ZendCon 2010 - Day 2

Opening Keynote - Andi Gutmans

The keynote was, well, it was what most enterprise keynotes are - a massive sales pitch. Yeah, I get that this is ZendCon, but I don't think any of the devs here need to be sold on PHP and scaling. Most of them have figured it out. The keynote focused mostly on Zend in the grand scheme of things, and this cloud thing that everyone keeps taking about.

Zend did announce the new management stuffs for Zend Cluster Manager. What I didn't get was why they had to come up with their own packaging system. If you wanted to use PEAR, just use PEAR. Or use phar. There are already standards. Don't come up with something new that doesn't add any benefits.

Advanced Date/Time Handling with PHP - Derick Rethans

I was worried a bit after studying last night, so I decided to hit up Derick's talk on DateTime. It really made more sense that the php.net documentation. He presented something incredibly complex in a straight-forward manner with some great examples. DateTime is way more easy than doing date manipulation the old way.

Reusable Bootstrap Resources with Zend_Application - Hector Virgen

Attending this session was a bit of a quick decision on my part. I was originally going to attend the PHP 5.3 talk, but figured I wouldn't get much out of that. I use Zend Framework all day almost every day and have never really looked at bootstrap resources. I made them out to be much more complicated than I figured.

Hector not only showed how they work, but one of the best ways to get them set up for unit testing. I now plan on moving all my Bootstrap _init* functions to resources for maintainability.

Taking the Zend CE 5.3

One of the new things on the website is the Zend 5.3 Certified Engineer badge - I passed! I'm not sure how, but I took the test and at the end they printed a piece of paper that said 'Passed' and I got a ticket to a special breakfast tomorrow. Apparently I'm a better developer than I thought. I ended up leaving right after lunch started to take it, so I had celebratory wings afterwards. (On a side note, the Hyatt has excellent hot wings.)

Best Practices in Deploying PHP Applications - Shahar Evron

Yeah. It didn't click until I went into the room that Zend had announced at the keynote a new deployment method. Once I realized Zend was giving the presentation, I basically sat through it because I felt it rude to leave once he started talking. I don't want to be mean, but this was a worthless talk. It amounted to every deployment method has ups and downs, but Zend's has no downs. The conference manual should have really tagged this as a vendor presentation.

And please, can someone actually prove to me that using RPM/DEB as a deployment method is actually done in the real world?

Technical Debt - Elizabeth Naramore

Best. Talk. Yet. Elizabeth described technical debt wonderfully as well as ways to help combat it. Despite there almost being a fight over whether or not 'declaring bankruptcy' (throwing out code and starting over) is a good or bad thing, she presented ways to recognize, evaluate, and deal with debt. Again, this, so far, has been my favorite talk (followed closely by Ed's, but Ed didn't curse near as much). I would have liked to talk to her more about technical debt, but didn't have the chance.

High Performance PHP - Maurice Kherlakian

I feared that this would be a another sales pitch, but it really wasn't. Maurice went over some viable ways to find out what is causing performance issues, and some ways to combat it. Load balancers, query profiling, system profiling, etc. It wasn't a revolutionary talk, but at the same time it had some nice pointers.

Afterwards

Right after the last session, Adobe had a get-together in the vendor hall. I got my swag, got to talk to some great people. It was a pretty standard vendor get-together. After that I had been invited to a private IBM party since I run Zend Server on the IBM i. Again, I had a great time talking with other devs and made some good connections. Doing PHP on the IBM i sometimes seems like developing in a vacuum, but there are real people facing the same problems. We just need a better community. Hell, the PHP on Windows has a better, more vocal community than PHP on the i.


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Categories: IBM i, PHP, Programming, ZendCon 2010

Tags: PHP