Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bulgaria PHP Conference 2015 Recap – It Was a Blast!

all-speakers

The Humble Beginning

When we started working on the concept for the Bulgaria PHP Conference, we were full of doubts and fears. We had this strong vision of what the event should stand for, but was it really going to turn out as we dreamed? What if we fail? We wanted this conference to be about quality of the content (the sessions), but more importantly to create a unique atmosphere and intensify the strong PHP community spirit that we feel is the number one reason for organizing an event of that kind. Fast forward 8 months – yes, in short, the event topped our highest hopes and expectations! Here are some insights:

We Sold Out!

To give you some raw numbers – we were hoping to sell around 400 tickets, this being our first event of that kind, but we actually got 527 registrations with more than 90% turnout rate. The mix of the audience – 85% Bulgarians and 15% international attendees. Special thanks to PHPSrbija, many of whom showed up to our event! Also greetings to the big groups from Macedonia and Slovakia, as well as all the other attendees who came from abroad. We had representatives from more than 12 different countries including USA, Canada, Poland, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Finland and more. Next year, we hope to see a lot more international attendees as the PHP community is strong and grows beyond borders.

Speakers & Sessions Rocked

We had 25 speakers presenting and a total of 32 sessions, which until now have received 328 evaluations in joind.in. The Bulgarian audience is a tough crowd in general so we feel very proud of the overwhelmingly positive ratings that our speakers got.

Your Overall Conference Experience Was Ace

We received more than 40% survey responses, which by itself is an achievement of its own (average email survey response rates are ~25%) and your feedback rates our event as top quality. BGPHP15 average rating is 4.5 out of 5 and we couldn’t be happier and thankful for your fantastic feedback. 88% of respondents said that they would come back next year, 12% said it was too early to tell and 0% said they wouldn’t come back – this is utterly amazing! We had a question that asked what was the one thing we should do next year again and more than 90% of respondents said they wanted us to run the conference every year.

Immediate Local Community Growth

But what matters even more, we saw that many of the attendees really got the message! A message that was spread through by many of our speakers such as Michelangelo van Dam, Cal Evans and more – that the community is a vital part of a developer’s life. How do I know that? Many people came to ask when the next BGPHP UG meetup is going to be so that they would attend. And we didn’t wait long – it’s this coming Saturday (Oct. 10th) and we already have 2 confirmed talks. Come by and don’t hesitate to join the group.

The Road Ahead – Iterate and Rock #bgphp16

We now feel joy and satisfaction and gratefulness as we saw that our vision became reality. Many people stopped us in the hallways just to say how much they enjoyed the event. Comments, such as: “This is the best conference I’ve been to!” made me personally very emotional. And when people started talking about getting their ticket for #bgphp16, I was overwhelmed with happiness!

Of course, we realized there were some things that needed improvement. We have taken into account all the recommendations we received from the attendees regarding the event. The greatest takeaway for us is that we have a lot of hard work ahead of us and we have to be extra diligent in order to make #bgphp16 as successful as #bgphp15! We already have some amazing ideas, so stay tuned for updates for next year. Our planning starts today 🙂

Thank you all again for taking part of Bulgaria PHP Conference 2015!

Mihail Irintchev
Organizer

P.S. As many of you enjoyed the hallway music during the breaks, here’s the official #bgphp15 OST playlist.

Bulgaria PHP Conference Starts Tomorrow – All You Need to Know

bgphph-main

Bulgaria PHP Conference starts tomorrow! We’ve planned a thing or two for you, so here’s all the information you need to experience the event to the fullest!

Venue Address
Sofia Event Center (SEC) in Mall Paradise, floor 3
Address: 100, Cherni vrah Blvd.

Note that the venue is inside the Mall itself. When you get to the Mall, just take any of the escalators or elevators and go to the 3rd floor. Then follow the Bulgaria PHP signs.

Getting There

By Bus
Bus lines 64, 66, 88, 93, 98, 120, 122 and 10-TM stop near Mall Paradise. It is not more than 20 min bus ride from Sofia downtown. You can buy bus tickets either from the driver or from the small shops nearby a bus station. A single bus ticket costs 1 BGN. For detailed route from your location, check Google Maps or Sofia Urban Mobility Center services.

By Taxi or Uber
Uber is an official Bulgaria PHP Conference partner and we highly recommend them. If you are new to the platform, they have generously provided a free ride for all new Uber users, just use promo code BGPHP2015. If you decide to grab a cab, we recommend Yellow Taxi. A ride from Sofia downtown to the venue should be around 5-7 BGN.

By Car
There is a free parking at the Mall so driving is a great option too. Pro tip: If you park in the Green zone of the underground parking lot and take any of the elevators to the 3rd floor, you will get off right in front of the venue entrance.

Registration

Registration opens at 8am and will last for an hour. Please come on time, and collect your badge and goodie bag so that you are all set for the opening remarks at 9am. You don’t need to print out emails or confirmations, just state your name. We will serve coffee and light breakfast during registration.

The first session will start at 9:30am sharp.

Sessions

The sessions are divided in two tracks. The halls for the two tracks are right next to each other and there will be schedules at the screens front of each hall. Check the schedule to decide which talks you’re going to see. You shouldn’t worry in case you can’t see all of them – we’ll be recording them and they will be publicly available after the event.

Speaker Feedback

We will be collecting speaker feedback through Joind.in and encourage you to leave your comments in their respective talk entry on the Joind.in website here. Feedback helps speakers to improve their future presentations, so please leave feedback that is helpful and constructive. For example, did you enjoy a speaker’s presentation style; did they talk too fast, too slowly, too quietly; was there something in particular that you learned; let them know what you would have liked to hear more about, etc.

Coffee Breaks & Lunch – Thanks Shopware & Mandrill

Each day of the conference will have a morning and afternoon break and official lunch – we will serve coffee, tea, water, soft drinks and small bites, as well as sandwiches for lunch – all this thanks to the support of our coffee break and lunch sponsors Shopware & Mandrill. This all will be happening outside the session halls and there will be signage too.

Sponsors & Recruiters Corner, Lounge Area

Outside the session tracks we’ll have a designated lounge area where you can chillax and talk to our sponsors and recruiters who will have dedicated tables and booths during the conference. They all have prepared some cool prizes and surprises, so do stop by and talk to them!

Hackathon on Saturday – Thanks Kyup

The Hackathon is happening on Saturday evening right after the closing remarks. We will announce the rules in Track 1 and will start the hacking at 6pm sharp. If you haven’t registered for the Hackathon, you still have time to do it. The only requirement is to bring your laptop. There will be pizza and beer for everyone, and amazing prizes for the winning team thanks to our amazing sponsor Kyup.

After Party on Saturday – Thanks Mailjet & Proxiad

The after party for all conference attendees will be on Saturday, Sept 26th at RockIT Bar at 14, Georgi Benkovski Str and we’re starting at 8pm. There will be some small bites and appetizers, yet if you are dead hungry we recommend you grab dinner on the way over as our offering will not constitute a full meal. We will of course have lots of free beer – all thanks to our generous after party sponsors Mailjet & Proxiad. Remember to bring your badge to enter the party!

Final Raffle on Sunday

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, we will have an end of the conference raffle, where you can win some pretty cool prizes. The raffle will take place right after the last keynote on Sunday in Track 1 and all you need to do to win is to be present!

Massive Thanks to Our Sponsors

We couldn’t have made all this possible without the support of all our sponsors and we’d like to extend a special thanks to the following amazing companies: SiteGround, Kyup, Automattic, Mandrill, Shopware, Mailjet, Proxiad, and MDG.

Official Twitter & Hashtag

The conference’s Twitter account is @bgphp and we will be posting all important announcements there as well, so click this Follow link. The conference hashtag is #bgphp15. Make sure to tag all your social media posts and pictures with it 🙂

A List of Recommended Bars & Restaurants

Here’s a quick selection of our favorite places to eat and drink, vegetarian spots including. Enjoy!

Well, that’s it! We can’t wait to see you all tomorrow!

Bulgaria PHP Tutorials Day is Tomorrow – All You Need to Know

tutorialsday-heading

Are you ready for a day full of knowledge with our excellent tutorial day speakers? The Bulgaria PHP Tutorials Day is tomorrow, and if you have signed for any of the tutorials, here’s everything you need to know about the day and how to prepare to make the most of it. A special thanks goes to our tutorial day sponsor SiteGround.

Venue Address
Sofia Event Center (SEC) in Mall Paradise, floor 3
Address: 100, Cherni vrah Blvd.

Note that the venue is inside the Mall itself. When you get to the Mall, just take any of the escalators or elevators and go to the 3rd floor. Then follow the Bulgaria PHP signs.

Getting There

By Bus
Bus lines 64, 66, 88, 93, 98, 120, 122 and 10-TM stop near Mall Paradise. It is not more than 20 min bus ride from Sofia downtown. You can buy bus tickets either from the driver or from the small shops nearby a bus station. A single bus ticket costs 1 BGN. For detailed route from your location, check Google Maps or Sofia Urban Mobility Center services.

By Taxi or Uber
Uber is an official Bulgaria PHP Conference partner and we highly recommend them. If you are new to the platform, they have generously provided a free ride for all new Uber users, just use promo code BGPHP2015. If you decide to grab a cab, we recommend Yellow Taxi. A ride from Sofia downtown to the venue should be around 5-7 BGN.

By Car
There is a free parking at the Mall so driving is a great option too. Pro tip: If you park in the Green zone of the underground parking lot and take any of the elevators to the 3rd floor, you will get off right in front of the venue entrance.

Registration

Registration opens at 8:30am and will last for 30 minutes. Please come on time and collect your badge, so that we are all set for the first tutorial at 9am. You don’t need to print out emails or confirmations. Just state your name at registration.

Tutorials Schedule

The tutorials are divided in two tracks, the halls for the two tracks are right next to each other, and there will be schedules in front of each hall. You can also view the schedule here.

At each track, there will be a staff member to crosscheck your name and tutorial subscription.

If you can’t remember for which tutorials you’ve signed up for, you can look up your name in this file.

Speaker Feedback

We will be collecting speaker feedback through Joind.in and encourage you to leave your comments in their respective tutorial entry on the Joind.in website here. Feedback helps speakers to improve their future presentations, so please leave feedback that is helpful and constructive. For example, did you enjoy a speaker’s presentation style; did they talk too fast, too slowly, too quietly; was there something in particular that you learned; let them know what you would have liked to hear more about, etc.

Coffee Breaks & Lunch

There will be two 15-minute coffee breaks – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Coffee and small bites will be provided in each coffee break.

Lunch will be one hour and is not included in your tutorial day ticket. We recommend checking out the food court on the 2nd floor in the Mall – there are plenty of spots where you can eat, Happy on the food court level is a great choice too.

Special Requirements Reminder

All tutorials require a laptop, so please bring yours and don’t forget your power adaptors. We’ll provide power outlets to charge them if needed throughout the day.

Some of the tutorials have extra requirements and you have already received a separate email about them. Here’s a quick reminder just in case:

Michelangelo van Dam: Test, Create, Secure, Repeat

You need to be able to run PHP 5.4 or higher (preferably PHP 5.6) either on your laptop, in a virtual machine or on a raspberry pi. These tools are the minimum requirement:nt:

  • PHP 5.4 (with XDebug for code coverage)
  • GIT
  • a proper IDE to write code

 

David Buchmann: Hands-on: HTTP caching with Varnish

You need to set up the following demo system prepared by the speaker. There’s no need to look further at the contents of the repository – you will do the exercises during the workshop.

git clone https://gitlab.com/dbu/varnish-workshop.git then follow the steps explained in README.md in the root directory.

Official Twitter & Hashtag

The conference’s Twitter account is @bgphp and we will be posting all important announcements there as well, so click this Follow link. The conference hashtag is #bgphp15. Make sure to tag all your social media posts and pictures with it 🙂

Join us for the official Bulgaria PHP After Party

rockit

We are super thrilled to announce the official Bulgaria PHP after party that is delivered to you with the friendly support of Proxiad & Mailjet! Let’s all rock bar RockIT!

The essentials:

When: Saturday, September 26th, 8pmWhere: RockIT Bar at 14, Georgi Benkovski StrWhat: Free drinks and small bites

Remember: Bring your badge! No badge, no party 🙂

The details:

1.Open to all attendees with badges

We invite all conference attendees for our little social gathering, where you’ll get the chance to connect, share stories, and talk about highlights from the day over a beer or two. Our team members will meet you at the entrance and will ask for your badge, so please make sure to bring it with you at the party.

2.Free beer and small bites

There will be free beer and soft drinks for everyone and we have exclusive use of the venue until midnight. There will be some small bites and appetizers, yet if you are dead hungry we recommend you grab dinner on the way over as our offering will not constitute a full meal.

3.How to get there

The bar is away from the conference venue, so we do not recommend walking unless you feel like a nice 1 hour stroll. The easiest way would be to grab a taxi or use the metro. If you opt in for the metro, get off the Serdika station and from there it will be a 5 minute walk. You can also use a tram – lines 20, 22, 23 all have stations nearby. Here’s a map.

If you haven’t registered your ticket yet, hurry up and get yours! We only have less than 60 left.

Speaker Highlights: Sebastian Bergmann

featured-sebastian-bergmann

Sebastian Bergmann has instrumentally contributed to transforming PHP into a reliable platform for large-scale, critical projects. Enterprises and PHP developers around the world benefit from the tools that he has developed and the experience he shares. Read on to see what the upsides and downsides of using PHP are and how he came up with the idea to create PHPUnit – a unit testing framework for the PHP programming language.

What are the upsides and the downsides of using PHP?

Every programming language, PHP included, has upsides and downsides. Forrester once wrote in a study that “the platform you use is only as good as the people and process you have to work it.” Having an architecture that allows you to scale and continuously roll out new features with minimal risk is more important than the choice of the programming language. PHP, though, is — at least in my humble opinion — the natural choice for implementing web applications. One of PHP’s upsides worth mentioning is its diverse and vibrant community: the core developers who advance the platform, the vendors of components and frameworks that provide reusable solutions, and the developers who use PHP for changing the way we live and work through products and services nobody would have thought of twenty years ago.

What is the main thing that you learned as being part of the PHP Community?

Being a part of the global PHP community allows me to make a living doing what I enjoy the most (sharing my knowledge and experience with developers at conferences, at usergroup events, and at our customers) but also continues to make me a better developer because there is always an opportunity to learn from somebody else when you engage in a conversation or discussion.

How did you come up with the idea to create PHPUnit?

In late 2000, early 2001 I was exposed to software testing in general and unit testing in particular for the first time when I worked with JUnit at the university. Around this time I started to work on what would become PHPUnit, triggered by a discussion with a professor of mine who thought that a tool like JUnit could not be implemented for PHP.

How much time per month do you spend on developing and maintaining PHPUnit?

On an average day, I spend at least one hour every day just to look at new tickets on GitHub, new questions on StackOverflow, questions sent via email, etc. but I don’t track the time I invest into Open Source development. It’s only during the weekends, if at all, that I get to work on Open Source at home. Most of my actual coding on PHPUnit, for instance, happens while aboard a plane or train. Coming back to your question, my estimate would be anywhere between ten and twenty hours per week.

Speaker Highlights: Larry Garfield

Larry Garfield has been building websites since he was a sophomore in high school. At Palantir, Larry is a Senior Architect and Community Lead, developing solutions for medium to large cultural and educational institutions. Larry is an active Drupal core contributor, including the principle architect of the Drupal 7 database system and the Drupal 8 Web Services Lead.

He is a co-author of “Drupal 7 Module Development” from Packt Publishing. In the following interview he shares his thoughts on Drupal as a whole and Drupal 8 in particular as well as conference experience and talks.

What is the three best new things about Drupal 8 that you can point?

First, we’ve heavily refactored most systems in Drupal to be more in-line with modern PHP practices. That means most of the code base is now Object-Oriented, most systems are using dependency injection to make code unit testable, most new systems have clearly defined interfaces, etc.  That not only makes the system more approachable for experienced PHP developers (or developers of any other similar OOP language), it makes the internal APIs far more consistent and learnable than ever before.  As part of that process we are also leveraging a large number of 3rd party libraries from Symfony, Zend, Guzzle, and other projects, embracing the new wave of collaborative development in the PHP community.

Second, while Drupal 8 has a large number of new features I think the most important one for most users is the new Configuration Management system.  Drupal’s strength has always been its configurability through the UI, but with configuration stored in the database that makes deploying changes to production quite challenging.  Drupal 8 includes a centralized, robust configuration system that modules can leverage that handles full round-trip import and export of configuration, making deploying configuration changes via Git a simple and straightforward task.

Third, Drupal 8 includes a much more robust suite of tools out of the box.  Drupal 7 core was, by design, very minimalist.  In essence it wasn’t a complete CMS, but a skeleton with which to build a complete CMS using well-known contributed modules.  Drupal 8 brings most of those standard tools into the core system, offering an out-of-the-box experience that is ready to use immediately without any additional add-ons (although many are still available!)  That includes the almost universally-used Views module for content assembly, a more robust suite of field types (including dates, links, and entity references), as well as a cleanly-integrated rich text editor in the form of CKEditor 4, among others.  All of those are bundled in the core system and ready to use.

What are the main advantages of Drupal over other popular CMS systems?

Drupal tries to strike a balance between advanced features and functionality and accessibility to a wide audience.  It offers professional, enterprise-grade content modeling and management features but strives to make them accessible and usable to even many casual users.  We believe very strongly that both Fortune 500 companies and 5-person non-profit organizations deserve to have the very best tools at their fingertips, and that those tools should be as easy to use as possible.

Just as important as the functionality, though, is the community and ecosystem behind it.  Drupal’s supporting community is vast and world-wide, with a commercial ecosystem that touches every corner of the globe.  Drupal’s developer conference, DrupalCon, is one of the largest in the development community at over 3000+ for the North American events.  We believe very strongly in mentoring and community building, which gives Drupal a community energy that I have never seen anywhere else.

On average how many conferences per year do you attend?

I don’t know that I have an average, but in 2014 I spoke 29 times at 20 different conferences.  This year, I think I’m on track for only 15, but that is subject to change. (Hm, I need to find more conferences!)

And which one is your favorite in respect of organization?

That’s a dangerous question. I don’t know that I have one single favorite. DrupalCon is a well-oiled machine at this point. The Twin Cities DrupalCamp in Minneapolis is as well.  Sunshine PHP in Miami is always a class act, with everything just-working and a beautiful venue. I collected some advise and shout-outs for conferences on my blog last year.

Speaker Highlights: Ilia Alshanetsky

ilia_alshanetsky-featured

In a series of short interviews in the weeks before BulgariaPHP we’ll introduce some of the speakers you’ll have a chance to meet at the event.

Ilia Alshanetsky is a CTO at Centah Inc., a company specializing in providing solutions for the retail industry. Over the last 10 years he has been heavily involved in development of PHP, as a Core Developer and Release Master, authoring many extensions and language improvements, inlcuding one of the most popular and widely used debugging tools Xdebug. Ilia is also interested in security and performance, and frequently is writing or speaking on these and other PHP related topics. In his spare time he pretends to be a pro-photographer and engages in various sports. Read on to find out how he got into contributing, whether we should expect a new book from him and what the major changes for the past decade have been 🙂

How did you become so involved in open source projects and why did you decide to be contributor for PHP?

I became involved in Open Source project somewhat by accident. I was finding myself working on solving various problems using Open Source technologies and coming across various limitations that would prevent me from being able to do what I needed. So often enough I would look into the source code and make changes and contributions to the project to add the missing features, correct bugs, etc…

Can you tell us more about Xdebug?

I’ve done little work on X-debug, my main contribution was the creation of the original profiler cause I wanted to use Xdebug to profile my code and nothing at the time was able to do so. My initial efforts were sufficiently interesting that there after Derick had continued to work on my humble starting point and make the profiler into what it is today.

Do you plan a new edition of your book php|architect’s Guide to PHP Security or it is still up to date? What do you plan to include in it?

At the moment I don’t have the time to contemplate the version 2 of the book. Many of the issues identified are still current and relevant, but since the book was written many new security concerns were identified.

What has changed over the past 10 years that is worth writing about?

I think I would definitely spend sometime talking about the current OWASP Top-10 list, authentication security, correct mechanism for session expiry, back-end validation rules inside models, etc…

Join the BulgariaPHP Hackaton

hackaton-featured

We have decided to challenge your geeky hearts and in partnership with one of our sponsors Kyup, we’ll be organizing a Hackaton during the conference. It will be on Saturday, September 26th right after the end of the last session until around 9pm. The folks from Kyup will come up with a challenging task for you to work on and kindly provide a lot of pizza and beer. Of course, we will have cool prizes for the winning team.

We will be announcing the Hackaton task later on, but registration is already open, so if you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and do some afternoon coding, hurry up and register today  The registration for the Hackathon is open only to conference attendees and we have limited space.