ZendCon 2012
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ZendCon 2012 – officially titled the Zend PHP Conference – rolls around for its 8th outing in October. We take a look at what’s happening, and talk to some of the people involved in the event.

October feels like an age away right now, but all-too-soon the months will fly by and we’ll be hitting California for ZendCon. A few weeks ago the organizers announced the initial line-up of speakers and content for the event, so what better time than now to take a look at what’s going on, and tell you what we’re most looking forward to?

If you are reading this magazine but have never visited ZendCon before, there’s a chance you’ve been hanging out with the wrong crowd. It’s a week that promises oodles of killer content, the odd beer-sodden evening, and a great chance to catch-up with PHP friends from around the globe.

For 2012, the organizers have arranged the content under three umbrella themes; PHP in 2012, Zend Framework 2 and Development & the Cloud. Under these broad stroke categories there are presentations on everything from architecture to application best practice, from security to testing, and just about everything else in between.

In a recent interview with Zeev Suraski, Zend CTO, we asked him about the conference his company helps to organize. His response was pretty definitive. “ZendCon is a must-not-miss event for any PHP developer who wants to stay up to date with the latest techniques and trends”

The event website is promising 2012 will be best event yet, so what’s in store for us? At a glance, we’re talking about 3 and a half days where about 800 people from the PHP development space congregate. The treats on offer include a choice of ten half-day tutorials, 65 hour-long technical sessions, 5 keynote presentations, free Zend certification exams, a ZendCon UnCon, drinks receptions and an Expo crammed with PHP goodies galore! I’m also told by reliable sources that there are plans to have more free beer on hand than ever before. Which is important…………….if you like beer.

A feature of any great event is the opportunity to meet up with people and talk shop. In previous years there have been various cool parties where you can do just that, hopefully this will be repeated.

A major element of the program is the hatful of sessions, and two half-day tutorial features, covering Zend Framework 2 topics. Officially on general release in the summer, we’re being promised ZF2 will have a completely re-written event-driven MVC layer, dependency injection support, an Event Manager, and a new view layer architected around request analysis and response generation. So the presence of this content in the program is a real bonus for anyone interested. And, whisper it quietly in case they catch-on, I’m pretty certain it’ll be cheaper to soak up this stuff at ZendCon than through official ZF2 training courses. Shhhh though, maybe they’ll realize!

There’s too much going down to assess it all here, so all we can do is highlight a small selection of stuff that Web & PHP is looking forward to. We’ve chosen to focus on just a snippet, but take a look at the schedule on the event website for a fuller flavour to make your own decisions.

Looking at Monday, we think the Workshop QA for PHP Project by Michelangelo van Dam will be a winner. This is 3 hours for devotees, guys who want to improve already great work through use of power tools. If you’ve seen him present before you’ll know that van Dam is a great speaker and a QA guru to boot, with a broad focus across a range of tools.


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