I think I’m the last attendee to write up my experiences at the Dutch PHP Conference 2009 (DPC) this year
(Due to being swamped with ZendCon planning). But I wanted to make sure that I didn’t miss the
DPC is an amazing conference, and I recommend that anyone who gets a chance attend it in the future. (Though it’s obviously a little cost prohibitive if you aren’t in Europe to begin with).
The European PHP community is amazingly friendly. Especially towards the speakers where there was only praise and understanding for the speakers and the effort that they’ve put into their presentations. Even when presentations were subpar, they were handed gentle feedback, instead of harsh words as might come at other (US-based) conferences.
I was also taken a little back at the amount of positive press the Zend was getting there. This was perhaps partially because of Ibuildings who was running the conference, and is one of Zend’s biggest partners. But in general it seemed that a majority of people at the conference were using Zend Framework, and/or other Zend Products (Zend Platform, Zend Server, etc) — or at least were very familiar with the offerings. Instead of having conversations with attendees as to why they might want to use Zend’s products, I found myself talking about technical details of the products, getting feedback to pass on to the product teams, etc.
I didn’t personally attend many sessions, giving two of my own and spending spare time doing work. (Did I mention we are in the middle of reviewing the ZendCon proposals?) But I heard amazingly good feedback about all of them. Twitter was alive with positive comments and the DPC attendees really latched onto joind.in more-so than any previous conference. For those unaware, joind.in is a new(ish) website that allows for conference presentation reviews to be done, and saved publicly, independent of the conference itself. This is great not only for the presenters who get immediate feedback on their talks, but also allows future conference organizers to see these ratings and note the skill of any speaker (As well as how well accepted certain talks have been).
In parting though, I need to say this: Amsterdam needs to understand a proper serving of coffee (not 4oz), and a proper serving of soda (not 0.2L). All of the Americans and Brits in attendance were constantly dehydrated.