHP conferences, as well as regional conferences in your area, and make plans to attend one in the future. You’ll improve your techniques, insight, and programming skills while developing contacts from around the world. You’ll find that every conference has friendly and welcoming organizers, and you’ll enjoy the entire experience.

Confoo

Confoo is the biggest web technology convention in North America. The 2016 conference was held from December 5 – 7 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and the 2017 Confoo conference is set for March 8 – 10, 2017 in Montreal, Canada. A couple of the 2016 speakers included Adam Culp, Abraham Williams, Anna Filina, Billy Gregory, and Brittany Martin. Sessions were extremely diverse. Past talks have included “An introduction to deep learning” and “Extremely defensive PHP programming.”

Attendees from past Confoo conferences comment that they like the wide variety of technologies, knowledgeable attendees who are eager to share information, the opportunity to learn new concepts from developers around the world, understanding how your current skill set matches up with market demand, cutting-edge sessions, the multi-language approach, and the open and friendly atmosphere.

php[tek]

php[tek] is one of the older conferences, organized since 2006 by the group behind php[architect] magazine. It has long been dubbed informally by attendees as the PHP community’s “annual homecoming,” so conference organizers adopted the phrase as their slogan. The conference takes place around May every year, and tries to focus less on business interests and more on the interests of the attendees. The 2017 php[tek] conference is the twelfth edition, and is slated next for a May 24 – 25, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The 2016 event displayed innovation in the form of live streams of keynote speakers and several key events. Videos of the captured streams are featured on the php[architect] YouTube channel. The first day focused on PHP and Laravel basics and web security. The second day had a full slate of PHP tutorials.

Like SunshinePHP, php[tek] places a strong emphasis on community. The organizing team consists entirely of members of the PHP community. The emphasis is on core PHP elements, as well as related topics such as JavaScript, MongoDB, and others. There are sessions for both new and experienced developers.

php[tek] develops fun ways to increase participation from attendees, using games and puzzles throughout the conference, with cool prizes awarded. There is plenty of opportunity for socializing — past events have included community nights, a casino night, newcomer sessions, and designated open spaces.

There is also an emphasis on looking down the road to upcoming developments with PHP and working to test new features as soon as possible. For example, past conferences stressed the importance of adapting PHP 7 as soon as possible, and getting involved in reporting issues to help eradicate problems as the new version was rolled out.

Speaker preview videos are posted on the conference website as they become available. You can also stay up-to-date with conference developments and news on their Twitter feed at @phparch.

Dutch PHP

Self-identifying as “Europe’s Most Exciting Web Conference,” Dutch PHP ran June 23 – 25, 2016 in Amsterdam, Netherlands and it’s set to appear in the same city from June 29 – July 1, 2017. Organized by Ibuildings, the convention is completely in English. The focus is on networking, best practices, know-how, technology, and tips and tricks. Ibuildings is a company that was founded in 1999. They began with PHP and then grew to incorporate other runtimes. The 2016 convention was the tenth edition of the Dutch PHP Conference.

Dutch PHP is targeted toward mobile web and PHP developers at every experience level. They encourage decision-makers outside of the developer community to attend, such as management and vendors. Experienced developers will learn how to refine their current programming skills, as well as take away new knowledge about the latest technologies. Beginning programmers will learn techniques to expand their knowledge and grow their skill set faster.

Past speakers have included John Ledrew, Dennis Degreef, Niels Nijens, Luis Cobucci, and Sara Golemon. Session topics have included such diverse areas as modern databases, lightning fast testing, containerizing in a production environment, migrating PHP extensions, graph databases, message-oriented architectures, PHP generators, secrets of cryptography, and solving cross-cutting concerns and PHP.

Past attendees have commented that the venue is large and the event is well organized by the staff. There are many standup tables to meet with other attendees while enjoying a refreshment, but there are also a number of sitting desks available if you want to do some work in between sessions. They also enjoyed the code night after the main sessions, where they can improve several open-source projects. They also commented that the talks were well presented with a wide variety of topics beyond PHP, including CSS, testing, JavaScript, DevOps, and more.

php[world]

Like php[tek], php[world] is hosted by the folks at php[architect] magazine. This conference is specifically organized to bring together the wide variety of PHP frameworks such as Joomla!, Zend Framework, Laravel, Drupal, Magento, CakePHP, WordPress, and Symfony.

The 2016 conference was November 14 – 18 at the Sheraton Premiere at Tyson’s Corner near Washington, D.C., close to the Dulles airport. Past speakers have included Eryn O’Neil, Michelangelo van Dam, Edward Finkler, and Helen Hou-Sandi. The 2017 conference date is not yet announced.

This conference is designed to bring together the various PHP platforms into one event that discusses their shared concerns and challenges. With more than 80 percent of the internet running on PHP, the number of PHP frameworks has grown and fragmented. php[world] was designed from the ground up for developers from these different platforms to share ideas and best practices. Conference topics have included web security, object-oriented PHP, PHP essentials, containerizing PHP applications, building APIs, REST APIs, PHP, and IoT, using open source for small business operations and much more.

As Drupal, WordPress, and the other platforms listed have grown, users began to think of themselves as developers for each specific framework, instead of as a PHP developer first. The conference is geared toward learning from each other across framework walls, even as they begin to merge into each other. For example, Magento has become increasingly based on Zend Framework, and Drupal has incorporated core libraries from Symfony. Sessions are spread over eight tracks, with talks on each platform as well as cross-over sessions.

 

Top 2017 DevOps Conferences to Attend

Every year, a new slate of conferences focus on helping those who work in the world of DevOps learn the latest IT technologies, performance challenges, languages, frameworks, platforms, software developments and career management techniques. However, with tight travel budgets and time constraints, it’s vital you choose the right ones to attend. Below you’ll find a wide variety of DevOps conferences, some small in nature offering lots of hands-on training as well as very large conferences attracting the “who’s who” in each discipline.

DevOpsDays

DevOpsDays is a series of events designed for DevOps influencers to share best practices. Upcoming events are scheduled for Charlotte, NC, February 6 – 7, 2017; Moscow on February 11, 2017; and Baltimore, MD, on March 7, 2017 as well as March 31 – April 1, 2017. There were more than 700 attendees at the DevOpsDays event in Minneapolis in July 2016. Surveys indicate that attendees like the focus on inclusion and diversity — more than 58 percent of the speakers were women. Other highly rated parts of the conferences include the 30-minute morning speed presentations and the popular Ignite talks.

Dockercon

Austin, TX, will be the host city for Dockercon 17, which will run April 17 – 20, 2017. It is a multi-day conference completely focused on Docker, a popular open-source software system that helps automate Linux application deployment inside individual software containers. Developers, Ops, DevOps, Sys Admins, managers, and C-Suite executives are encouraged to attend. More than 5,000 attendees are expected. Past attendees lauded the high-energy and focus on innovation as well as the demos featured in the keynote address.

Gartner IT Operations Strategies & Solutions Summit

The Gartner IT Operations Strategies & Solutions Summit will take place May 8 – 10, 2017, in Orlando, FL. IT professionals will share ideas on how to create a healthy IT environment in the midst of constant change, with a renewed emphasis on real business results. Attendees learn how you can increase the perceived value of the IT department and work more effectively in times of disruption. The conference focuses on professionals in cloud operations, IT operations management and IT service support. Conference tracks for 2017 include Cloud and Virtualization, Optimizing IT Operations, DevOps and Agile, Leadership and Strategy, and Emerging Trends and Technologies. Past conference topics have included optimizing hybrid cloud computing, key steps in beginning a DevOps initiative, and how to handle organizational politics.

Interop ITX

The MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV, will host the Interop ITX conference May 15 – 19, 2017. The conference is designed for IT professionals to learn the latest trends, best practices, and solutions in the industry. You’ll discover what’s working at other companies and see the latest technologies. A unique feature of the conference is a vendor neutral business hall, where you’ll see how different components of current technology fit together. More than 130 panel and speaker-led sessions provide hands-on training and a close-up educational experience. Billed as the only independent conference for IT and tech leaders, this event offers a mixture of high-quality presentations and excellent networking opportunities. Past attendees have called it a must-attend conference and a very useful event that provides rich content.

ChefConf

The ChefConf event is scheduled for May 22 – 24, 2017 in Austin, TX. The conference offers discussions, presentations, and extensive technical training for professionals interested in DevOps systems, continuous application delivery and the automation of infrastructure. Chef is a popular infrastructure management and configuration tool, and the ChefConf is one of the most popular conferences related to the software. More than 1,500 people attended the 2016 conference in Austin. Keynote speakers included Veresh Sita of Alaska Air, Brandon Jung of Google, and Mark Kirby of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group. Workshops covered a diverse array of topics, including Azure Chef Training, Building Cookbooks with DSC Resources, and Achieving Regulatory Compliance with Chef.

Monitorama

Monitorama is an open-source conference and hackathon for the monitoring industry. The 2017 conference is scheduled for May 22 – 24 in Portland, OR. The 2016 conference welcomed more than 600 attendees. The conference covers monitoring both as a practice and theory. Workshops, training, and educational sessions help you understand how to best use monitoring as well as understand how to handle the topic of monitoring in general. Past speakers have included Dave Josephsen from Librato and Justin Reynolds from Netflix.

From the O’Reilly Velocity Conference to Monitorama, 2017 is shaping up to be one of the best years for DevOps meetings. Languages and frameworks continue to develop at breakneck speeds, so it helps to take some time to catch up. Review these conference options, and set aside time to attend the right ones for you. You’ll gain insight and understanding of new technologies as well as meet valuable contacts who can help your career.

DevOps Enterprise Summit

The DevOps Enterprise Summit will take place June 5 – 6, 2017, in London, UK. The conference is for managers of large enterprise organizations that embrace DevOps best practices. Conference attendees acquire new tools and insights to better develop and implement software solutions quicker and more effectively in their organizations. More than 50 percent of the attendees are leaders, managers, executives and directors. It has attracted as many as 1,900 attendees from more than 500 organizations around the globe. Past speakers have included Sarah Chong from Unilever, Jason Cox from Disney, and Darren Hague from SAP.

O’Reilly Velocity Conference

The O’Reilly Velocity Conference for 2017 is scheduled June 19 – 22 in San Jose, CA. It is designed to help application developers, performance engineers, system architects, and other IT professionals stay up to date on the cloud, distributed systems, performance, DevOps, automation, and more. For 2017, the conference will be co-located with Fluent, another O’Reilly conference. Fluent is for designers and web developers to share ideas on web development, design, JavaScript, back-end systems and security. Velocity helps system engineering professionals and web ops learn more about multiple technologies, complex systems, and ongoing security challenges.

Jenkins World

Jenkins World bills itself as the premier event for everything Jenkins. Jenkins is a Java-based open-source automation server. At the first Jenkins conference in 2011, a few hundred users attended. For the 2016 conference, more than 1,300 people traveled from around the globe to attend. The conference has included keynote presentations from Jenkins founder, Kohsuke Kawaguchi, more than 50 sessions on topics such as Dockerizing Jenkins, an Ask the Experts session, and the Jenkins Open-Source Hub. The conference is scheduled for August 30 – 31, 2017 in San Francisco, CA.

Microsoft Ignite

Booked for September 25 – 29, 2017, in Orlando, FL, the Microsoft Ignite conference features interactive digital labs, deep dives, more than 700 sessions, 300 industry partners, and a plethora of strategies, roadmaps and leadership training. The Ignite conference is Microsoft’s annual meeting for enterprise professionals, services, and products. Discussions include cloud infrastructure, big data, the Internet of Things, mobile technology, unified communications, and productivity. Sessions in the past have included securing digital transformation, deploying Windows 10 for enterprise companies, and utilizing Office 365 to encourage IT transformation in the enterprise.

PuppetConf

Scheduled for October 10 – 12, 2017, in San Francisco, CA, the PuppetConf features breakout sessions, networking, and social events all related to the Puppet infrastructure management tool. The breakout sessions feature presentations by more than 100 leaders in the industry. PuppetConf offers sessions for users of all experience levels with the Puppet software. Sessions cover topics such as next-generation infrastructure, compliance and security, continuous delivery, cloud management, DevOps, and career development. In addition to the main conference event, you can attend training courses and a one-day Puppet Contributor Summit. You can also get hands-on training with Puppet Enterprise and other Puppet components.

The schedule starts on Sunday, October 8, with Puppet-led training that continues both Monday and Tuesday, October 9 and 10. On Tuesday, the Puppet Contributor Summit takes place as well as the welcome reception and exhibit hall for the main conference. Free certification testing also takes place on Tuesday for those interested. Wednesday kicks off with the main keynotes, social activities, exhibit hall, and track sessions. Thursday, October 12, features more keynotes and valuable track sessions. The training classes give you a chance to learn the latest from high-profile thought leaders and experts and network with your peers in the Puppet community. The Contributor Summit is designed for new and current contributors offering modules and projects related to Puppet. The summit is ideal for you if you have contributed code, are a community member working on similar opportunities, are very knowledgeable about Puppet and can answer community questions, or are simply a long-time contributor looking to offer more.

IT/Dev Connections

The IT/Dev Connections conference will take place in San Francisco, CA, on October 23 – 27, 2017. The 2016 conference included five technical tracks: Data Platform and Business Intelligence, Enterprise Management Mobility and Security, Enterprise Collaboration, Cloud and Data Center, and Development and DevOps. Speakers included Dan Clark from QuadroTech, Tim Ford from SQL Cruise and Joseph Guadagno from Quicken Loans. Past conference attendees have commented they appreciate the emphasis on technical information and practical solutions over slick marketing. Others said the size of the event makes it easy for attendees to interact with speakers without being overcrowded.

LISA16

Boston, MA, was the site for the 2016 LISA16 Conference. Running December 4 – 9, it allowed operations and system engineering professionals to share ideas and knowledge about building and maintaining interconnected systems. The annual meeting is for system administrators who are adapting to changes in traditional IT operations, focusing on culture, engineering, and architecture. Speakers at the 2016 event included John Roese of Dell talking about the evolution of people and technology, and Radia Perlman, also of Dell, speaking on modern cryptography. It was co-located with SESA ’16, a summit for system administration educators. Activities included co-located events and the famous Birds of a Feather sessions. The LISA17 Conference is scheduled for October 29 – November 3, 2017 in San Francisco, CA.