SymfonyLive London 2014: The lowdown


If you took a walk down to Westminster today, there would be no sign that just over a week ago 300 engineers descended on the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in what was undoubtedly the biggest and most successful SymfonyLive London to date. After three practical workshops the day before, Friday morning dawned bright and early as 300 engineers made their way to Westminster ready for two full tracks of talks from the leaders in the software development industry.

After a hearty breakfast and welcoming from Tony Piper, Marcello Duarte took to the stage to deliver the opening keynote on ‘Understanding Craftsmanship’. Marcello’s presentation took a step away from the technical content promised later in the day and instead focused on the reasons behind software development. His closing comment: “Whatever you do, do the best you can” set the attendees in good spirits as the day’s two tracks launched.

In track one, Jakub Zalas, fresh from delivering a Kernel workshop the day before, delivered the first of many talks to herald the significance of software coupling. Titled ‘The Dependency Trap’ Jakub’s talk drew high acclaim from the audience who commended Jakub for his content on cohesion.

Meanwhile in track two, Matthew Davis flew the flag for front end development, arguing that front end coding workflow should be as much of a priority as the back end. Looking at Twig templates, he delivered practical and thoughtful advice on integrating Bower and Gulp, and optimising load times.

After a swift cup of tea, it was back to the tracks with Matthias Noback’s hotly anticipated talk on ‘The Naked Bundle’ packing out track one. Later described as one of the most interesting and thought-provoking talks at the conference, Matthias assessed how to make the most lean bundle possible surrounded by decoupled libraries.

Over in track two, Kris Wallsmith led attendees through his process when building Symfony applications. Well known for his open source libraries, Kris introduced design patterns and principles to help the audience launch their own projects.

With half the schedule down, and talks on eCommerce, continuous delivery and eCommerce still to come, SymfonyLive took a break for lunch, networking, and to meet the variety of fantastic sponsors (with competition giveaways and Oculus Rift demos to boot).

After lunch it was straight back to the talks as Javier López took on the continuous delivery pipeline. Using real-life examples from his tenure at Time Out, Javier took the audience through the tools and processes his team have used to ensure continuous delivery workflow. Like many of the talks at SymfonyLive, Javier took a step away from the theory to show how his advice could be implemented in practice.

A familiar face to attendees at the recent London Symfony meetup, Paweł J?drzejewski led track two through a talk on his eCommerce framework, Sylius. the only eCommerce-related talk at the conference, Paweł?’s talk was commended for pitching specifically for a developer audience.

As the two tracks continued to chatter overhead, one floor below, the unconference track provided an opportunity for attendees to deliver impromptu talks throughout the day. Including talks from Code Club, Beau Simensen and a packed room for TechPortal editor Barney Hanlon’s talk on Docker, the unconference provided a unique way for the attendees to share even more insight and advice into the ways of Symfony.

As the conference headed into the early afternoon, talks from Dave Marshall and Michael Cullum had both tracks full. Dave Marshall tackled the different types of test doubles in one of the most commended talks of the entire conference.

Michael Cullum’s talk took Symfony straight to enterprise level explaining how to convert a site to the framework with the least amount of friction. As well as sharing anecdotes, advice and best practice from real-life examples, Michael introduced his audience to the many tools applicables for enterprise-scale Symfony applications.

After a final cup of tea and freshly made marshmallows, Beau Simensen took to the stage in track two to discuss Stack and framework-agnostic libraries. Introducing the audience to conventions, community middlewares and with practical advice to get started with Stack, Beau’s talk was praised for presenting a new and very relevant concept.

In track one, Konstantin Kudryashov proved for the hundredth time why he is regarded as one the most influential figures in Behaviour-Driven Development. In a talk entitled ‘Decoupling with Design Patterns and Symfony2 DIC’, Konstantin took the hot topic of decoupling to the next level. Including a trip into the internals of Behat 3, Konstantin’s talk was described as “mind blowing”, “inspirational and “brilliant” by the packed out room of attendees.

Rounding up such a stellar line-up for SymfonyLive London 2014 was never going to be easy, but David Zuelke delivered a closing keynote described by one attendee as the best he had ever seen. In a succinct, impactful talk, David had the audience laughing and applauding as he explained how to “do everything with nothing” with epheramilization. With the 300-strong audience in good spirits, his closing keynote marked a triumphant end to SymfonyLive 2014.

Full videos of all talks will be published with the speakers’ permission on YoutTube shortly. For more information on next years’ event please contact [email protected] and if you attended, please don’t forget to leave your feedback for the speakers.

SensioLabsUK, organisers of SymfonyLive London, would like to take this opportunity to thank all attendees, speakers, sponsors and supporters for the most successful rendition of the conference yet. Here’s to SymfonyLive London 2015!