Back from SymfonyLive Paris 2022, SensioLabs’ 3 selected speakers talk about this unique experience. They answered our questions and gave us a glimpse behind the scenes of the conference from a speaker’s point of view. From the choice of a topic to their preparation, and their feeling after this experience, read their testimonies.
Laurent Voullemier: an SSO with Keyloack and Symfony
Why did you choose this topic? Where did you find the idea?
Laurent Voullemier: Symfony’s security system had just been redesigned, I knew the theory behind it, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to get my hands on it yet. Besides, I had heard a few times about Keycloak to do OpenId Connect, but I didn’t know much about the tool. It was a rewarding opportunity for me: discovering Keycloak and experimenting at the same time on how to connect it to the new security system. The experience became an article, then a talk and I was chosen as a speaker at SymfonyLive Paris 2022.
How did you feel speaking on stage at the SymfonyLive?
Laurent Voullemier: It was the first time I spoke on stage in a physical conference and I loved it! Beyond the talk itself, I enjoyed exchanging with other speakers, taking some advice from people more experienced in public speaking. People also come to chat with you after your talk to carry on with the conversation. It was really a great experience, hopefully I’ll do it again soon!
What is your advice for those who are hesitating or would like to become speakers at SymfonyLive Paris?
Laurent Voullemier: I have two pieces of advice, but they are not from me. They are from Pascal Martin, a well-known figure in the French PHP community. The first one is to fight against impostor syndrome. It is unlikely that your are the only very best person to speak about a subject. However, even if someone in the room knows the subject better than you, it is the speaker who decides to be there and transmit what he knows. And that’s the most important thing.
My other tip is not to be afraid of stage fright. Even the most experienced speakers can get stage fright at the beginning of a talk, but it doesn’t matter. It usually goes quickly. And a little stage fright also helps to increase your focus when speaking.
Alexandre Daubois: Little-known Symfony components that are worth a look.
Where does your topic come from?
Alexandre Daubois: First, I wrote an article summarizing 50 Symfony components. I love this principle of having tools from the Symfony framework, reusable in any PHP project! One thing led to another, and I realized that there were many components that we were using daily without realizing it. Even better: many Symfony components were unknown to a lot of developers!
So I selected some components with the following thought in mind. I wanted to talk about features that could surprise and that developers could immediately test in their applications because they were super helpful and solved recurring problems.
Moreover, it was the occasion to talk about HtmlSanitizer, a brand-new component expected in less than two months. I hope I was a good promoter for it!
Can you describe your feelings about your experience as a speaker?
Alexandre Daubois: It was awesome, from start to end. First of all, as a speaker, I was able to have long and concrete discussions on many subjects with people who are at the heart of the Symfony framework and ecosystem. I talked about Symfony, about technical issues, and many things that have nothing to do with it: it was very enriching.
I felt honored to have the opportunity to talk with so many people during these two days and share my knowledge with the audience. Sharing this experience as a speaker in front of friends, colleagues, and all the speakers was a great moment. And then, of course, I discovered so many new thing to try to find the best way to explain things. In fact, the one who learned the most from my presentation was myself!
Do you have advice for people who want to get started?
Alexandre Daubois: Explaining something to other people is the best way to learn and improve. I was prone to impostor syndrome at times. I had the chance to talk about it with Nicolas Grekas and Jérôme Tamarelle (speakers and members of the core team) the day before my talk. Speakers at SymfonyLive Paris 2022 can benefit from their experience. It helped me feel more legitimate! Their conclusion is simple: we are here above all to help people discover things, to make them “connect neurons.” You don’t need to talk about a technically advanced subject: introducing concepts is already a lot. We are, in a way, “at the service of knowledge.”
I started preparing my talk with a simple observation. I don’t expect the audience to remember everything. I want my presentation to be in the back of your mind, and one day you’ll say, “Oh, but… I think I’ve heard that before! It allows me to gauge how far I need to go in explaining things!
Finally, don’t be afraid to talk about something you’ve already seen somewhere. Your way of explaining things may resonate better with some people than any other.
Etienne Lebarillier: Hexagonal architecture, no more theory, let’s get practical!
What is the genesis of your talk?
Etienne Lebarillier: I chose this topic because hexagonal architecture with Symfony is my everyday life. I’m working for our client Akeneo, and they have a strong culture of software crafting.
For almost a year, on our project, we have been implementing the concepts of software crafting, and it’s a true pleasure. I wanted to share this with the rest of the Symfony community.
How was your experience as one of the speakers at SymfonyLive Paris 2022?
Etienne Lebarillier: It was a fantastic experience! As a speaker, I could feel that I was at the heart of the conference. This way, I had the opportunity to share my professional experience with the whole community and get face-to-face feedback.
Can you give tips to become a speaker?
Etienne Lebarillier: If there is a subject you are passionate about or an experience you would like to share, don’t hesitate: go for it! It’s an experience that’s worth trying.
And a little advice: don’t forget to plug in your computer when you’re on stage. A computer that shuts down happens too quickly 😄
Thanks to our three speakers at SymfonyLive Paris 2022 for their feedback, and congratulations on their talks!
Are you looking for our general summary of the SymfonyLive Paris 2022? You can find it here.