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Overall enjoyable experience - few things I may have changed: made registration clearer (I didn't realise there were alphabetical queues until I got to the front - luckily I was in the right queue: perhaps just send out the majority of badges via post or offer "self print" at home and "print on demand" at the venue), clearer food options (took me a while to find out what was available and where to pick it up from - I didn't realise you were just meant to "swipe" it from the servers!), perhaps printing the speaker's Twitter details and the Joind.in talks in the booklet.
Lunches were good, but the rest of the food was disappointing in quantity.
I haven't been to a PHPUK conference for a couple of years (been to PHPNW instead) and I was slightly disappointed in the lack of exhibitors, but given the tightness of space, it was slightly understandable (but the registration area could have been re utilised).
I'd also support a "This is a talk I'm interested in" (or a "rank these talks in preferred order") so you can get an idea of the popularity of the talks before allocating rooms.
Awesome. Spectacularly well organised, great food, awesome venue, brilliant people, fantastic talks. I pretty much can't think of much negative about my experience. Thank you all the organisers, all the other speakers, the sponsors who make this possible and everyone who was awesome :)
I have attended PHP UK Conference for the past 5 years. I felt this PHP UK Conference fell short compared to the last few years.
Firstly, I was disappointed by the organiser's poor welcome to the Conference who appeared to lack all enthusiasm. I feel this is the point where the tone of the event is set and should be hyping everything up. This attitude was echoed during the conference opening on the second day and the closing of the event. The closing of the event felt very un-prepared. A few more prize giveaways would have been good and actually having prepared for the Hackathon demo.
Although I enjoyed the key notes separately, I did feel that they were all generally a bit of an anti climax. For me, a key note should be inspirational or thought provoking.
Again, generally I found the choice of talks a little disappointing. I like to come away from a conference and think to myself, "right come Monday morning I am going to be doing X, Y and Z" - this was not the case this year.
I thought the food in the boxes was definitely an improvement on previous years. It did however confuse me to why these were placed next to the food that had to be queued for - it kind of negated the convenience of them. The boxes of food should have been placed separately to the food that required queuing so people could grab these quickly. People could then optionally queue for the other food at their own convenience.
I felt there was not enough food available during the Thursday night social. Myself and the 4 other people I was socialising with managed to get 1 small burger each and share 1 bowl of chips between us after several rugby tackle attempts.
I enjoyed the HTTP2 talk and PHP7 migration talk. I wish I had been able to attend more.
Not sure if it was just me but I did find the venue a bit confusing to get around at first and the guards/bouncers felt kind of intimidating. It felt cramped as well. It really isn't my favourite venue.
The code of conduct is a bit overwhelming. They make it seem like these kinds of incidents go down all the time but I've never seen it happen. Probably because they are taken from an event with more attendees that sees more cases of epic drama. I'm glad I didn't read it until after I went. I suppose it's generally helpful but also intimidates me when it comes to expressing myself efficiently. Language is tricky, it can also be misconstrued and of all those nasty people rules are trying to stop some will find a way to be nasty within the rules. There's a funny size to everything however.
> body size
I excluded myself from a delicious cake on account of being too fat, can I make a complaint against myself :D.
I attended PHP UK Conference in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Whilst it continued to build on the same foundations of great content (Rob Allen's talk on ZF3 stood out for me) and great networking, I felt that some areas fell short compared to last year and the year before.
The pre-conference social tab ran out in about 20 minutes. A large group of people left after said 20 minutes. Perhaps opening this up only to conference goers and not just "anyone interested in PHP", or at least adding to the tab after the talk (as happened last year) would be ideal. The pizzas, however, were amazing.
Unfortunately, catering for the rest of the conference was not so great. Gone were the hearty breakfasts of croissants & porridge, replaced by uninspired snacks like mini tarts. The orange juice & apple juice of previous years were gone.
The drinks fridge ran out early both days, with no Red Bull available past mid day on either of the days. The lunches were the best: a good selection of noodle & rice dishes, though not very warm. It would have been nice to have seen some sliders without cheese on saturday evening, or better, put the cheese on the side so people could add it to sliders or chips as desired.
It would be nice to have a less preachy opening keynote, I really enjoyed Code Rabbi (Yitzchok Willroth)'s talk last year which was welcoming and engaging. Some of the other talks seemed to be re-hashes of 2014/2015 talks, which was a shame as I was hoping for more new content.
I'll definitely be back in 2017 as I won a free ticket in the Hackathon (which could have been better organized and the rules more clearly stipulated -- as far as I could tell, the winning entry didn't even use the Pusher service during the lunchtime demo). It's always a solid conference, but 2016 didn't have the oomph of previous years.
Really enjoyed this years event.
- Venue and organisers accommodated my odd food allergies with ease - and made my lunch stress-free
- There's never any where to sit, so lunch in a box was good - I camped out in one of the rooms for some quiet on the Friday
- Could do with a medium size room for some of the talks
- Lack of really "quiet" place was an issue for me; but solved somewhat by ducking into the adjacent speaking room
- Some overlap between talks, but I was really spoilt for choice this year so didn't actually affect me
- Really powerful opening talks on both days - commendable
- Working towards diversity, hoping next year to see even more diversity in the speakers :)
My second year was even more interesting than my first. There were a few overcrowded talks, but that's really no surprise given the quality of the speakers.
The food was tasty and plentiful, as was the coffee downstairs. The exhibition was fun and interesting. And did I mention the quality of the speakers?
My highlight was Security Theatre, but every speaker had something great to offer. The topics covered were engaging and useful in equal measure.
The only slight downside was security seemed slightly officious at times. But as the other staff at the venue offered exemplary service, it made up for it.
My first time attending the conference. Overall a great experience - would definitely come again! Couple of negative points:
1. The Fasthosts track vault situation was very strange and always cramped. Not sure if it's practical any other way, but felt awkward!
2. The venue itself was absolutely fantastic, but the food was chaotic - no defined queueing system, not enough space for people to sit and eat.
3. The opening keynote was a good talk, but set a downer for the conference. Would have maybe swapped it with one of the other keynotes in terms of ordering.
On the whole though, fantastic time. Looking forward to next year already. Thanks to the organisers!
Not the best PHPUK I've been to. It just lacked the spark to make it great. Lack of hackathon organisation and information was a let down. The lack of any proper breakfast was disappointing. On the talks side I found the quality of talks to be not great this year, perhaps I just picked the wrong talks, but they all seem focused on DevOps, which is of no interest to me. On the plus side, having lunch served in two rooms and in boxes was a master stroke, it made lunch time far easier to cope with and less frustrating trying to carry a plate and wait hours for food.
As always, a great conference, some really great talks and a good atmosphere. Serving food to that many people will always be difficult, but I think the lunch 'box' idea is an awesome one, and a better solution than the usual 'queue for 45 minutes with plates' that happens in most places. The vaults got particularly crowded this year, but unless there is a different room available, I'm not sure that can be solved? All in all, a fantastic couple of days!
This is my 5th (or maybe 6th) conference - with regards to the venue, food and timings - by far the best yet (thanks for taking on my feedback from last year - which was the large plates that were hard to eat off when standing around). Food was amazing.
Couple of ideas for improvements - quite a few talks had overlapping content and it's shame when really similar talks are on the same day (2 security, 3 performance), would be good to split those up by day, especially to the people who only get to go on one day
Can we have a "I'm going to go" button when the schedule is announced, might be a useful way to judge which rooms talks should be in - yet again found I couldn't get into talks in the smaller rooms.
Also, I think the keynotes had themes that were far too similar; whilst the topics were important, it nearly got to the point where it was over laboured. I miss having a panel discussion too (maybe we can have one of those instead of a talk in one of the break out rooms?).
I'm really glad that the social was at the venue on the Thursday - I felt that this was far more of a natural place to socialise, and far easier to talk then going across town to a venue (although those nights were equally enjoyable).
Lastly - massive thank you to all involved.
Food tasty, plenty of it, venue felt well organised and professional. The Fasthosts track doesn't work very well across split rooms, must make it very hard for the speaker, so I think making sure that either a more appropriately sized room is made available for those talks (if one exists), or making those talks more niche and such that the crowd would fit into one room would help. It did feel like the popularity of the Fasthosts/Dreamfactory track talks had been slightly underestimated but that's a good thing and a compliment to the speakers if nothing else.
Awesome as always.
This was my first PHP conference and I loved it. Learned so much and will definitely be coming back next year! Huge thanks to the organisers
Great organisation, great talks, great socials! Think conference gets better every year I attend.
Good event, but please consider this for 2017:
Thursday morning keynote to be in/aspirational.
The Thursday and Friday evening keynotes to be on different themes. Both speakers were great, but overlapped a bit too much.
A few more product talks such as the mysql 5.7 + JSON. The speaker knew his product and was enguahing. I'd much prefer these talks to the wishy washy talks.
Some good talks but an unusual choice of opening keynote meant that this failed to go off with a bang.
Some of the rooms were a bit cramped and uncomfortable.
The food delivery/service left a lot to be desired, nowhere to sit and eat, not clear where to get the food from, do we queue for it or grab it from the people walking around? Some food choices unavailable, consider having everyone preorder their food maybe?
The best talks were from Szymon on Docker, Jordis closing keynote on Thursday, Jessicas opening keynote on Friday and Billie on Kubernetes.
Great conference, loved the food, coffee, donuts and socials!
Definitely a good mix of talks depending on your interests/experience.
Thanks to all those involved! :):):)