PHPBenelux 2014

I’ve just returned from an amazing weekend in Antwerp at the PHPBenelux 2014 conference. I had a few issues on the journey out, getting stuck in traffic queues on the M6 motorway (Britain’s largest car park!), leaving me with 17 minutes from parking my car to get through security and to the flight boarding gate – a tight timescale to say the least. I provided some grand entertainment for Jen Cockerill, one of Magma Digital‘s staff who accompanied me to the conference, as she saw me running, bags flailing and out of breath towards the gate.

The skin-of-my-teeth slide over the boarding gate line with two minutes to spare, was compounded by me loosing my envelope of Euros en route. This was only discovered as we headed from air-side to the train at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. A quick call to the office and about 20 minutes later my wife Priscilla messaged me to say it had been found and handed in at Manchester airport security – surely things could only continue to go up from there!

The PHPBenelux 2014 conference was the fifth anniversary and the conference team had really excelled themselves, with a packed schedule and as usual a great social programme too. This all kicked off with the speaker’s dinner at the Atomium in Brussels, a short coach ride away from the conference venue – dinner was in the top sphere!

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I was at the conference giving two sessions, one a 3 hour tutorial on Codeception (an extension of the talk given at PFCongres 2013, with lots of hands on exercises) on the Friday morning (see audience feedback) and a new talk on Ansible: Orchestrate your Infrastructure on the Saturday just before lunch (see audience feedback).

I’ve included below, links to my slides and a video taken on my GoPro camera (thanks Jen) of the Ansible: Orchestrate your Infrastructure talk, apologies in advance for the number of “erm’s”, littered throughout – I was ever so slightly hung-over from the late night / early morning before and had trouble finding some words!



I’ve been to a fair number of PHP conferences in the last few years, PHPNW obviously, PHP UK, PHPNE, PFCongres,, DPC and PHPBenelux, however I’ve never been to a PHP conference, or any other type of conference that had bumper cars as the entertainment! My life is complete (including a fair number of bruises to prove I had fun!):


I’m not sure how you beat that for a conference, of course there were the usual amounts of in-depth chats over a drink or two, but there was also air-hockey, foosball, arcade machines and a rodeo cow:


The only downside to all this however was returning home with a post-conference chest infection, that’s what comes from enjoying yourself too much I guess ;)

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