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Another flawless conference by the PHPUK team this year. Jo and Sam, the comperes of the conference in particular were incredibly approachable and friendly every time I saw them.
My favourite thing about this conference is that there is a break between each talk. Some longer than others, but there is always time to read through abstracts or for a chat with someone before joining the next talk. And there were always some sort of refreshment available, especially water which was really important for me as I was struggling with illness.
The only issues I had with the conference were to do with the venue itself and are things that you can't really change (Raked seating, room temperatures, more bathrooms, that sort of thing).
The breakout area is great with lots of seating and powerpoints, another thing that I have missed at other conferences.
The closing notes were surprisingly short. Some conferences really drag these out with waiting for people to collect their prizes and that sort of thing which I'm glad they kept brief, but I think their team deserves a lot of credit and I actually think it would have been nice to get the organisers and speakers on stage for a bit more recognition of the amazing job that they did as there wasn't much else they needed to say.
Please lets do it again next year!
PHP UK was such an excellent conference! The time and effort put into preparations helped make the conference run very smooth and to be a huge success.
The venue, The Brewery, has really good tech. The audio was excellent, the projectors were clear, had good contrast, and were very visible. As a speaker I really liked the rear-projection in the main room so I wasn't blinded by the projector.
I actually liked the tables in the main room. It made it easy to follow along with code during presentations. Walking between chairs was sometimes tight, but paths could be found easily enough.
The middle room was a little too warm, but was fine other than that.
The basement room split is a little different than I am used to, but attending talks in there was actually nice to spread out a bit and talk with neighbors and to stand up if needed.
The food was amazing! High quality, great service, and a variety of flavors. The cheesecake was some of the best I've ever had. The evening social with sliders and chips was tasty and made for a great time socializing and talking with people.
The sponsors were great to talk to, and it was a good setting with them around the outside of the room. I avoided the big sponsor rush at the beginning and instead paced myself and had really good conversations with the sponsors about their products, projects, and tech. They were easy to approach and passionate about tech.
The social events and breaks were nice. The breaks were longer than most conferences, but I used that time to meet and talk with lots of new people, which I really enjoyed. I felt like I had time to chat and visit with people without needing to hurry off to the next track so that spacing was nice. I was also able to chat with speakers after their talks without having to worry about the next group rushing in.
The talk topics were very good. As a developer I like to see mostly technical talks with code examples and architecture that I can apply immediately to my development process. The talks that I attended were refreshing with their technical depth and the time and effort spent in preparation by the speakers was evident. I'd like to continue seeing more intermediate to advanced level talks that are technical as a good trend for conference talks. While having beginner talks is important as well, there is also a large audience that comes with an advanced level seeking to improve.
All of the speakers I talked with were very approachable and friendly. They brought out the best in the community and made the entire experience even better. Also, as a speaker, I had really good conversations after my talks with the attendees. Really good questions were asked, I was able to help others setup tools, important tools used in the community were exposed, and the authors of the tools were engaged with helping use and better the projects (thanks Derick and Wim!).
The location in London was fantastic. It was a quick walk from the hotel, and the area and sites nearby were easily accessible by bus and the tube. There are plenty of corner shops around for picking up snacks and drinks as needed nearby.
The communication from the organizers leading up to the conference was very helpful and clear. I liked the details and information provided in helping me prepare to attend the conference.
I'd highly recommend attending PHP UK to anyone with even an interest in PHP. It is well-organised, provides an excellent learning opportunity, and is a great experience.