ZendCon Europe 2013 Experience

This year Zend hosted their first conference in Paris and we decided to take part (only in the audience for now). Even if it was a lot smaller than the US counterpart, it was a great success, with interesting presentations and great people.

We’ve managed to learn new things and confirm some ideas we’ve had regarding general application development (virtual machine usage, API design and testable code).

Day 1

Opening KeynoteAndi Gutmans, CEO & Cofunder of Zend Technologies Ltd.

As the first speaker of the conference, Andi Gutmas delivered a good start for a great conference.
He exposed the main trends: API centric architecture, Continous Delivery and Cloud Flexibility & Scale.
The presentation also contained a presentation of the Apigility – a development tool for creating robust API
Another resource mentioned was the Zend Blueprint for Continuous Delivery

Relax with ZF2: RESTful APIsMatthew Weier O’Phinney, Project Lead at Zend Framework

An introduction to the Apigility project – “an API Builder, designed to simplify creating and maintaining useful, easy to consume, and well structured APIs.”
It covered the basic functionality and the future planed developments. An overall great presentation and I believe that many people from the audience will try this project in the future.

There is a module for thatMartin Shwalbe, Open Source enthusiast

Martin is the creator of the site modules.zendframework.com
His speech focused on the importance of modules in ZF2 and the need to start reusing them (and not reinventing the wheel each time).
He also covered some best practices when creating ZF2 modules:

  • provide configuration options (this helps with extending your Module)
  • do one thing and one thing only (the KISS principle)
  • don’t use closures in the configuration files (can’t be serialized)
  • write unit tests for your module
  • in the composer manifest, only set the required dependencies (for example, don’t set the whole Zend Framework as dependency, set only the used components)
  • use the service manager
  • make real use of the events (throw lot of events, so that people can extend the functionality by hooking on specific points)

More information about this talk can be found in this blog post.

When dynamic becomes static: the next step in web caching techniques Wim Godden, Open source / PHP Consultant

Slides here
Presentation of a new module for the Nginx server, called SCL.
Basically, is an extension of the ESI Language Specification that adds session based includes. It looks verry interesting from the presentation.
Unfortunately, the module is not yet available to play with (announced beta in Q1 2014, stable in Q2 2014).

Scenario driven API designIvo Jansch

Slides here
A pragmatic way to design API’s vs RESTfulness at all costs.
Mister Jansch arques that, in specific cases, is better to design the API with specific use cases (scenarios) in mind and forget about the REST rules.
The presentation was full of interesting, real life examples.

Documenting Code for DummiesMike van Riel

Beginner introduction to PHPDoc and commenting code.
It covered some good examples why it’s good to comment the code (including API documentation generation directly from the comments).




Day 2

LEVEL UP! Migrating your ZF1 app to ZF2Gary Hockin

Slides here
Great presentation about ‘The Big Bang’ (migrating a small application in one big push) way.
The problem is that this is not applicable in a real situation (complex application, with more that 6 mounths development time).
It covered the differences between ZF1 and ZF2 application structure, form operations and view helpers.
Would love to hear/read more about the step by step for:

  • parallel operations for ZF1 and ZF2
  • complex form migrations
  • reusing code from ZF1

Offline strategies for HTML5 mobile applicationsStephan Hochdörfer, Software Developer

Slides here
Introductory talk for HTML5 offline applications.
It covered the Application Cache and different browser based databases (Web Storage, Web SQL Database).
Personally, I’m not sure how much I’m gone use from this presentation, but it’s good to know that this technologies exists.

Test{able|ing} Zend Framework 2 Applications Sebastian Bergmann, PHP Consultant, creator of the PHPUnit

Slides here
This was one of the talk I was most interested to hear, but I was a bit disappointed.
It was a presentation of the best practices when designing good, testable web application (with a strong emphasis on decoupling applications components).
The problem was that very little references were made to Zend Framework 2 applications testing.

Doctrine 2 and Zend Framework 2Marco Pivetta, Doctrine2 Core Contributor and Zend Framework 2 Contributor

It was a basic introduction to Doctrine 2 ORM (most of the information you could find in the manual).
I personally was expecting more details about Doctrine 2 integration with Zend Framework 2 and specific use cases/problems.

Beyond PHP: it is not (just) about the code! Wim Godden, Open source / PHP Consultant

Slides here
A talk about the different problems beyond the PHP code: database indexes and performance, database multiple inserts, network latency.
Few examples, but interesting. A good presentation overall.

The Evolution of DevOpsDavey Shafik, Community Engineer for EngineYard

Slides here
Brilliant talk, it covered the current best practices when designing an application. It also presented a simple plan to upgrade legacy applications to a SOA version.
The five rules of SOA (Service Oriented Architecture):

  • Isolation
  • Reusable
  • Interoperable
  • Scalable
  • Robust


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