As regards the conference content, Continuous Integration and Quality Assurance with all kinds of sub topics like Testing, Debugging, Code Reviews and Security were topics relevant in a couple of sessions and workshops. Well, PHP is getting more and more matured.
The keynotes were all worth mentioning, particularly Zak Greant who ended in pointing out a few domains where the deployed software should be controllable by everybody who’s able to read source when talking about literal machines. That was a clear statement for the use of open source software in many areas.
His talk included parts of the history of human life which was very entertaining.
Probably for most techies (and especially php techies) the short abstract about the grown up Personal Home Page Tools by Derick Rethans was of more practical concern.
Derick also concluded with test driven development. In the third keynote Bill W. Scott showed lots of very nice (and some bad ;-) visual features of user experiences
in some of the web projects he was involved in.
The hotel was quite nice, unfortunately its location feels like somewhere in the middle of nowhere, nothing of interest is within walking distance. The space in the basement level where the small exhibition was hosted was a bit cramped, the corridors were too crowded in-between the sessions. In the sessions the conference technicians probably didn’t expect that many MacBook owners, so those adapters to connect DVI-only MacBooks to the video projectors where short in supply.
For the second time, Zend has brought in lots of comfy sofas to create their lounge which I still think is a very smart move. The catering was quite ok most of the time (except for the VIP reception – Ludwigsburg earlier this year was much better). The same applies for the atmosphere at the casino night which was much more relaxed in Ludwigsburg. Probably this was due to the more varying mix of people because of the conference combination with the Webinale. I personally liked the addition of the foosball table (or do they always have it at the NH hotel?) and had some nice matches.