Yet again, I found myself at a conference for a language that I do not use day to day, but I’m always interested in finding out more about how these things work. And PHP New Zealand was exceptional for this, not only because of the local speakers, but because of the amount of international talent that was able to share their knowledge with the audience.
In addition, there was also a free local meetup held the night before the conference where a number of the speakers, and some other ring-ins (myself included), where able to share their knowledge in a lightning talk session at the local PHP Wellington usergroup.
And not only that, but there should also be video released from the lighting talks, as well as the conference proper!
The highlight of this conference would have to be the hallway track! A few of the talks at this conference were previously presented at PHP Australia, so I didn’t feel as bad using the hallway track (though for more than one talk, I did actually apologise to the speaker before hand :)) But I was able to have some brilliant conversations, including one with an amazing person that helped me extend my own talk in a way that I hadnt’ve thought of before our brainstorm. Thank you <3
Also, I played a few rounds of Texas Hold ‘em and won: Wellington (the entire city), about 7 internet points, three of the lunch granola bar thingies, and a LinkedIn recommendation. So not a bad little prizepool.
Talks of Note
Five Eyes in Five Minutes - Ben Dechrai
From the lightning talks, this was a very consise overview of the issues with Five Eyes. I’m unsure if the video for this one will be being released, but the way Ben was able to make PHP relevent was entertaining.
Zombies and Binary - Christopher Pitt
Another standout from the lightning talks, Chris was able to give us a live demo, in Minecraft, demonstrating different kinds of logic gates. No sheep were harmed in the making of this talk.
Money is not a dirty word - Hamish Friedlander
There was so much useful advice from Hamish’s talk, that I’m just going to quote my own quotes, and implore that you watch the video.
“Future support isn’t measurable. SLAs are failure management, not control.”
“People will buy the product that has the best reputation”
“Open Source is a touch point and a piece of real shared ownership for your community”
Filesystem Abstraction with Flysystem - Frank de Jonge
FlySystem - a cross filesystem adapter that works with things like s3, and reddit. The technical content in this one makes it one for video.
Talmudic Maxims to Maximize Your Growth as a Developer - Yitzchok Willroth
This Day 2 keynote was the absolute highlight of the conference. Yitz was able to bring his learnings from his religious studies into the framework of software development with amazing style and grace, and just a few popculture references. Another for rewatching.
Beyond Design Patterns - Anthony Ferrera
“Design Patterns exist because our programming languages suck. So why not make a better language?”
Video from PHP NZ will be linked here, when available.
 PHP New Zealand, or PHPNZ, also pronounced “Fup-Nuz” (because of the clǝpped accent within the kiwi dialect)