Another edition of php|tek has come and gone and this year some very amazing topics came into view. The conference itself was once again a great experience, great people, incredible speakers, lots of activities and incredible hack-a-thons and unconference sessions.
Cloud computing is reaching a level of maturity in the technology market as a whole, finally finding its place and purpose and dropping the “silver bullet” tag. This seems to reflect on the language as well and many sessions revolved around using the cloud to complement projects and on how to take advantage of cloud aspects in a PHP architecture, as well as the many cloud offerings available.
Another topic that kept us all busy was Mobile development, which following the incredible rise of the smartphones and the various systems like iOS, Android and WP7 was also present in multiple tags teaching how to architect your app and create solutions that would work for all smartphone users out there.
I was very surprised this year to see a the clear presence of Applications in the event. WordPress, Drupal and sites like joind.in made their presence in various aspects, ranging from talks, to coding sessions and especially to representatives who took their time to talk to the speakers and attendees.
APIs and integration with external tools was also a hot topic. Many sessions described the many tools that can be used to improve your application, like queues, protocols, services and so many more, also how to develop api into your code so that your application can also be used as an external tool in another project.
One topic that i would love to see more and more was also present: Soft skills. This is a very important area to be explored by the community in general, some conferences like DayCamp 4 Developers already do a great job of covering them but they also grow in various others. These skills or just plain recommendations are fundamental to new and old developers so they can find new paths and grow in their own careers as they do it.
I must also reserve space for the Hack-a-thon which was a complete surprise and success this year, seeing somewhere around 90 developers hacking into the night or just plain learning from each other was quite a pleasing experience. I myself had a great time explaining the importance and the first steps needed to develop PHPT tests to cover PHP’s source code, its not about how much work is done in these events, but its about planting that very important seed that will keep growing after the event, and I was very glad to see so many reach that stage during the event.
Congratulations to the organizers and to all the speakers for delivering incredible content and for taking all developers under their wing to teach and interact. I had a great time also speaking to everyone about Windows Azure and architecting for the cloud, and I hope everyone at the session had a great time learning, even tough my voice decided to play a hoax on me and make me sound like a game of “fill in the blanks”. If you were at the session I would love to hear your feedback, please do it over at joind.in, also you may want to see the slides, so please go ahead and see them here or below.