ZendCon 2011: Pre-cap

Posted by on October 17, 2011

Yet again, it’s that time of year. Later today we have the kick off of the seventh ZendCon (officially called the Zend PHP Conference). This year I’m hitting the event under the php|architect banner as press. It will be my job to cover the good, the bad, the news, the chaos, and generally the things that come from the conference that might change your job on a day to day basis.

To get the ball rolling, I’ve picked five sessions that spark my interest:

Scaling PHP Applications with Redis from Josh Butts (Tuesday, 2:45pm) – Josh gave a beta version of this presentation to Austin PHP last week and it was interesting to hear about their (Offers.com) selective transition away from a relational database. He filled the presentation with specific, real-world examples of what problems they’ve had and their solutions.

Event & Signal Driven Programming Techniques from Elizabeth Smith (Tuesday, 4pm) – Many PHPers don’t realize that we actually practice Event Driven Programming in a few key places, so we overlook it constantly. Regardless, there are some incredibly powerful concepts available that you should review for your toolbox.

Dependency Injection: Containers & Frameworks in PHP from Ralph Schindler (Wednesday, 9:45am) – Dependency Injection is a necessity for effective Unit Testing but the “best” approach is a hotly contested topic. I hope to hear Ralph’s recommendations and find out exactly how wrong right he is.

Character Sets Suck from Ligaya Turmelle & Raymond Deroo (Wednesday, 2:45pm) – What can I say? They do.

API Security from Rob Richards (Wednesday, 4pm) – It’s sadly humorous how bad API security is for many organizations. Sometimes they mix up Authentication with Authorization and just hope nobody notices. Sometimes passwords are sent & stored in clear text and most of the time they’re just bad. Regardless, as Rob is from Mashery, I’m looking forward to his broader perspective.

If you browse the ZendCon schedule yourself, you’ll find topics ranging from good OO principles to REST API design to Unit Testing to NoSQL options to Git discussions to Flex intros to mobile and literally dozens of semi-related topics.

I just chose five sessions for me. There’s something for everyone… even if you don’t write PHP.

Disclosure: As noted above, I am covering ZendCon under press credentials. They’re not covering any expenses but we (Blue Parabola) have done business with Zend numerous times and I’ve worked with various Zenders Zendites Zendians over the years, including on previous ZendCons specifically. I’m probably biased one way or another.

About the author—Keith Casey has been a developer for over a decade and helps organize various tech communities. Previously, he was a professional agitator within the Washington, DC until he decided to explore Austin, TX in 2010. To pay the bills, he works as a Developer Evangelist for Twilio to get good tools to good developers so they can build great things. Previously, he built large-scale PHP-based systems for organizations ranging from major news companies to small non-profits. In his spare time, he is a core contributor to web2project, works to build and support the Austin PHP community, co-founded the HubAustin coworking space in South Austin communities, blogs regularly at CaseySoftware.com and is completely fascinated by monkeys.