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Symfony 2014 Year in Review: London Symfony Meetups

This is a guest post written by Jakub Zalas, Technical Team Leader at SensioLabs UK

2014 was a really successful year for the Symfony Meetup Group in London. I've been involved helping to organize these meetups for a few years now, but it was never a regular thing until this year.

With a huge help of my SensioLabs UK colleagues we managed to bring the group to the next level. Each meetup we're getting around 60-90 attendees, which is a big improvement compared to the previous years. We also started recording the talks. Since the Symfony community in London is much bigger, I believe we can do even better in 2015!

Our meetings are less formal than a regular conference, and the crowd is very friendly. The atmosphere is relaxed, we usually meet every other month in a pub and there are free drinks involved. It is a very friendly environment, which encourages discussions lasting long after the official talk finishes. You can meet all sorts of people interested in Symfony, from the very beginners, to developers who's been using Symfony since before the first beta was released.

Meetups like this are a perfect opportunity not only to learn or socialize, but also to test yourself at giving presentations. This is often one of the first steps aspiring speakers make into the world of conference speaking. If you'd like to share your Symfony knowledge, or gain some speaking experience don't hesitate to contact me via

Below are the talks and presenters we were lucky to hear this year. Some of the talks were recorded, so you can still watch them if you missed the meetup, or you don't live in London.

Optimizing Your Front End Workflow

We take great care in our back end coding workflow, optimizing, automating and abstracting as much as is possible. So why don't we do that with our front end code?

In this session, Matthew demonstrated tools to help us take our front end workflow to the next level, and hopefully optimize our load times in the process!

We looked at using Twig templates and optimizing them for the different areas of your application, integrating Bower and Gulp for managing assets and processing our front-end code to avoid repetitive tasks - looking at how that impacts the typical Symfony workflow.

Presentation slides

About the speaker

Matthew Davis is a Symfony2 developer from Stoke-on-Trent, who has been working with PHP since 2004. He's a recovering musician having spent 5 years touring the world on cruise ships playing drums and keyboards. He can mostly be found luring on Twitter.

Applying Domain Driven Design with Symfony2 projects

When we learn Symfony2 from the documentation, it provides us with easy and convenient ways of getting the job done. Over time our projects grow and this early convenience can become an obstacle. In this session Marek focused on how to make our code less dependent on Symfony2 and more domain focused.

Presentation slides

About the speaker

Marek Matulka is a software engineer from SensioLabs UK, who has been working with PHP since 2000.

Silex saved me from my legacy code

Facing down a megalith of legacy code is never easy. It sounds like a good idea to migrate it incrementally to a new codebase, with some buzzwords like SOA, TDD and clean code thrown in there, but how do you actually do it? And with what tools?

This is the story of how a small, simple Silex application is allowing a large tech company to modernize its legacy codebase. Using Symfony's younger brother, a simple suite of REST services can be created to support incremental code modernization.

Presentation video

About the speaker

Sam Burns is a Software Architect at Affiliate Window, the UK's largest affiliate marketing network. Sam is an enthusiastic proponent of TDD, clean code and the One True Way.

Twitter profile

Scaling Symfony2 apps with RabbitMQ

Dealing with resource-consuming tasks in PHP can affect performance or even make you lose money because of poor user experience. Fortunately there are strategies for dealing with such problems and one of these is queueing. In this session Kacper focused on what RabbitMQ is, how it works, how we can use it with PHP and integrate it with Symfony2 applications. This talk will give you an idea of where you can apply queues in your system, and then make them fly and scale!

About the speaker

Kacper Gunia works as a Software Engineer and Trainer for SensioLabs UK in London. He is a Symfony Certified Developer with 5 years of experience with the framework. Passionate about TDD/BDD, huge believer in Open Source and Agile practitioner.

Speed up your Symfony2 application and build awesome features with Redis

Redis is an extremely fast data structure server that can be easily added to your existing stack and act like a Swiss army knife to help solve many problems that would be extremely difficult to workaround with the traditional RDBMS. In this session Ricard explained what Redis is, how it works, what awesome features we can build with it, and how we can use it with PHP and Symfony2 applications making them blazing fast.

About the speaker

Ricard Clau is a Software Engineer with a broad experience as technical lead in companies like Hailo or SocialPoint amongst others. He's a Symfony2 lover and a strong PHP believer, he tries to contribute to Open Source projects, specially in the Symfony2 ecosystem. He is also curious about technologies like Erlang, Go and NoSQL databases.

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