Who do you call… Myphp-busters!
Reeling out of Hank’s Microsoft talk I rushed to get a seat for my ‘must see’ talk of the day Myphp-busters: symphony framework. I’ve been dabbling with frameworks for a while as they seem to be becoming a vital tool to increase productivity (especially important for us freelancers) and aid collaboration and team-working by reducing ownership of code (ie. everyone has a better chance of following the code in that clever widget you just built).
Stefan is a great speaker, engaging the audience with a mixture of comedy and real practical knowledge of how frameworks can impact a business and how Symphony in particular can help developers. His love of the Symphony was obvious throughout the talk but this did not blind him to its limitations and he was very open to discussion during Q&A and very fair in describing other frameworks.
Following the talk I’ve concluded Symphony would be well worth a look. Despite its steep learning curve (that I would face with any framework) the firm set of structure it brings is an excellent reminder to best practice and even the best of us need a little discipline once in a while! With the advent of decoupling in version 1.1 it looks like it could be quite a lean solution too. Thanks to Stefan for a humorous and extremely informative talk and for getting his slides up so quick I can link to them in the review!
A new outlook on security
After a few well spent minutes talking to the lovely guys at iBuildings – thanks Johanna and Lorna (again) I dashed into the back row of the auditorium and relaxed listening to Chris Shiftlett’s presentation on Security and the impact of human behaviour
After reading countless articles about cross site scripting and code injection it was refreshing to see a talk giving a rounded view of practical security. Chris incorporated viewpoints from human psychology and usability to give insight into security from a slightly tangent.
How many of us would be more suspicious of a site if it didn’t show our cookie stored id image or if we knew enough about reverse psychology to ensure we resisted clicking a ‘don’t click this’ link? (Derren Brown of all people gives a good primer on negative reinforcement in his ‘sticky fingers’ Trick or Treat episode).
Usability also plays a big part in human web interaction. It’s much easier to see quickly that something might be wrong if the error messages on the page look like error messages (red text, red border, warning triangle) rather than using that layout for adverts or top banners.
So after listening to such a grounded and quietly persuasive speaker, I have to conclude: It seems easy to point the finger after the fact, but it’s much more important to build security in from day one, not just with the most up to date (and ever changing) technical solutions but also with a bit of human common sense thrown in too.
These last two talks were so engaging for me that I didn’t have oportunity to take good photos, luckily there are some wonderful photographers out there that offer their great shots through create commons so you can get a visual flavour of Stefan and Chris – thanks Drew.
The After Party
The drinks laid on at the Olympia were consumed all too rapidly amongst the chaos of the thanks and prize draw. Sadly, few people seemed to clue in to what was going on and the resultant chatter drowned out much of the closing remarks. Maybe next time serve the beer after the draw? I can’t complain too much though as I won a book!
Being bundled out of the venue was the only mark I would put against the otherwise faultless service by the Olympia. I realize we ran late and caused chaos at the end but still a more courteous eviction would have been preferred…
In contrast the service, buffet and Young’s beer at the Brook Green Hotel were all excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with speakers to give praise, take photos and ask for more details. I still don’t know enough to get into detailed discussions on code and it’s individual technical application but a few more conferences like this and I might well do!
Thanks to all the phpwomen and other wonderful members of the community who made my conference the special occasion it became and had the stamina to party with me until my voice gave out 🙂