SymfonyLive London 2015: Meet the speakers: Beau Simensen

Beau Simensen

We’re delighted that Beau Simensen, voting representative from Sculpin to the PHP Framework Interoperability Group and programming professional since 1998, will join us for the second year in a row at SymfonyLive London, where he will deliver a talk entitled ‘Hello, PSR-7’.

With just a week to go, we chatted with Beau about PSR-7 and his new project launching later this month.

What do you see as the biggest trends in Symfony/PHP at the moment?

Honestly, I feel like a Symfony user who doesn’t use Symfony. It is a strange place to be! I’m acutely aware of the Symfony ecosystem and use many related projects, but I can’t say I have a pulse on the Symfony community itself. Part of my enjoyment for going to SymfonyLive events is getting a fresh influx of Symfony news so I’d probably be better able to answer this question after the conference.

Which talk are you most looking forward to at SymfonyLive London 2015?

I’d LOVE to see Bernhard Schussek’s talk about Puli but sadly it is opposite mine. I want to see Matthias Noback’s talk on hexagonal architecture just as much, so I guess I have to do the whole, “I can’t pick just one!”.

How large an impact do you think PSR-7 will have on the PHP community?

I have such high expectations for PSR-7. If the vendors continue to expand their support for PSR-7 then I think it is going to be a game changer for sharing code between projects. Maybe not to the same level as PSR-0 or Composer contributed to helping make the PHP ecosystem relying less on Not Invented Here tendencies, but almost everything we do in PHP somehow touches the HTTP layer. By making that HTTP layer ubiquitous, PSR-7 could enable a whole new level of sharing, which simply wasn’t possible before.

As you spoke at SymfonyLive London last year, how do you think this year’s event will compare?

Last year was my first SymfonyLive London experience (and it was actually my first time to visit anywhere outside of North America!) so, this year has a lot to live up to! The lineup looks great and it has the same spectacular venue so I’m sure it is going to be great!

As for my talk this year compared to my talk last year, wow. I’m super delighted with how this is going to turn out!

Last year I spoke about Stack. It was bittersweet talk for me to finally be talking about Stack on a stage. PSR-7 was still half a year away but it was becoming clear to me that PSR-7 was going to pave the way for one of Stack’s goals, truly framework agnostic PHP middleware, at Stack’s expense. The last half of my Stack talk was actually focused somewhat on, “this is cool, this you can do now, but in the future there will hopefully be something even better!”

This year I get to talk about that something even better!

As a Symfony-specific technology Stack was always going to be confined to the Symfony ecosystem. I still see it as a proof of concept that helped more people realise the benefits of middleware and what happens when more applications share the same commodify HTTP messages. So it is all good. Stack did its job and now we have PSR-7. So yeah, I’m so excited to be talking about PSR-7 this year, especially in the context of having talked about Stack last year!

Will you be streaming the event live/ running a podcast episode?

Yes! Dave Marshall is going to attend as well so we are planning on recording an episode of That Podcast! We don’t have all of the details nailed down yet, but we are hoping to make it somehow interactive with some or all of the people who want to join from the conference. It should be quite a lot of fun!

What do you think was the driving force that turned HTTP from a simple client interface to the game-changing proposal it is today?

In a person? Matthew Weier O’Phinney. Although there were some people (myself included) who felt that PSR-7 could go beyond client-centric interfaces to be used in server environments, Matthew actually implemented it from the perspective of a server. He showed that not only was it possible, it had already been done. I think most people who were on the fence up until that point about whether we could target HTTP instead of just HTTP client got onboard at that point.

Why should people attend your talk?

PSR-7 has a long history and there was and still is some controversy and questions around some aspects of it. I’m not planning to dive into too many technical details but to share more about why it is important and some of the things that someone would want to watch out for the first time they start playing with PSR-7.


Our thanks to Beau and all speakers who took part in our interviews this year. We look forward to welcoming all attendees to SymfonyLive London next week. Limited tickets are still available, but you’ll have to move fast. Grab your tickets today.