SymfonyLive London 2014: Meet the speakers: Dave Marshall


The schedule for SymfonyLive is so stacked full of stellar speakers from the Symfony community, it’s hard to know where to start picking out some highlights. To give you a quick taste of what’s to come, we’ve been chatting to some of the line up about all things Symfony and what they’re most looking forward to at this year’s event.

Last week, we chatted to Matthias Noback who explained why his talk on ‘the naked bundle’ would be a highlight of the event. Next up is Dave Marshall, Technical Manager at, who will be giving his advice on the difference between mocks and stubs and the best way to use both.

What’s your history with Symfony?

I started out using the dependency injection and event dispatcher components in a project before Symfony 2.0 got a full release and got hooked from there. I think I have used nearly all of the components, through my extensive use of Silex.

I think the code and components brought me to Symfony, and while I think other component frameworks have since matured and are probably comparable, I stuck with the Symfony ecosystem because of the talent and knowledge that's clearly evident whenever you get involved.

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

I'm seeing more effort being put forth to build more ecosystem tooling, with things like SensioLab's Profiler and SensioLabs Insight. These sorts of projects, along with the new Developer Experience initiative, seem like a natural progression after the core product, the framework and components reach maturity. Another trend I'm seeing is a push for more formal design techniques, with BDD and DDD becoming increasingly popular.

I also think you'll see some improvements made to the codebase. I think Laravel has paved a bit of the way forward for our community with this, they are quite prepared to sacrifice sacred coding best practices, or do some things differently in order to give a better developer experience, while still providing those building blocks for those who need them. I'm pretty sure there was some hard work put in to this kind of thing already, with the security component gaining a more simple way to code up a custom form authentication provider.

So why are you tackling Mocks and Stubs?

I think as a community, Symfony is well ahead of the competition with regards to testing their applications, but I still think there's room for improvement. Tests are often shoe-horned in as the last piece of the puzzle, but it doesn't have to be that way, and learning some of the fundamentals can be a good stepping stone towards proper TDD and it's derivatives, where by the testing comes first and actually drives the design of your software.

Which of the other SymfonyLive London talks are you looking forward to?

I think I'm actually looking forward to the opening keynote the most. I've seen Marcello talk a couple of times and met him last year, he's one of the most passionate speakers I've seen and really engages his audiences.

You can catch Dave’s talk ‘Mocks Aren’t Stubs, Fakes, Dummies or Spies’ in Track 1 at SymfonyLive and you can also follow him on Twitter at @davedevelopment.

If you haven’t already secured your place, don’t forget to grab your ticket. Workshops and tickets are fast selling out, so make sure you act quickly to avoid disappointment.