First things first: looking at the post date, it’s been more than a year since my last post. No excuses here, it’s just how it is. I’ll try to post a bit more often, but can’t promise anything :)
A while ago, I was invited to phpDay 2010 to speak about a subject I like a lot: Gearman. A PHP conference in Italy sounds pretty cool to me, my employer was sponsoring the conference and I’m always glad to give a presentation about topics I’m passionate about. Not surprisingly, I looked forward to phpDay 2010 quite a lot.
Even though the Milan airport was still closed 3 days before the conference started (thanks Eyjafjallajökull), I still managed to take a flight from Brussels through Milan to Pescara airport. The conference venue still was a 50 minute drive away from the airport, but luckily Cesare and Fullo were incredibly kind to pick me up at 23pm and even took me to a very late dinner at a local restaurant. After a nice dinner, I checked into the hotel which was 50 meters from the Alba Adriatica beach, how sweet is that!
The conference venue itself was located a bit further inland, but only a 5 minute drive from the hotel. The venue actually was a former university building which wasn’t used anymore. It made a good conference venue, with room for different tracks and a main hall/lobby. I was quite glad to see that there was a separate english-spoken track aside from the Italian talks who still were in the majority, but the conference organizers told me they are in the process of migrating to a more internationally-focussed (and thus english-spoken) conference, which of course is a good thing.
I did manage to catch a few sessions besides working and attending the ‘hallway’ track. I specifically looked forward to Kore’s talk on Arbit, which is the project tracker you’ve wanted all along. Very interesting to see the motivations, architectural descisions and future roadmap of the project. I also went to see Dustin’s talk on YQL, which I’ve heard of before but never really used. It was a clear talk which described the possibilities of YQL, and even though I still have my doubts, I can definitely see where it could be useful too. One of the last sessions of the day was mine, and it really surprised me how much people were interested in Gearman and attended my talk. Overall the talk went good I think, I hope all attendees got something out of it.
After the first day, all speakers were taken to an Italian fish restaurant, with an amazing amount of food served for each person, so I was really stuffed, but the food was really good so I didn’t mind a thing. On the evening of the second conference day, all speakers were again taken to a restaurant, probably even nicer than the night before. Amazing food, good company, what more can you want :)
On saturday, I had to leave early because of previously planned appointments and again, the commitment of the phpDay organisation shone again. Cesare drove me to the airport at 6:30 am (thanks again for that!) so I could catch my flight back to Belgium. Even though it’s the first time I attended phpDay, it completely surprised me (in the good way!) in terms of organization and taking care of their speakers. There’s definitely growth in the Italian PHP market and it’s good to see some Italian PHP conferences too. Definitely one to put on the PHP conference calendar next year!