True North PHP Conference 2016

Updated Nov 10, 2016 (Originally Published Nov 6, 2016)

The True North PHP Conference was November 03rd to 05th, 2016. It was at Microsoft Canada's Conference Centre in Mississauga, at their Canadian head office -- a fabulous venue. 

The organizers of the GTA PHP Group run this Conference, the same people who are instrumental in helping me launch the York Region PHP Group. This was my second of the five annual TNPHP. 

This year's theme: this was the final TNPHP Conference. Which was not the intent, but everyone knew. The final talk was "Last One Out Please Shut down The Conference", where Chris, Peter, and Vic got a well deserved Standing O.

This  year, I had three things I wanted from the Conference: API, software testing, and meet-and-greet. Thumbs up on all three. 

Being on the cusp of re-doing LaSalle Software centred on an API, I wanted to absorb as much API goodness as I could. I attended specific API talks, but most of the talks that I attended touched on APIs in one form or another. 

I brought a stack of index cards with me to the Conference. When something was mentioned that I should think about for my LaSalle Software's API, I wrote it down. I came home with a nice stack of cards. An indication that APIs are very mainstream now. 

The first two days I brought my laptop. A laptop is de rigueur for the tutorial day. For the first day of talks, maybe less so, but handy for looking things up. The third day I had enough of my laptop.


The Hallway Track was an important part of this Conference. Enjoyed talking to the speakers, the width and breadth of their knowledge and experience is breathtaking. Talked to a lot of people I know from the local groups, including a handful from the York Region PHP Group. 

I don't know what it is, but I find PHPUnit a bit mysterious. I always seem to have trouble with it. I made a point of attending the three hour PHPUnit workshop. It didn't take long before I could not replicate the instructor's results. Naturally. So I basically ignored the talk and went about trying to figure things out. If worse came to worse, I would beseech help, because I need to get over this hump. Well, I figured things out. Namespacing and composer autoloading turned out to be the culprits. After that, PHPUnit worked beautifully. I then went through the doc on the PHPUnit website. It just came together for me. I know it's crazy, what's so hard about it? Oh well... 

When it came time for the Laravel Testing talk on Saturday, I absorbed it all. Wrote lots of notes. Now, it's making sense. Wow, to see it in action with the live coding was a big help. For the first time, I am feeling confident about automated software tests for LaSalle Software v2. I was hoping the Conference would get me over the hump with this stuff and it did. 


I expected that the talk on Saturday about the Laravel Container would be a step-by-step journey of the code, and the concepts behind, Laravel's container. Nope. It was a history of PHP containers, with a primer on how the PHP frameworks are doing containers now. But, maybe there's a reason this wasn't a deep dive into Laravel's source code. The lead-up into Laravel's Container makes more sense with the historical context. Actually, I am so used to using Laravel that I did not appreciate how elegant Laravel's solution really is. Really nice to see the speaker so enthusiastic about Laravel! Now, I have to deep dive into Laravel's source code, now that I have a better idea about Laravel's "inversion of control" container.

The True North PHP Conference may have concluded, but the Toronto PHP community is stronger and growing. In no small part to the five annual TNPHP.

This final TNPHP was fabulous. Glad I did the 407 commute!

Photos on Flickr

Twitter #tnphp16





Another Post About TNPHP2016
Nov 12, 2016

Good one!

Category: Blog
Tag: Conference