For over 10 years now, the French-speaking PHP community has descended on the Paris region for AFUP’s (The French PHP Users Association) annual PHP Forum Paris. This event, which will take place on November 21st and 22nd at The Beffoi in Montrouge (Ile-de-France), will offer an even more ambitious program than previous versions with several high-profile talks, real-time expert advice sessions, and practical training workshops. AFUP president and PHP Forum organizer Olivier Mansour offers more insight here on how the forum has evolved over time, what’s in store for this year’s edition, and why it’s not to be missed:
Tell me a bit about the background of the PHP Conference. How long ago did it start and how has it evolved overtime (in terms of size, focus, objectives)?
The PHP forum is a unique event in France that’s taken place since 2002. At each edition, we bring together several hundred people, with 2010 being our biggest participation year with 500 attendees. The objective of the forum has evolved over time. In the beginning, PHP suffered from competition coming from Java and ASP and, as a result, struggled to make itself known on the web and amongst CTOs. The objective of AFUP and the PHP Forum was to promote the PHP language and demonstrate that one can use it to do great things. AFUP then worked to promote the industrialization of and best practices around PHP.
Today, PHP is the number one solution to create websites and web-based application, and its scope hasn’t stopped expanding. So, for the moment our actions are focused on reinforcing the PHP community, encouraging the exchange between key participants in the sector and promoting best practices around PHP.
What do you see as the important highlights at this year’s conference?
This year’s conference will offer several new innovations over previous editions:
- The presence and input of the ‘end-customer’ (e.g. Publicis, APHP, etc) during conferences with those who’ve implemented PHP within their organizations
- Free advice clinics offered by our sponsors, at which our visitors will have the chance during the entire conference to receive expert advice on various subjects, including:
- Zen Framework 2 (offered by VA Consulting) – a universal solution for all your new PHP projects
- Devops (offered by Theodo): accelerate your PHP deployment for maximum responsiveness
- Choosing hosting solutions (offered by Alterway): all the best PHP practices!
- PHP at the heart of Big Data architecture (offered by Splio)
- The release of the AFUP salary barometer. This is the first study dedicated to salaries of those working in PHP related roles in France. With 1500 responses, the survey results are quite comprehensive
What do you see as the biggest trends now in the PHP space?
The world of PHP is now dominated by frameworks. These frameworks have standardized the way to develop and have enabled teams to avoid recreating the wheel by offering basic-level, functional building blocks (HTTP calls, cache, routing, ORM, etc). At the moment, what’s on offer in the market tends to crystallize around a few dominant products, such as Symfony2 and Zend Framework. Tools such as Magento or EZPublish now integrate these frameworks. Mastering these tools has become a minimum obligation for PHP developers.
What would you say are the principal reasons that people shouldn’t miss this year’s conference?
They should attend to:
- Attend various sessions focusing on the practical experiences of Drupal, EzPublish and WordPress with, of course, the presence and input with the end-customer
- Meet companies who’ve done large-scale PHP implementations, including M6, Box.com, Google and Blablacar
- Have the opportunity to hear prestigious PHP thought leaders such as Andi Gutmans, Larry Garfield, Julien Pauli, Derick Rethans, etc.
- Gain free training from the best PHP experts during our advice clinics
- Broaden your horizons on PHP tools and best practices
- Have the chance to collect stuffed red elePHPants at the Zend stand! 🙂
We’ve got one free ticket to the Forum, so if you’d like to win it, like and comment in the embedded post above. You can also register here to get your ticket.