For those of you who have been stuck under the proverbial rock for the last couple months, the MySQL Conference and Expo is just around the corner. The conference’s tutorial day is April 14th, which means if you haven’t registered yet, you should definitely do so. For a 20% discount, email me at my first name at mysql dot com. Register soon because tutorials are already selling out or entirely sold out.
Hitchhacker’s Guide to the MySQL Conference
PHP Developer’s Edition
This blog post marks the first in a series of guides to the conference that we’ll be publishing in the next couple weeks leading up to the conference. The guides are intended to help a specific audience find the sessions that will likely be the most interesting for them. The first edition of the Hitchhacker’s Guide is for PHP and MySQL developers. As PHP is dear to my heart, I’ll be writing this one myself. Others will be following up with other editions, and the guides will all be posted on the MySQL Forge‘s wiki pages for the conference.
If you attended last year’s conference, you will undoubtedly remember some of the most entertaining and memorable keynotes ever given at a MySQL Conference (or any other conference, IMHO…). Guy Kawasaki dazzled, Eben Moglen awed, and a panel of DB Egos amused the keynote audiences. This year’s lineup is, in a word, amazing, and any PHP developer worth their salt is going to want to hear all of them. Here, however, are the three that PHP-ites may find the most fascinating…
A Head in the Cloud – The Power of Infrastructure as a Service is a keynote delivered by the reknowned Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon.com. The keynote is about the challenges faced while building Amazon.com and the future challenges this industry is bound to face. So, why should PHP developers want to hear about Amazon.com if that site isn’t a developed in PHP? Because the talk is predominantly about the challenges that scalable environments face. Regardless of whether Amazon.com is written in PHP, developers using PHP still face similar challenges in scaling to meet the demands of modern applications. So, listen and learn from one of the best.
Copyright Regime vs. Civil Liberties. Rick Falkvinge is the head of the Swedish Pirate Party… What on Earth does this have to do with PHP developers? Everything. As PHP developers, we use a language that is almost 100% community-driven, and not backed by a single corporation. It is a defining characteristic of the PHP language itself, and the community as a whole, that no one person owns PHP. It’s a communal thing! Well, Rick will be speaking about the problems with copyright laws as they exist today, and what things are being done to address those problems. In light of the recent debates regarding PDOv2, this is something all PHP developers should keep an eye on!
A Match Made in Heaven? The Social Graph and the Database. Jeff Rothschild, VP of Technology at Facebook. Facebook is a huge PHP shop. Facebook is a huge MySQL shop. Facebook is huge. Facebook. Enough said.
Tutorial Day (Monday)
My recommendations would be to catch Giuseppe Maxia and Jan Kneschke‘s full-day tutorial on the new MySQL Proxy, Bill Karwin’s SQL Anti-Patterns tutorial, or Brian Aker and Alan Kasindorf‘s Memcached Complete tutorial. Any of them is a great bet. I’d recommend Ask Hansen‘s Real-World Web tutorial, but it’s been sold-out for a while…
Sessions to Catch
Tuesday, April 15th
After the keynotes on Tuesday morning, you’ve got a whole lot of choices — some of which will be exceedingly difficult to make. In fact, some of these sessions are going to be standing-room-only, so if you really dig(g) a session, then show up early for it and get a seat. In the first session block, there are two sessions of particular note to PHP devs. First off is Sebastian Bergmann‘s Testing PHP/MySQL Applications with PHPUnit/DbUnit. I personally have marked this on my personal conference calendar, as I am very much interested in learning how to harness DBUnit for the database-centric tests for MySQL Forge. In addition, during the same time slot is Mike Zinner from MySQL talking about the new MySQL Workbench GUI toolkit in MySQL Workbench: The Ultimate Database Design Tool for Developers. I know my friend Cal Evans will want to be in that one…
Tuesday’s 11:55am and 12:40pm time slot is perhaps the most difficult choice for the PHP developers. There are five sessions that will interest developers using PHP. Perhaps the most popular will be Robin Schumacher‘s talk about the future of MySQL and Domas Mituzas‘ talk on Practical MySQL for Web Applications. However, popularity aside, Beat Vontobel’s “The Lost Art of the Self Join“ should be amazing since he will be solving a Sudoku puzzle entirely in SQL.
Another difficult choice will present itself in the after-lunch session block. Seasoned MySQL conference speaker Mike Ho will be presenting his ideas about object-relational mapping for the PHP developer in “Beyond SQL and ORM: Object-oriented MySQL Querying in PHP“. At the same time, you may want to check out Sigurd Magnusson, of Sliverstripe fame, talk about Upgrading to Elegant and Versatile Database Architecture Using PHP5 Data Objects
Rounding out Tuesday’s must-see sessions are Baron “the Schwartz is with you” Schwartz‘ EXPLAIN Demystified, a talk which every developer interested in the performance of their SQL queries should attend, and Replication Tips and Tricks with MySQL engineer Lars Thalmann. Anyone using replication and PHP should attend this talk. Finally, Joe Stump from Digg.com will be talking about implementing Service-Oriented Architecture with PHP
Wednesday, April 16th
Wednesday also holds a number of choices for PHP devs to make. In the morning, I’d recommend catching either Roland Bouman‘s sure-to-be-cool “Grand Tour of the INFORMATION_SCHEMA” or Giuseppe‘s talk about MySQL Sandbox. If you use multiple database servers, for testing, staging, development, etc., I would highly recommend checking out the Sandbox to alleviate the pain of multiple MySQL instances. Well worth it.
Next I suggest heading over to catch Colin Charles talking about what the MySQL Community is all about; what challenges it faces, how it functions and grows, and how you can contribute to it. After lunch, you’ve got a tough decision. You can either come see me and Tobias talk about Microbenchmarks for MySQL (sure to be fun!) or view Domas Mituzas’ talk about handling character sets in MySQL and PHP, or if you are interested in an upcoming storage engine from MySQL, you can see Monty talk about the new Maria engine…
In the afternoon, be sure to check out Baron’s talk on the MySQL Query Cache or see two of our web team talk about Using Frameworks in Web Application Development. In addition, find some time to attend Tom Hanlon’s 90 minute talk on Benchmarking and Monitoring MySQL. Word of warning: Tom’s talk will be standing room only. Get there early.
At night, don’t forget to attend the MySQL Quiz Show, MC’d by yours truly, and a cocktail party sponsored by Sun directly afterwards. Get your Quiz on.
Thursday, April 17th
The final conference day is chock-full of meaty stuff for the PHP developer. After the morning keynotes, seek out George Trujillo and Alexander Nozdrin’s talk on Stored Routines or go hear Jeremy Cole and Eric Bergen talk about hardware considerations for scaling MySQL. Either talk should be dynamite.
Follow that up with the always-entertaining Damien Seguy‘s MySQL Hidden Treasures or Mark Callaghan‘s Helping InnoDB Scale on Servers with Many CPU Cores and Disks. Finally, make sure to get into the ballroom to hear Dathan Pattishall talk about his techniques for achieving massive Real-time Concurrent Writes at flickr.
Register Now for the 2008 MySQL Conference and Expo!
As you can see, there’s a ton of options for the PHP developer at this year’s conference. If you haven’t registered yet, do it now! Email me for a 20% discount code!