010PHP First anniversary: Keep it Simple Stupid

Man, did time fly, or what?

It's been a year since we had our first 010PHP meetup, called The Bootstrap. We had that first meeting, back in july 2013, in Dudok Rotterdam, where we enjoyed beer, apple pie and brainstormed about our new Rotterdam PHP community. Since then, we've met up monthly, in various locations around the city, talking about various subjects with each other. Most of us learned a couple of new things or saw existing knowledge put in a new light. All of us met new people from in and around the city who are looking to expand their personal network, gain a bit of knowledge and spend time with fellow PHP developers.

All in all, it's been a nice first year for our little community. And today, we're starting the second year. Our 13th meetup has the theme Keep it Simple Stupid with a talk by Marijn de Römph and Frank van Boven. Marijn and Frank work at CoolBlue, who are our host for our anniversary meetup. They'll not only provide the talk and a prime meeting location, but will also host a tour of their premises and host the social at the end of the evening.

Our schedule for the night looks like this:

18:30 - 19:00 - Doors open at CoolBlue

19:00 - Keep it Simple Stupid  Talk and tour

20:00 - Raffle + Social

We hope you can join us tonight. It promises to be an interesting evening! 

You can find CoolBlue at Weena 664, right across from Central Station.

Spotlight on speaker: Rick Kuipers

Our june meetup will be hosted at a location we still have to figure out (hint!), but with a possibly interesting talk called Build That Phing! by Rick Kuipers. High time we found out who Rick exactly is.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name's Rick Kuipers (@rskuipers), 20 years old and actively participating in anything related to PHP. I've always been someone who likes being involved in communities, I co-founded a gaming community when I was 12 and it has given me the opportunity to learn about servers, programming and being part of a community at a young age (today that gaming community is still going strong!).

At some point I graduated high school with a Havo degree, which is when I started going to college for my CS degree. Since I already was proficient in some of the subjects, I was able to skip those and do a subject from the next year instead. Having done that for 1 year, I was informed that for my 2nd year I would have big gaps in my schedule. At the beginning of the 2nd year I watched Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement in which Steve said the following

"You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking back. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something; your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever, because believing that the dots will connect down the road, will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path. That will make all the difference."

Thus I decided to walk away from the well worn path and quit college. This has been the best decision in my life and it allowed me to do what I'm doing today. After I quit I started working on my own company but since I needed a more steady income I applied for a job at The Webmen which I've now been working at for 2 years.

How long have you been working with PHP and why are you still doing it?

PHP started becoming an interest when I started building a website for that community, I read a book about PHP and MySQL and applied it to anything that came to mind.

My first job was repairing computers, I started advertising and customers started finding me. Soon I had customers spread over and outside of my hometown of Apeldoorn. Of course the website that powered this company was built in PHP written in Notepad (thank god for PhpStorm). Eventually I was confident enough to start building websites for customers.

Now that I have been working at The Webmen for 2 years I can say that I have about 3 years of professional experience. I'm still working with PHP because I enjoy it and I love the community surrounding it.

What is the most interesting thing you've learnt in the past year?

A tough question to answer considering I've learnt a heck of a lot in the past year. Besides all the awesome frameworks I learned about, I've been really enjoying Ansible and Vagrant lately. I've also been applying TDD to my everyday job and seeing those tests pass is very reassuring.

Come see Rick talk on 12 june!

Spotlight on speaker: Jacob Kiers

Our March meetup has the topic Developing Daemons by Jacob Kiers. Who is Jacob, you say? Well, let us show you:

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Jacob Kiers. I'm 26 years old. I live in the beautiful south side of Rotterdam. I work for Alphacomm, a company with two main services: web-based prepaid distribution and automated mass outbound reminders. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, feel free to ask me about it!

I'm in the final stages of attaining a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. I was not really educated as a web developer, and I don't see myself that way either. To reinforce a stereotype, give me a white-on-black console and vim, and I'm happy. As such, I mostly do back end development. Luckily, the service I'm working on has as its primary front end vocal sound.

In my free time I volunteer at my church, primarily coaching teenagers.

How long have you been working with PHP and why are you still doing it?

I wouldn't know. I probably started some 12-13 years ago. The reason I've kept using it, is because Alphacomm uses it as its primary programming language. Especially since PHP 5 I've been enjoying it more, because since then PHP gives you ever-better tools to write clear, solid code, enabling me to support larger, more complex systems.

I would like to learn more about other languages also, especially those with different paradigms, such as functional languages. I sometimes feel a bit limited from not having that breadth of experience.

What is the most interesting thing you've learnt in the past year?

Personally, I'm slowly learning the value of kindness and patience towards others. I've experienced that being kind to people, even when you completely disagree on something, prevents unnecessary stress.

Professionally, I now see the value of automating as much as possible, from the infrastructure up to the upper layers of my applications. As I work mostly with quite an old application it takes some time to transform it. So I guess you won't be surprised when I tell you that cloud technologies like OpenStack are also quite interesting developments to me.

Spotlight on speaker: Herman Peeren

After a joint meetup with our friends at SweetlakePHP, we'll return to our regular scheduled programming on thursday 13 February. This month's talk will be "Design Patterns illustrated" by Herman Peeren. All 23 'classic' GOF Design Patterns explained using illustrations his partner Nelleke made 4 years ago. With practical PHP examples. But who is Herman?

Who are you and what do you do?

Born in Rotterdam in 1957. I started programming in 1977, at the Leiden University. Worked as a programmer for 3 faculties. Mainly coded in PL/I, Algol, Fortran, and Pascal, still using punchcards. I was very exited when I learned Simula, the oldest Object Oriented language. In 1982 I started studying Econometrics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, with a specialisation in Computer Science (Bestuurlijke Informatica). By that time I also started playing theatre: street theatre and children's theatre, using circus techniques and masks. My partner and I have been working as travelling performers for 25 years. In the mean time also programming a bit. As soon as the internet was generally available in the Netherlands, in 1995, we made websites. Also made a computer program to control lights and sound in theatres, written in Delphi. In 2002, when .NET started, I was very enthusiastic about it, especially because the same code could be used as well for web-programming as for desktop-applications. Since 2007 we stopped making theatre and started Yepr, mainly focussing on websites. I made my own CMS, first in .NET, later PHP. I did a bit with DotNetNuke, an open source CMS in .NET.

For me the 2 most enjoyable things in life are: creativity and learning. That is: producing and consuming (new) ideas.

How long have you been working with PHP and why are you still doing it?

I seriously started working with PHP 5 in 2008. Coming from the architecturally thorough .NET framework, it was quite a shock: what a mess! But you get used to it and maybe a bit of chaos is also good for creativity (my excuse for the mess in my house). I built some web-applications with Delphi for PHP. Gradually got more involved in the Joomla! community, an open source CMS with MVC and some other nice building blocks. At the moment most of my work is coming from that direction: making custom applications to use as components in Joomla! websites. I experiment with different frameworks like Symfony and Zend. And of course Doctrine, which I also use in Joomla-applications. So I'll probably stay a bit longer in the PHP world. I like the challenge to design simple models to handle complex situations.

What is the most interesting thing you've learnt in the past year?

BDD (Behat and Mink), because it helps defining the solution. CQRS and DCI, because it helps splitting the complexity into more simple parts. Some Functional Programming and Event Sourcing, because it changes the way we think about state, persistence and identity. On the other hand all those things are totally uninteresting for my clients; in that communication "business value" is more important.

About art, an interesting thing I learned last year was that you can say things with art that cannot be expressed in language, not even in a programming language.

Come see Hermans talk about Design Patterns at 8PM! The illustration at the top was made by Nelleke Verhoeff.

Spotlight on speaker: Daniëlle Suurlant

Tonight's meeting will host a talk by Daniëlle Suurlant, titled Debugging for Distressed Developers. A subject that is probably of use to any developer who has ever encountered a problem. So; every developer! But who is Daniëlle anyway?

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Daniëlle Suurlant, I'm 30 years old, I live in Rotterdam and work at Samson IT in Rijswijk.

I've got a Bachelor's degree in ICT, courtesy of the HBO Mediatechnologie education of Hogeschool Rotterdam. The college never quite figured out whether to focus on graphic design or technology, and as a result I learned a little bit of everything and touched upon many different tools and languages. I specialized in Web & Mobile in my final year and graduated making a mobile app for Bibliotheek Rotterdam.

My first years on the job market, I was still trying to find my main focus - I worked with ASP.NET / C#, PHP, JavaScript, Android Java, PL/SQL... and it wasn't until I started working with Symfony2 that my passion for PHP programming really took off, along with my enthusiasm for open source and Linux.

In my free time I volunteer for Stichting Abunai, the organiser of a yearly anime convention, take theatre drama classes at SKVR and write fiction. I don't code as much in my spare time as I want, mostly because there are so many creative things I love doing. I frequently wish I had more than 24 hours a day available so I could tackle all the projects I want to do!

How long have you been working with PHP and why are you still doing it?

I got in touch with PHP during my first year in college in 2003. My skill improved largely by working on projects at web development companies, but it wasn't until I started coding Android apps in Java that I began to understand OOP.

Having worked with compiled languages such as C# and Java as well, I feel that PHP is the most fun and challenging. You have a lot of freedom to make and break things, you can be quick 'n dirty or structured 'n proper, debugging is a headache, testing even more. But it is highly flexible, scalable, and basically awesome. I think working with code should be exciting and interesting, and PHP has that for me.

What is the most interesting thing you've learnt in the past year?

I've learned so much in the past year it's tough to pick just one thing. This year I started learning Symfony2 and AngularJS, started working with Composer, PHPUnit, Behat and Jenkins. That's a lot of new stuff. But I think the most important shift in perspective for me was going to the Dutch PHP Conference and as a result becoming much more interested in the open source community and GitHub. It was the first tech conference I ever attended, and it was hugely inspiring and energizing. It's great to connect both intellectually and socially to peers who share my love for coding and are enthusiastic about open source and building better things together.

You can listen to Daniëlle's talk tonight a 8PM.

Tonight: monthly meeting #6

The last monthly meetup of 2013 will be hosted by Hoppinger, who have kindly offered us their space to meet. You're welcome at the regular time, and the talk will start around 8PM.

See you there?

Spotlight on speaker: Willem-Jan Zijderveld

Tonight's meeting will host a talk by Willem-Jan Zijderveld, called Symfony CMF: A decoupled Content Management Framework. This can be quite interesting for developers who want to get more out the Symfony framework than they are doing now, or those who have not yet looked into how Symfony may fit their needs. But before we listen to Willem-Jan speak, let's find out who he is.

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Willem-Jan Zijderveld, 26 years and married. Currently living in Schiedam. I work in Rotterdam, for a company called Beeldspraak, where we are down to 2 developers.

I'm an all-rounder, trying a lot of different stuff, but most of it is web related. Never finished college, but I don't think it would have helped me if I had. Recently however, I did pass an exam! I can now call myself Certified Symfony Developer (Advanced).

In my spare time I like to contribute to Open Source, of course Symfony CMF. But also Vespolina and some smaller projects. And if I have some spare time after that, I like to take my camera to take some shots. Mostly nature and macro photography, but I also like to take some airplane shots.

How long have you been working with PHP and why are you still doing it?

Started with PHP in high school, about 12 years ago. Taught most of it myself, learning from my own mistakes but also mistakes from others at phphulp.nl. About 7 years ago, I started with OOP but never really got into until about 4,5 years ago. PHP isn't a great language to learn OOP, but luckily a lot has improved in the last years.

Currently I'm still using it, simply because I got a job to do it. I'm familiar with the language, I know the community, know what to expect. But that doesn't mean I never see myself taking a job for some other language. I strongly believe you should pick the language suited for the task at hand. And although PHP might not be the best language out there, when used properly, it usually does his job pretty well.

What is the most interesting thing you've learnt in the past year?

Hard to tell. I'm convinced that as a developer, you should learn something every day. But in the past year, I started looking around more. Trying to find out what I would like in my next job. In that search, I found that I don't have to be afraid to be out of a job, there are A LOT of opportunities out there.

But I also learned that I should ask questions more. Find out how much companies care about quality. Sadly, there are a lot of PHP companies out there that still haven't heard of TTD, that don't keep track with current technologies and will keep using PHP 5.2 for years to come.

Willem-Jans talk will start around 8PM.

Tonight: monthly meeting #5

Tonight is the night of our fifth monthly meeting. We're making a change when compared to the previous meetings, in that we've changed locations. We will be meeting in Grand Cafe Engels, right next to Rotterdam Centraal train station, and you're welcome from 19.30.

Around 8PM, Willem-Jan Zijderveld will be speaking about Symfony CMF.

Spotlight on speaker: Patrick van Kouteren

Our speaker for this month's meeting is Patrick van Kouteren. His talk has the title Getting started with PhoneGap, which can be interesting for developers who are involved with mobile development. Let's see who Patrick is and why we should all come and see him talk.

Who are you and what do you do?

Well, as already mentioned, I'm Patrick van Kouteren. My main field of work is backend work in PHP. I know some stuff about frontend as well, I do some image editing (when really needed), native Android development, etc.

I started programming in Java, and still do, and switched to PHP as it was fast and easy to create webpages with dynamic content to make my life easier. In 2007 I started off the Allesin1 project at my employer (which nowadays is my employer again). The portfolio is comparable to equally named portfolios of other telcos and I initiated and co-built the full system from front to back. It's set to be phased out at the end of this year, so it has been running for like 6 years. Cool thing is that I'm now coordinating and facilitating the phase-out of the system I built myself.

The phase-out is part of a bigger plan: We're cutting out three of our main order systems, wrapping up all the spaghetti code around it, refactor it and we'll be putting a new BSS (Business Support System) in place, reattach all the wires etc. In my current role as lead developer I'm involved with planning, architecting, refactoring etc. As we have quite an optimistic schedule (6 months...) it's quite a challenge.

It's also a kind of balancing act as I run my own business next to my (full-time, but 40+ h/week) employment doing all kind of development-related stuff for, mostly, design or 'full-service' companies. Last months, demand seems to focus more and more on apps, so I'm going with that flow.

When I'm not working and have time to spare, I enjoy contributing to the Bolt CMS open source project.

How long have you been working with PHP and why are you still doing it?

It started off somewhere around 2004 I think. At that time I was working (part-time) on the support department of my current employer. Lots of customers would call with the same questions over and over again. Pretty soon it became kind of boring, so I started writing a knowledge base. As I've seen quite some colleagues come and go, a knowledge base was a good solution to get a new colleague up and running quickly.

In 2007, a vacancy for a junior web developer opened up and I got my chance to move up a rank and work as a part-time developer. That basically was the start of my professional programming career. After finishing college in 2009 I just continued my job, but full-time. Up until today, I don't regret any second of it. It gets me up and running quickly, it's got lots of bindings for other technologies and with that, it is sufficient for the majority of my needs.

What is the most interesting thing you've learnt in the past year?

I've been looking into cloud technology (OpenStack Swift, scaling etc), APIs, Phonegap, software architecting, but if I really have to name one thing which I found interesting, is the soft skill side of my current role: coordinating the team (running development and data migration in parallel), managing priorities, giving directions for the future, advising, supporting, meetings etc. next to my 'regular' programming tasks. It's quite exhausting, but such a challenge that I wouldn't want to do anything else at this moment.

Patrick will take us into the world of PhoneGap, tomorrow night at 8PM. See you there?

Thursday: monthly meeting #4

This thursday, we're having our fourth meeting. The schedule is unchanged, as is the location, but to be sure: this is were we are. The place is called De Machinist, in case you were wondering.

Regular Meetup-attendee Patrick van Kouteren is doing his first talk for the group: Getting started with Phonegap. 

We hope to see you on thursday; the schedule formally starts at 8 PM, but all the cool people are always early. Just sayin'.

Spotlight on speaker: Mischa Rodermond

Our speaker for tonight's meeting is Mischa Rodermond. He'll be doing a talk about Mootools, which is non-PHP, making it all the more interesting for PHP'ers wanting to broaden their horizons. In what will hopefully be a monthly thing, we're introducing Mischa through a couple of simple questions.

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Mischa Rodermond. I'm an all-round developer focused on frontend, javascript and PHP. I've always been interested in technology, way back when I was a little kid. I remember when I was 8, my dad put his Commodore 128 in my room and immediately my interest was sparked.

Around 1997 I made my first website, for fun in Microsoft Word. Over time that slowly grew to making more interesting sites and the last couple of years I'm expanding my skillset, within webdevelopment as well as outside of it. I currently work for Symbaloo, a web 2.0 bookmarking tool, as a frontend/javascript developer. On the side I like to program all kinds of things, from simple tools for every day use to a complete mediaplayer.

How long have you been working with PHP and why are you still doing it?

I started out by reading a book in late 2007 because I wanted to make a website with dynamic content. Before this time I had learned a bit of javascript, a bit of css, but I wanted more. I don't remember how I got to PHP, but I stuck with it and eventually that lead to my first frontend job in 2009. I liked working with PHP and in my own time I learned more and more about it. Over time I discovered more languages and tried to learn all sorts of things like Perl, C, bash-scripting etc, but my biggest asset remained my PHP knowledge. To this day I use PHP as the main language for my applications and websites, though the frontend of javascript is becoming more and more important. PHP does my database stuff, reading files etc, but most of my work is aimed at javascript nowadays.

What is the most interesting thing you've learnt in the past year?

The past year I've been looking more and more into using web APIs, creating widgets. This combined with learning to use NodeJS & Mootools lead to a more professional use of javascript. That's why I consider myself an all-round webdeveloper: the lines between frontend and backend are blurring. Frontend can do a lot of backend stuff nowadays, where backend is merely serving and processing data. Or in the case of NodeJS it's all javascript from database connection to user interaction. The well-established boundaries between server-sided and client-sided programming is becoming one big process, and I keep myself focused on these innovations.

Mischa's talk will start around 8PM.

Tonight: monthly meeting #3

Tonight is our third monthly meetup! We're meeting in the same place as last month, which is De Machinist at Willem Buytewechstraat 45. You're welcome from 19.30; we'll be starting at 8.

The schedule for tonight:

19.30 - Arrival and welcome.

20.00 - Talk: Getting Classy with Mootools by Mischa Rodermond.

21.00 - Spotlight on Conferences + raffle.

21:15 - Focus on Open Source projects.

21:30 - Social.

Unlike last month, we're not sponsoring the drinks tonight, but the bar is still there, so have at it. We hope to see you tonight and if you do, please let us know through the Meetup event page.

A short look back

Now that we have our website up, let's revisit the meetings we had until today. This post is partly a crosspost from Breuls.log

In july, we held a 'bootstrap'-meeting; a get-together for those who are interested in a user group and who would like to contribute. For the location, we picked Dudok, which is a thematically ideal place to start a community based in Rotterdam. The meeting didn't have a strict agenda: the goal was to get things going by going around the group and talking about ideas. We quickly agreed on a starting format: a monthly meeting with talks and some drinks, and at a later stage perhaps the additions of workshops in separate events. There were over twenty developers from around Rotterdam attending, which was more than we expected. That was a nice start!

The second monthly meeting for 010php took place on the 8th of august. We rented a space in De Machinist, near the iconic Euromast and the city center, where we could have some drinks and retreat into a screening room, where we did the first talks for the user group.

The first talk was A Crazy Little Thing Called Scrum by 010php co-founder Ron van der Molen, who is a Scrum Master and PHP developer. He explained a couple of very clear aspects of scrum and extreme programming, which seemed to spark the interest of quite some attendees. The talk was very informative and served as a good starting point for those wanting to get into agile programming.

The second half of our program was the talk Stop searching in the dark, start finding in the light by Roberto Gardenier. He has a lot of experience with the implementation of Apache's Solr family of products and gave a well balanced talk about these subjects, which again served nicely as a first step for those unfamiliar with the subject.

Our third meeting will take place on september 12, again in De Machinist. We'll update you about that in an upcoming post.

Welcome to 010php!

010php is the PHP User group for PHP developers and enthousiasts living in Rotterdam or with an interest in the local PHP community of the city.

We have monthly meetings, on every second thursday of the month, for which speakers are always welcome. If you would like to do a talk at one of our meetings, let us know!

Running a user group isn't free. If you or your company would like to contribute to the local PHP community, please let us know. We're currently looking for financing of the use of meeting rooms and equipment, to support the meetings. If you're looking to sponsor the meetings through giveaway items, that's also very welcome!