Letters Home from PHP Summer Camp

PHP SummerCamp: Symfony and eZ Devs Meet in Paradise (Rovinj, Croatia)

behat-training-1I go to a lot of conferences, and thoroughly enjoy each and every one of them for their unique content and the generous people I am guaranteed to meet. Recently, Saša and I had the privilege of giving a few workshops at PHP SummerCamp: a workshop-only event filled with Symfony and eZ topics. And even though I had high expectations for the conference, it blew me away. After 4 days, I didn’t want to go! I was now leaving good friends and an amazing place where I got to do what I love most: teach.

And we did plenty of that! Together, Saša and I taught workshops for basic
Symfony, Behat, PHPSpec and even had some extra time to show some Symfony
extras. Bernhard Schussek‘s all-day forms workshop was also a huge hit among others.

Real Learning in Paradise

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We all know what makes conferences a success: good organization, high quality  speakers and a good social aspect. PHP SummerCamp had all of these, thanks in large part to the organizer NetGen.

But what truly made this a special week was a list of three really unique things:

1) The conference has *only* workshops. This means that while you’re in paradise, you’re learning new tools by actually coding them for three days. To me, this seemed even richer than the normal talk-based conference.

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2) The conference takes place in Rovinj, a Croatian town on the Adriatic sea with Italian influence, perfectly clear water, a running trail, and tons more. Each day after training and learning all day, we sat outside next to the bay and enjoyed fresh fish and great company.

3) Due to the smaller size, it was easy to connect with people at a real level. I made new friends like Bruno Skvorc and Derick Rethans. I also had time to sit down with 2 core eZ developers to talk about making it easier to use eZ inside a Symfony project (Jerome) and developer experience (Bertrand). This type of collaboration and real communication was the norm. Even when it came to returning to the airport, we all worked together and carpooled. That’s really special.

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Hoping for 2015!

When the conference returns next year, I’ll be first in line to see if I
can return. If you live near Croatia and are in the Symfony or eZ world,
you’ll want to be there too!

On the last night, the main organizer – Ivo Lukač – sent Leanna and I home
with two oil paintings of Rovinj. These will sit in our new home as reminders
of a wonderful week.

Rovinj