ConFoo 2015: It's that time again

ConFoo, the largest web technology conference in North America, has been a fixture in our calendar for years. This conference, being organized by volunteers and run as a non-profit, has created a unique event where around 600 attendees from various countries get inspired and learn in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We love this conference, which is why we keep coming back as speakers and sponsors.

The only grain of salt at this year's ConFoo was that Sebastian was not able to make the trip due to a serious bacterial infection that even got him hospitalized for a few days. He is, however, back home now and recovering quickly. So for this year, it was just Arne and me travelling to Montreal.

Like in previous years, we delivered one of the two-day trainings that take place before the main conference starts. Every year, we adapt the content and focus of the training to what we feel the market needs. This year's training was Building Testable PHP Applications, taking into account modern concepts like Command Query Responsibility Segregation (CQRS) and Event Sourcing.

Photo by Philipp Lesmana

Our trainings are based on live coding rather than showing slides and prepared examples. This time around we built a capacity planning application for a rental car company. After all, domain-driven design requires a non-trivial use case as well as some interesting business rules. We started off by explaining the problem we wanted to solve, and spent some time ensuring that we really understand the domain and the use case at hand. We searched for (and found) a minimum viable solution and were able to implement most of it within the first day, taking a test-driven approach.

Here is some of the feedback that we have received for the training:

  • "loved the delivery method"
  • "good mix of business and technical"
  • "good stage dynamic"
  • "easy to catch explanations"

Thanks to all attendees for the great feedback we received, and for making ConFoo possible (all proceeds from the training support the conference as part of our sponsorship deal).

Speaking at Harvard

We usually try to get in touch with local user groups before we travel to a conference. This year, the Harvard Web Working Group had kindly invited us to give presentations at their monthly meeting. Even though we had to fight our way through high piles of snow to reach Harvard in the first place, we enjoyed giving our presentations, which were well-received and sparked some interesting discussions with the attendees.

As sponsors, we also ran a booth at ConFoo's exhibit hall. In the spirit of an Open Source not-for-profit conference, we chose to do this in community-style again, like last year. So we invited attendees to stop by and discuss all things PHP with us, rather than boring them with sales pitches. And people kept us busy. We really enjoyed all those discussions, and hope everybody will come back with more questions next year.

Photo by Philipp Lesmana

We also gave two regular conference presentations (the slides are online, just follow the link), one filling in for Sebastian. One attendee rated mine a 6 out of 5. I guess this is as good as it can get. Thanks to Anna, Yann, and all the other volunteers for organizing such a great event.

If you want a similar training at your event, or a customized in-house training, please contact us.

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Stefan Priebsch
Stefan Priebsch
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