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After the recent excursion to DrupalCon Prague, the weekend of the 5th October brought a conference much closer to home, PHP North West 2013 (PHPNW13). Based in Manchester, PHPNW13 was the 6th incarnation of the annual event where PHP developers come together to share knowledge about the latest technologies and developments.


CTI developers from the Drupal, Mobile and Application and Magento teams all attended and the sessions emphasised the similarities between our different disciplines.  This is particularly true of Drupal which, as Marcus Deglos (@manarth) put it, has long been looked down upon by the rest of the PHP community.  His talk, “Drupal has come back to the fold. It's time to pay attention”, focussed on the ways that Drupal is moving from “Not Invented Here” to “Proudly Invented Elsewhere”, particularly with the forthcoming Drupal 8.


Sticking with the Drupal theme, Guzzle is a simple library for making HTTP requests (and therefore accessing RESTful services) that is being utilised in Drupal 8 to remove custom code. “Easy HTTP Clients with Guzzle” by Nathaniel McHugh (@natmchugh) was a detailed introduction to the Guzzle HTTP library. with all of the power and options of cURL. Nathaniel’s talk went through a number of these options with examples.

Coding Standards

Not all of the talks focussed solely on PHP. The topic of Volker Dutch’s (@__edorian) talk, “Your (Coding) Standards Matter”, could easily apply to other languages. In his talk Volker discusses a number of tools that make it easier to follow and maintain standards and provides some ideas for how to deal with old code bases and new standards.

Dependency Injection

Personally, “Introducing Dependency Injection” by Rob Allen (@akrabat) was the most productive talk as it introduced a topic that was completely new to me in a way that was easy to understand. While the extended example was stretched a bit too far as he approached the more complicated parts of Dependency Injection, I still came away with a working knowledge of the topic.

Overall, the conference was a great success. All of the attendees I spoke to only had positive things to say about the talks and general organisation of the conference. Roll on next year. In the mean time, be sure to check out the monthly PHPNW User Group meetups and don't forget about the Drupal Sprints in Manchester & London this weekend or DrupcalCampNW starting on the 22nd November 2013.

Other noteworthy talks:

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