PHP Benelux 2018

For two days, PHP Benelux 2018 was once more the place to be for every PHP developer. No wonder that PHP developers from all over Europe came to Antwerp to attend interesting and surprising presentations on PHP and all things related. Team Nucleus was present as well and looks back at two presentations (and something else) that impressed us.

Debugging PHP

A very interesting presentation from Patrick Allaert about alternative ways  to troubleshoot PHP applications. Very interesting from our perspective as system administrators, obviously. We learned about the “trace” PHP extension, that allows you to trace PHP calls. Strace & ltrace were mentioned as well, troubleshooting tools we already get the hang of as sysadmins.

Another good tip concerned MySQL proxy. Did you know you can place a MySQL proxy between an application and the real  MySQL server to monitor actual queries happening in real time? That way it is a lot easier to check your MySQL traffic.

Check the presentation

How PHP Ticks

A presentation of Sara Golemon is always worth following. She is one of the core PHP developers, responsible for HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine) at Facebook & the MongoDB extensions in PHP. In short: an authority in the field. Her presentation covered the internals of PHP, from parsing & lexing, tokenising to the final PHP-code. Very low-level and very nerdy.

It’s like getting to know the internals of a combustion engine: you don’t need the knowledge to drive, but it’s very interesting to know how everything works under the hood. In this case: how important a good PHP OPCache is, once you know what is needed to keep PHP running smoothly.

Check the presentation

Hallway tracks

Something that pops up on every edition of PHP Benelux: the most interesting conversations and knowledge are often found outside the presentation tracks. In the hallways or on the main floor. You talk to people you know and don’t know (yet) about technical challenges, solutions they implemented, etc. For us, that’s a tip for each conference you attend: skip a few sessions to talk to people. You’ll find out you’ll learn most from these talks.

Let us know your key takeways from PHP Benelux 2018 in the comments below. And see you all on PHP Benelux 2019 next year of course!

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