Back from Berlin

Two weeks ago most of the development team was at Symfony Live in Berlin. It was a pleasure for all of us to be there, meeting core team devs, talking with other Symfony user, seeing Fabrice on stage, speaking about Theodo Evolution with people with similar issues and hacking on TheodoRogerCmsBundle or Symfttpd. So let me tell you what we did there.

The talks

As there were only one track we didn’t have to choose between two or three conferences. So we attended every one and, as in Paris, found a great balance between Symfony specific talk and others more loosely related.
In the first group, I particularly liked Bernhard Schussek brilliantly succeeding at making us become gurus of the Symfony 2 Form component. The form component has a reputation of being one of the most complicated to use, but Bernhard somehow managed to make it look clear and simple. Two other Symfony-related talks addressed one of the current hot topics around Symfony2, especially for us at Theodo: how to integrate Symfony with other projects. First on thursday Jérôme Vieilledent exposed how ezPublish integrated the Symfony fullstack framework into the fifth version of their CMS maintaining the backward compatibility. On Friday our CTO Fabrice Bernhard gave the best talk of the two days: Modernisation of legacy PHP applications using Symfony2 (yes I’m totally objective :) )

In the second group, Johann Peter Hartmann gave some very interesting insight into the classic issue of performance : more often than not, the cause of performance issues lies outside the code. The talk was complete with concrete examples and specific tools to detect the origin of failures. This is closely related to our current concern about devops good practices : web developers need to be aware of the global context of their application deployment. Then Nils Adermann gave us some tricks to properly use Composer and more. If you thought composer was awesome, just have a look at those tricks: it’s even better! A last one I’d like to mention is Tobias Schlitt’s how to make our applications SOLID; beyond the the well known theoretical concepts, he gave us practical ways of achieving a SOLID application. Coding good practices are a special interest of mine, and it is a pleasure to observe the PHP world evolve in this direction.

This is exactly what David Coallier expressed in his one-man show of a keynote, convincing us (but weren’t we already ?) that PHP is as good as any other languages and that we should be proud to be members of the PHP community.

Finally, Fabien Potencier closed the two days with his keynote eplaining that the way we do something is not always the best, he also exposed the fact that today it’s more complicated to start coding than ever before, when the computer started with a command line interface (I have to admit I did not experience this time). That’s why Sensio started building their SensioLabsDesktop application that eases the process to start working on a Symfony project (maybe simple PHP too?).

Symfony certification

On Friday morning (day two for those who are lost), while some of us were watching Benjamin Eberlei and Hugo Hamon, others were sitting the Symfony Certification. It was a bit stressful but we are proud to say that Marek and Mathieu passed successfully!

Hacking day

On saturday we stayed for the hacking day where around 80 people were present to work on Symfony, Symfony CMF, Drupal and other stuff. Marek and some of the Theodo’ers closed somes issues on the TheodoRogerCMS bundle, while I was fixing bugs in the new version of Symfttpd (an other blog post will be available soon). It was also a good opportunity to meet users of the framework, speak about Theodo Evolution, exchanging about modernisation of a legacy project…
For most of the team it was our first time in Berlin and we really enjoyed our trip. Moreover we attended great conferences, we brought back a lot of ideas and Symfony goodies (gumbears, stickers, pens, etc…).

The nights in Berlin

Nothing happened. Really.