RegEx is scary. At least, if you ask Google, that’s what you might think (257,000). And slow (441,000). In fact, regular expressions are neither of these, and indeed are a powerful tool in your utility belt.

In “RegEx Is Your Friend”, Liam aims to provide some real-world usable examples of how RegEx can be used in a way that’s fast, explaining how the different parts of regular expressions work and execute to make it understandable for all.

No matter if you don’t know your ‘$’ from your ‘^’, you are not sure when to use RegEx (and when not to), or you just need to find a way to make your RegEx run faster, there will be useful help and tips for everyone.


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Mark Railton at 16:34 on 10 Jun 2017

Brilliant talk, I've always struggled with regex and actively done as much as possible to avoid using it. The information and tips that Liam provided helped to open my mind more to using regex where applicable. Especially loved the tip that Liam ended the talk on as this makes regex a lot easier to understand and I think it was the perfect way to end. Highly recommend that everyone gets to listen to this talk.

Katy Ereira at 20:27 on 10 Jun 2017

I'm a regex nut, so I felt like this was a beginner talk; which is great for lots of people out there. I'm only marking it 4/5 rather than 5 because I don't think it was particularly original - I've seen too many talks on regex, and I didn't come away with anything new :( sorry!

Peter Fisher at 23:23 on 10 Jun 2017

Enjoyable talk with some handy tips

Excellent talk from someone who obviously knows his stuff.

My notebook is full of things to consider when next RegExing.

Will be keeping an eye out for more of your talks in the future.

Lee Boynton at 18:13 on 11 Jun 2017

Well delivered talk. I initially thought this would cover things I mostly already knew, but I was proved wrong as I discovered a number of things I wasn't aware of. The parts on improving performance, conditionals, named back references and the x flag were interesting/new to me.

I did think that perhaps there should be a caveat mentioned when parsing HTML with a regex, as this approach seems a bit brittle when compared with an HTML parser.

In summary this was accessible to both beginners and those more familiar with regexes.

Thanks Liam!

Gary Jones at 00:35 on 12 Jun 2017

Only learned one or two small things here (like preg_match_all() existing!), and felt that those new to regular expressions might have felt the examples were tricky to follow - more use of the laser pointer, or moving the mouse on screen, or using coloured patterns might have made it easier to describe to them which "bracket" you were talking about (and distinguish between brackets, braces and parentheses).

The choice of using HTML as the subject of some of the examples, while simplifying the example, did gloss over the practical complications which comes with that.

Daniel Platt at 09:38 on 12 Jun 2017


Great speaking style.
Didn't think I'd learn something, but even had something for people that have been using RegEx for years.

Good talk. Despite using regex for a while I still picked up a few useful tips.

Neil Nand at 23:03 on 15 Jun 2017

I really liked the walk, learnt some bits about RegEx (I'm not proficient at it) but the last quarter of the talk was a bit lost on me.

Good talk with some really neat tips, even for someone who is comfortable with using RegEx on a daily basis.