Written by Gerard Brull

At Trovit we are constantly learning, researching and trying to widen our horizons. For this reason, me and other four co-workers went all the way to the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia, to take part in the second edition of Bulgaria PHP Conference.

But why Bulgaria? Because this is one of the top PHP Conferences, where top PHP developers and engineers from all around the world gather to learn from each other. You only have to check the names of the speakers to know how high is the level: Cal Evans (Zend Certificate, NomadPHP), Jeremy Mikola (MongoDB), Jordi Boggiano (Composer, Monolog…), and many more.

That’s why, after a flight full of turbulences, we landed in Sofia just to casually meet Michelangelo van Dam (PHPBenelux) at the hotel’s lobby, where we had the chance to help him with some technical problems. What a start!

Next morning we went to the Workshop Day, dedicated to practical programming traineeships where we had the chance to play around with Elasticsearch, Neo4J y PhpSpec along with experts in each field: Samantha Quiñones, Mariusz Gil and Miro Svrtan.

The two following days were a maelstrom of talks so intense and juicy that it will be difficult to summarize them! This is a small index of our favorite slots:

  • Machine learning for the rescue – Mariusz Gil
  • Climbing the Abstract Syntax Tree – James Titcumb
  • The framework is dead – Bruno Skvorc
  • Jenkins vs Circle vs Travis – Miro Svrtan
  • Dockerize your unit tests for faster feedback – Michelangelo van Dam
  • What they should tell you about API development – Phil Sturgeon
  • Asynchronous programming fundamentals – Samantha Quiñones
  • A functional guide to cat herding with PHP Generators- Mark Baker
  • Modern Testing with Codeception: Tips and Tricks – Michael Bodanrchuk
  • Drinking Beer with a Raspberry Pi and PHP – Andrew Carter

I would also like to pinpoint the final keynote from Cal Evans “Groupies, Roadies, Rockstars”, a motivational talk about the importance of getting involved in open source. A perfect closing talk after so much technical conferences!

php cal evans

During the breaks we enjoyed the recreational areas provided by the SiteGround team in line with the theme of the conference, “Game On”. This theme was present in many details around us, giving that casual atmosphere so perfect for networking. For example, every stand of the exhibition hall had a game going on: JetBrains had a yo-yo tournament, Automattic had a Trivia…

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And, of course, we enjoyed excellent Bulgarian meals and craft beer throughout the conference!

We would like to thank all the volunteers and speakers at the Bulgaria PHP Conference for their dedication and for creating such a magical atmosphere that should serve as an example for all kind of technology conferences!

Also, we would also like to thank Trovit for such an opportunity. It feels good to have some time to learn, contribute, to do team building and networking, so we can grow not only personally but as a company.

(Photos from Bulgaria PHP Conference)

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