Saturday 30th June saw a one off event organised by the PHPNW community called LAMP and Beyond. The idea was that it would bring together people of differing abilities with the aim of sharing skills and experience with servers, programming, source control, or whatever happened to be of interest at the time.
With 30 or so people signed up to the event we filled the top floor of MadLab in Manchester and got started (after a bit of coffee first). Taking some post-it notes we wrote down what we wanted to know about and what we could teach about onto a board and then broke off into groups where people's interest matched.
The first group I sat in was run my Lorna Mitchell, who talked about git and how she used git to source control the joind.in project. After talking about the basics she then made a change to the joind.in codebase and showed how git integrates with different platforms (Jenkins in this case) to allow for autoamted testing and deployment. She even pushed a small change live. I have been using git for a number of weeks now but it was useful for me to get a better idea about approaches that can be taken in workflow and branches. Paul Woodhead (a fellow NWDUG member) was one of the people who was in the git discussion so we then broke off and talked about how git can be used in Drupal which was a good way to relate Lorna's talk with work I am going at the moment.
After a bit of pizza for lunch (thanks @magma_digital!) we realigned ourselves into different groups and started the afternoon session. This consisted of things like Reddis and Symfony. I spent some time here getting to grips with what I had learnt in the morning sessions and playing about with bits of code. I also did a bit of research and was able to ask people around me about a couple of things.
The final session of the day consisted of a look at the Jenkins with Jeremy Coates. His experience with Jenkins meant that he could tell us about perhaps the most difficult part of the software; getting it set up. By the end of the session a group of 6 of us had installed Jenkins, installed all of the PHP related tools and plugins needed and to start building a project. Jeremy's support here was invaluable as I have tried to get into Jenkins a couple of times but had always failed in getting all of the components I needed. Unfortunately we run out of time a little, but we covered a lot of ground before the end.
Over the course of the day there were sessions about Symfony, Reddis, MongoDB, Capistrano, Object Orentation, WordPress as well as a couple of sessions where people just got together and hashed out ideas. Any event that I can walk away from having learnt something is a good event, and LAMP and beyond was no exception. Hopefully this event will be held again at some point. Thanks to Jeremy Coates, Magma Digital and all those at MadLab that made the event possible.