I was at PHP UK in London

2023 - 02 - 20
I was at PHP UK in London

It was amazing to visit PHP UK for the first time. Here are some of my thoughts about this events.

It was a marathon, first the JS World in Amsterdam and now PHP UK in London. PHP UK is considered the biggest PHP event in Europe, so I was very eager to be there both because of my work but also because PHP is my favorite language.


I love London. It's my favorite city. It's vast, diverse, and full of everything. Also, it has a public transport system that always amazes me. Because of the conference, I only had a limited time to venture through the city, but I managed to visit my favorite Camden Town.

The conference took place in The Brewery, which at some point in history was, well..., a brewery. It looks pretty impressive, especially with all the skyscrapers in the background.

While my hotel was near the venue, it also tried to charge extra for everything. Paid WI-FI? Really?

Favorite talks

It wasn't easy to pick them. One problem was related to the fact there were 3 tracks, which meant I couldn't attend all the talks. Having shorter talks, but on 1-2 tracks, would be a better solution.

The second problem was related to the fact that two of the speakers couldn't make it (Freek and Marcel).

Bye, bye drupalisms! Propelling Drupal into a modern PHP ecosystem by Marine Gandy

It was fascinating to learn what problems Drupal had and how they handled them. The list of the issues are quite similar to the ones that WordPress has. Drupal just took a different approach to solving them. While WP decided to concentrate on the user experience by converting the problems with Gutenberg, Drupal focused on the Developer Experience.

We built this city... The geographies of software development by Naomi Gotts

This was fascinating, showing what urbanism and software development have in common. It was interesting to hear about the experiment with building new cities and how it's similar to a total rewrite of a codebase.

Extending the PHP Language with Static Analysis by Dave Liddament

Dave dived into many things during his presentation. But the most crucial part was related to extending PHPStan. It turns out it's not that difficult. Dave also talked a bit about PHP RFCs which was also interesting.

What disappointed me a bit

I already mentioned the tracks - it makes attending all talks impossible. Also, I think the talks were too long. I really believe that 18-20 minutes would be much better. Not only could we have more talks or fewer tracks, but the talks themselves would also need to focus more on a problem.

Sponsor booths. I always enjoy seeing the sponsor's booths. It's a way to kill time and, very often, to find some excellent new solutions. Sadly there were only 5 booths, and they looked a bit modest. It also wonders why more companies didn't want to sponsor such an event.

Key takeaways

Like at every conference, it's always amazing to meet amazing people. Again I had a chance to meet new Kinstanians. It was really amazing meeting Carlo (I learned a lot about Italy's tax system) and Pedro (no, I won't buy crypto)

I'm thrilled to constantly bump into great people from Shopware. Wonder where we'll meet again. Also, I'm very happy that I meet Nuno Maduro in person.

PHP UK is also an eye-opener if you think PHP equals CMSs. Not at all. CMSs are just a part of it. And looking at the number of presentations about them - a quite unimportant part.

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