SymfonyLive London 2015: Meet the speakers: Richard Jones

Prolific Drupal module contributor and Technical Director at iKOS, Richard Jones, is a familiar face on the international Drupal conference circuit. This year he’ll join us atSymfonyLive London in the hope of converting some of the Drupal naysayers and will deliver a community-focused talk entitled ‘Symfony and Drupal 8 – Changing the world one community at a time?

We sat down with Richard to gather his thoughts on why Drupal is adopting large components of Symfony and why he hopes SymfonyLive attendees approach his talk with an open mind.

Could you give us a quick summary of your background?

I am the Technical Director of iKOS – a Drupal agency specialising in eCommerce and part of the Inviqa group. The company was founded in 2000 and we switched to Drupal exclusively in 2009.

How long have you worked with Symfony?

Drupal 8 has been in development for a number of years, and introduced Symfony components to replace some of the Drupal Core framework. I have also been following the development of Drupal Commerce 2.x, which has been developed partially using Symfony components. So my introduction to Symfony has been a gradual process.

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

From my perspective the incorporation of Symfony into other projects such as Drupal is very interesting. Other “outside projects” like these should lead to an increase in available libraries.

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

It’s not often I get to events outside of the Drupal sphere so I am looking forward to getting a much more rounded experience. I love finding out how other people are working so theSpotify case study certainly has my interest.

Why do you believe it is such a big deal that Drupal is adopting large components of Symfony?

Drupal has been around for a long time and has lots of legacy along with it. It’s been a brave step to pull some of this code out in Drupal 8 and replace it with Symfony. As well as reducing the complexity of the codebase itself, one of the aims was to attract more developers outside of the community who may not have looked at Drupal before.

How do you feel about giving a talk at the largest Symfony event in the UK? Nervous, Excited..?

I’ve spoken at large Drupal events before and the audiences that are there are very welcoming. I hope the SymfonyLive London crowd comes with an open mind!

Will these added features make Drupal 8 significantly different from previous Drupal models?

Drupal 8 looks very different to Drupal 7. Symfony has helped us transition to modern OOP coding styles, which will make Drupal much easier to comprehend for someone looking at the codebase.

Do you believe that this will help increase the popularity of Symfony?

I already know that thousands of Drupal developers are now learning Symfony – some by necessity and some as the inclusion in Drupal 8 has sparked an interest for them. I can see this trend continuing.

What will people attending your talk benefit from?

I hope I’ll give enough insight during the session to turn a few heads. If there are other people looking at Symfony for the first time, I hope the may be inspired to make the steps to incorporate Symfony into their code as well.

Polish your Symfony skills and attend one of three exclusive workshops at SymfonyLive London. Led by practicing engineers and trained coaches, you’ll find out all you need to about BDD, DDD and profiling.

As organisers of SymfonyLive London, we asked the Symfony community to vote for the projects they thought deserved a free partnership, and as the votes piled in, we gathered the results. This year we’re pleased to welcome community sponsors eZ Publish integration to Sylius eCommerce, phpBB Forum Software, and Backbee CMS!