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IPC 2008 wrapup and slides

The annual family party (aka International PHP Conference) took place a week ago. As usual I enjoyed it much, although I was a bit sick this year. The new location (the "Rheingoldhalle" in Mainz) is really great, but I had the feeling it was a little bit too large. Professional equipment was available and they had 4 large rooms, as well as some smaller ones, for talks. Even the food was very good, which was not the case for the past 2 years in Mörfelden (Frankfurt).

I attended from Sunday to Thursday this time (Friday was the "Management Day"). Arriving on Sunday evening (thanks Deutsche Bahn for being an hour late) to finish my slides, I gave my first sessions on Monday morning. Arne, Stefan, Bastian and me organized the "PHP Starterday". We introduced the audience (about 10 people) to PHP project infrastructure basics (version control, documentation and debugging) and best practices on web security, as well as PHP programming and web application architecture in general. I had the feeling this worked out well.

On Monday evening the VIP reception was held. The location for this event was also very nice, a lounge-like room with cozy seats and a comfortable atmosphere. Having some barbecue (delicious!) and free beer, speakers and exhibitors had a good chance to network and have some fun.

I had "free time" until Thursday noon, which I mostly seized with hacking on Webdav lock support, meetings and enjoying the coffee variations provided at the Mayflower exhibition booth. Thanks for that, it was a great alternative to the normal conference coffee! :) As usual we had lots of drinks in the evenings (damn, the "Late Oktoberfest" event on Wednesday was kinda crazy) and I enjoyed chatting with many old friends and many new people. The really cool Heinz ketchup bottle shown above was a special present for the speakers. Nice idea, folks, I love it! :)

On Thursday right after noon I gave my session about Database abstraction with eZ Components. With more than 20 people the room was not packed, but filled enough to feel comfortable. The feedback I got was overall very positive and we had some good discussions. Thanks to Arne for providing me with a laptop (mine refused to work with the beamers) and to Stefan for borrowing his Logitech Cordless Presenter. That is a really cool tool and I'm about to order one for myself.

Although IPC seemed to have a few less attendees this year (maybe that was just an impression from the new large location?), we had lots of fun. I think it's a bit of a pity, that there is still so few interaction between attendees and speakers on such "normal" conferences. Compared to an unconference, it still feels like you are the entertainer and people want to be entertained. I would like it much more, if would ask more questions, introduce their opinions and talk about their actual problems, so we can try to give them valuable hints for their daily work. Maybe it would be a nice idea for the next year, to offer some "unconference slots", which are open for discussion groups or to organize more discussions beforehand?

I also missed some more core developers at the event. There were quite some, but I have the feeling it were more in the early days of IPC. Maybe I just get used to it. However, I had again a great time with the German and international community. IPC is still one of the most amazing events for PHP lovers in Europe and I always enjoy coming there to give talks. Thanks to the Software & Support team for the great event!

Find my slides below:

Looking forward to the next conferences! :)

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