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php[tek] 2015

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Earlier this month, our Senior Software Engineer, Garritt, and one of our developers, Matt, had the opportunity to attend php[tek] in Chicago.

We met up with Matt and had him give us a rundown of what he learned at the conference.

First of all, what is php?

PHP is short for Hypertext Preprocessor and is a widely-used open source web scripting language used for web development but also as a general-purpose programming language. PHP is used to add functionality to a website that HTML is unable to achieve solely.

PHP can be used for numerous things:

  • Perform calculations

  • Collect user information

  • Interact with MySQL databases


What is the point of php[tek]?

The point of php[tek] is to bring together the php community to help promote growth and share information.


Tell us about your experience at php[tek].

It was my first time ever going to php[tek]. I liked the conversations and networking opportunities.  The talks were informative and interesting. I think all of our developers should get a chance to attend.

There was a great deal going on; lectures, live podcasts, an open source summit and nightly receptions. There was even a real life version of the game Clue, which was the theme of php[tek] this year.

Attendees and speakers were invited to participate and help solve the “murder” that took place.  

The nightly receptions allowed attendees and presenters to interact with each other. People hung around in the atrium together, playing board and LAN games with one another.

One evening there were a group of people playing chiptune music just for fun! We were all kind of geeking. It was great!

For those unfamiliar with chiptune or 8-bit music, it is synthesized electronic music produced by the sound chips of vintage computers, video game consoles and arcade machines, such as: Atari or Nintendeo.

I also met a new friend. His name is Mike Hernandez and he is a Software Engineer for He gave a lecture called “The New Zone: Meditation, Mindfulness and Code,” where he spoke about incorporating yoga and meditation to help keep you balanced and more focused when working with code. You need to be in a particular mindset when approaching it.


What was your favorite lecture to attend at php[tek] and why?

“Polyglot Databases” presented by MajiD Fatemian.

MajiD Fatemian is a senior developer at Ubisoft Montreal. Ubisoft specializes in video game development and has developed games such as, Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Ghost Recon and Just Dance to name a few.

MajiD spoke about utilizing MySQL (a relational database) combined with MongoDB (a schema-less database) to collect infamous amounts of information across multiple games, especially for Kinnect and Wii.

Ubisoft was using MySQL to collect information for one game, but then decided to create a series of games utilizing MySQL as well.

MajiD wanted to collect information across all games. This is where the schema-less database comes into play.

MajiD developed a polyglot solution and combined MySQL with MongoDG to achieve his goal of collect information across multiple games.

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