The PHP job market is booming. Lots of companies are looking for (good) developers, but these are hard to find. Lots of developers are looking for a (good) job, but these are equally hard to find. Wait, that sounds strange... but it's true.
Recently in an article (Dutch) in Dutch publication "Webwereld", Drupal advocate and developer Bèr Kessels stated that while Drupal is an awesome CMS, it is not a good fit for government websites and other big projects. An interesting statement for someone from the Drupal camp to make. While Bèr has some valid points, his statements are a bit too generic for my liking.
So as you might or might not have noticed yet, PHPBenelux is organizing a new contest in collaboration with Microsoft: The PHP on Azure contest. The idea is simple: Build an application in PHP that runs on the Windows Azure platform. I think it's a great idea to participate, let me try to tell you why.
For a project I am working on right now, I needed to generate barcodes and QR codes. Looking around for solutions for the barcodes I quickly found Zend_Barcode (thanks to someone pointing me to it, by the way. I had not expected a barcode generator in Zend). For QR, it was slightly harder to find a good solution. A quick question on Twitter helped a lot. In the end, it boiled down to two options: PHP QR Code and using the Google Chart API.
It's going to be an interesting week in October, when I'm speaking at SymfonyDay right before the weekend, then doing the International PHP Conference right after. But it's going to be a PHP-filled week for starting the 9th of October. In Cologne I'll be doing a workshop on starting development with symfony, and in Mainz I'll be speaking about documentation and integrating symfony and Zend Framework.
About a month ago my good friend Lorna Mitchell put out a call for stories on how working with Open Source has influenced people's careers. Given that a lot of my recent career has been driven by my involvement in Open Source, I shared my story with Lorna. But I also wanted to share some of my story with everyone. So here is my story and opinion on how Open Source can influence your career in a positive way.
Error pages. Most people don't really consider error pages when building a website or application. They usually contain some debug information so that when something goes wrong the developer knows what is wrong. But in a lot of cases when an application goes into production, this information is still exposed.
As I'm writing this (though it is published later), I'm sitting in the sunday morning program of the PHPNW09 conference in Manchester. The conference started on friday night with speakers dinner and a social, with the main conference on saturday, dinner and drinks afterwards, and now the slightly less official sunday morning program. It has been a great conference.
Last tuesday was the phpBenelux meeting for this month, which took place in Tilburg at the office of Freshheads. Given I was helping with the organization *and* speaking, I was a bit stressed upfront. Things worked out well though, and we had a great meeting. This post contains a short report of the meeting as well as my slides for the "Integrating symfony and Zend Framework" talk I did.
Last year I was a speaker at the PHPNW08 conference in Manchester. It was a great conference and I've met some wonderful people there. We even held a short symfony update meeting there in one of the rooms during a break. I am happy to announce I will be a speaker again this year at the PHPNW09 conference!
Over the past weeks while I was trying to find a new job, I've made an interesting observation. Well, I made the observation before already, but my interviews over the past weeks have confirmed it: Most developers seem to limit themselves to a single framework. Be it Zend Framework (more popular than I even thought), be it symfony, there's even still a huge amount of custom "we built it because we have our own needs" frameworks out there, even in companies doing things similar to any other web development company out there.
Much has been said already in the past days and weeks about the PHP standards initiative that was started by a group of PHP developers at the php|tek conference two weeks ago. As I was there but have not really given my opinion on this in public, I will do that now.
Last year's TestFest was a huge success. The worldwide initiatives by usergroups and individuals gave a nice addition to the code coverage for PHP itself. This year, the TestFest period has been extended to 3 months, starting the beginning of this month and ending end of june. But a nice bunch of European usergroups including the Dutch usergroup are combining TestFest on may 9th!
Yesterday was the first BugHuntDay that our dutch PHP usergroup organized together with the Belgian usergroup. Somewhere between 25 and 30 people (I forgot to do an actual headcount) came together in Roosendaal to work on fixing bugs in Zend Framework.
In May of this year, the Dutch PHP Usergroup (phpGG) re-launched after a while of inactivity with a very successful PHP TestFest. After this succesful collaboration with our friends from phpBelgium and having done our first dutch meeting, we're again going to collaborate with phpBelgium to help the community at large: The BugHuntDay is coming!
At work, I am at the moment working on a Zend Framework project. Opposite to earlier projects with Zend Framework, I am slowly learning of the power behind the framework. But not all of the power is document well enough. On friday, I encountered one such small detail.