I had the distinct please last weekend to speak at the PHPBenelux conference, held in Antwerp, Belgium. It was my first time at the conference, where I presented my talk “Making Software Management Tools work for you”. The talk centered on choosing tools to help support your software development teams that compliment them rather than impede them. I used lots of examples of what we’ve done over the last year to help our development efforts, both in customizing our own tools and in changing from Subversion to Git to help make our teams more productive.
I can’t say enough about the conference itself. There was a great group of people there, from keynotes from Lorna Mitchell, Ivo Jansch, Michelangelo van Dam and Elizabeth Naramore, to top notch sessions by the likes of Rob Allen, Keith Casey, Derick Rethans, David Zülke, Stephan Hochdörfer, and others. I enjoyed meeting new faces, and catching up with people I’ve met before, along with all the socializing and networking that goes on during events like this. Like everyone agrees on, it’s the “hallway track” which makes a conference great and this one had an excellent one, including a great social event on the Friday night of the conference ( bowling at a PHP conference = genius ). Everything both days seemed to go off without a hitch, and the turnout was fantastic for a conference in it’s second iteration.
One thing that really stood out to me was how much the crew made sure all of the speakers were taken care of the entire conference. For me being a first-time visitor to Belgium, the team made sure we were completely comfortable and didn’t have to worry about a thing. You can tell their number one priority is hospitality, and they far and away exceeded my expectations.
I want to give a big thank you to the entire PHPBenelux team for inviting me to speak at the conference, and for the great weekend. I hope to return again next year.