Symfony Live 2014 NYC recap

sflive_nycLast week I had the honor and privilege of speaking at Symfony Live 2014 in New York City. This was my second opportunity to speak in Symfony Live in the US (last year was in Portland when Symfony Live shared the venue with DrupalCon).

The conference was a single track and I was scheduled to speak at the first day, first slot right after Fabien’s keynote. No pressure. The room was quite full, about 90% so I estimate between 100 and 150 attendees.

Fabien’s keynote was informative, speaking about the Symfony 2.6 upcoming release, and giving hints of what to expect for Symfony 3. For the first time, it was mentioned that the target release date will be November of 2015, probably around the 2015 edition of SymfonyCon. Now, don’t get too excited. With the main focus on avoiding backwards compatibility unless really needed, don’t expect anything as revolutionary as Symfony2 when it was announced back in 2012. He also introduced the new Best Practices document which has made the rounds of Twitter early this week.

My talk followed and in my opinion went quite well. I have given this presentation in previous conferences, but for this occasion I included quite a few updates. But I was a bit concerned with the fact that the slot was only of 40 minutes. This is 10 or 20 minutes less than other conferences, so I had to trim some fat and make sure I stayed on track. I think the result was very good. And the confirmation is that today I received the news that I will be giving this talk in SymfonyCon in Madrid, Spain!

Before the lunch break, Kris Wallsmith presented “The view from inside” where he shared his experience of going through an accelerator/incubator program while building a startup and mobile app. It was full of stories and reflections that many of us are or have shared. Something that stuck with me was a a quote that went something like “while building this company, you will lose your friends, your wife, etc”. Having gone through a startup and successful business, I can assure you this is very true. I have not lost my wife, but many times it’s been quite close, and without her endless patience, it would surely happened.

Brent Shaffer gave a great talk about building APIs with Symfony and Jeremy Mikola presented “Developing Beautiful, Measurable Software” where he shared tips on how to make sure our code quality stays in check as the application grows.

To close the first day of talks, we had a set of lightning talks. Most of the sponsors got an opportunity to share their products, but of course we got a chance to have Jeremy Mikola on stage for his lightning talk about lightning which never gets old, in fact, every time I see it there is something new. Remarkable!

After the conference, a bunch of us headed to have a quick bite before heading to the official bar for the Cocktail party. It was quite crowded and loud, and I was quite tired (having arrived from Europe the day before, I was still jetlagged) so I went back to the hotel.

The second day started with David Zuelke from Heroku talking about the Twelve Factor App. David is a great presenter and his talks are always fun and full of good content, and it was great to see his awesome work in action at Heroku. Before lunch, Lukas Smith shared ways to create APIs using the FOSRestBundle and friends. Even though I have been using this for a few APIs, I was able to learn of a few new bundles that have been released recently.

One of tIMG_2331he highlights of the second day was the talks from Ryan Szrama about “Solving the Hard Parts of eCommerce”. Ryan comes from the Drupal world where he is part of the team behind Drupal Commerce. His presentation style was really nice, and talked about a bunch of the hard parts, reminded me how lucky I am not having to deal with those things.

The last talk of the day was by Ryan Weaver where he shared his views about helping developers get more productive through the The Developer Experience (DX) Initiative that he has spearheaded.  Ryan is one of my favorite speakers and it was a great way to close the conference. He even got his shoes off before getting started.

The last activity of the day was the Karaoke party nearby which unfortunately I could not attend.

I think it was a great conference. I had the opportunity to meet a bunch of new people, while going back to New York, one of the coolest cities in the world. Looking forward to SymfonyCon Madrid in November, not too long ahead.

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