ScotlandPHP 2017

The aforementioned year of tumultuous change was reflected in a very quiet blog, so I'm pleased to kick if off again with a high-level account of our experience at this conference.

DKvofAXWsAAXg7t.jpg

There were two big changes between the 2016 and 2017 editions of ScotlandPHP:

  1. Move from Dynamic Earth to the EICC, and the associated upgrade in conferencing facilities.
  2. The talks were much more language-agnostic.

After some meet-and-greet, and an introductory exercise involving building paper airplanes, the opening key note "Rise of the Machines"/"AI for everybody" was delivered by Josh Holmes of Microsoft with great enthusiasm and clarity.

The big takeaway for us was to not apply machine learning for the sake of applying it, but to clearly understand a problem domain and apply ML as the most appropriate solution.  Big fan of the "Underpants Gnomes logic" analogy, Matrix references and high-quality memes/references throughout.

IMG_20171104_094134.jpg
IMG_20171104_094509.jpg
IMG_20171104_104639.jpg
IMG_20171104_121858.jpg
IMG_20171104_153513.jpg

Big takeaways

  1. Very evocative closing keynote from Meri Williams, with some highly insightful perspectives on how to create and motivate productive teams of engineers.
  2. Refactoring legacy code is indeed painful, but we're now armed with some mechanisms to help manage it more efficiently.
  3. Pleased to hear that most of the Kubernetes findings refreshed what we already know and practiced, and that we're keeping up with the community on that front.
  4. Content security policies are becoming increasingly popular and are extremely useful.
  5. Graph databases and machine learning are great tools with which to solve a problem, but the solution has to fit the problem.

Given a general move away from Laravel towards Symfony and SF-inspired technologies in our PHP microservice technology - and that we originally used Laravel as a stepping stone away from a legacy app - we didn't attend the Laravel talk in favour of the other track.

We look forward to sharing insights on specific talks in the future, and sharing these insights with our colleagues as we put them into practice.  Overall, a successful conference that ended on a high note with some good news:

 

 Looking forward to it!

Looking forward to it!