From March 4th-5th 2009, I was lucky enough to attend the annual PHPQuébec conference, right here in Montréal.

To say that the conference was a a lot of fun would be an understatement. I had the pleasure of meeting (read: drinking with) Jeff Loiselle (@phishy), Andrei Zmievski (@a), Chris Shiflett (@shiflett), Chris Hartjes (@chartjes) and Sean Coates (@coates), as well as a few others throughout the duration of the 3-day conference. It was nice to finally be able to associate names with Twitter/IRC handles.

For those of you that could not attend, the slides from (nearly) all the talks are available from the PHPQuébec Conference website; I would suggest the PHP 5.3 slides (if you haven’t already read the related RFCs for closures, lambdas and traits) for a quick run-through of the new features being introduced in PHP 5.3. If you dislike Magento or Wordpress and would like to see how Sebastian Bergmann tears them apart for sub-par code & pattern choices, PHP Code Review is for you. Sebastian didn’t publish any of his comments, but the code on the slides should speak for itself.

If you’ve got some C chops, the PHP Extension Writing slides by Marcus Börger might be of interest, if you can make it all the way through without crying for mercy from the C gods. However, everyone at the conference recommended the Extending and Embedding PHP book by Sara Golemon, which seems to be the definitive guide for writing PHP extensions at this time. I’ve already ordered my copy, so where’s yours?

In addition to the slides posted, I would suggest looking over Andrei’s Regex Clinic for some real PCRE gems, and his VIM for (PHP) Programmers to understand why Real Programmers™ use Vim

All in all, #phpquebec was a blast. I’ll be attending next year, even if I have to pay the ticket price myself. It’s worth every penny, especially if the registration form for 2010 is as hackable as it was for 2009 ;-).

Note: This has been cross-posted on Nerderati, my personal blog.