Throwback to PHP Brussels Meetup June 2023

On June 22nd, SensioLabs welcomed the PHP Brussels Meetup group for an exceptional meetup featuring Nicolas Grekas and Juliette Reinders Folmer. This meetup was the opportunity to connect with the local community six months before SymfonyCon Brussels 2023.

The dark blue roll up describing the agenda at Brussels PHP Meetup

PHP Brussels is the leading Meetup group in the Brussels area. It gathers developers of all levels sharing a strong interest in PHP and the broader PHP ecosystem.

In June, SensioLabs, the creator of Symfony, partnered with Brussels PHP to organize a meetup together.

An awesome Brussels PHP Meetup

The meetup took place in the gorgeous setting of The Nestwork, a co-working located in Brussels where Smile Benelux has its offices. SensioLabs and Smile Benelux are both part of the Smile Group.

Many empty wooden chairs in front of a TV screen and a painted wall before the Brussels PHP meetup

We were 50+ attendees to listen to 2 absolutely top speakers:

  • Nicolas Grekas is one of the top contributors to Symfony and a member of the Symfony core team. He puts a lot of effort into making Symfony fast, smooth, and extensible, without compromising.
  • Juliette Reinders Folmer is co-maintainer of PHP CodeSniffer, co-author of PHPCompatibility, initiator of PHPUnit Polyfills, and created the PHP Cheatsheets. She loves discussing how we can all contribute to changing the dev-culture and the code, to be better.

The event started with an informal food & drinks moment. So the attendees could arrive and have first informal chats. Then, Wim Goodens, a permanent sponsor of the Brussels PHP Meetup through the company, began the meetup with a short introduction.

First, it was Nicolas Grekas’ turn to present “Developing Symfony Applications in 2023.” Nicolas updated the audience with new Symfony features, which are game-changers for developers. They are new components like Scheduler, AssetMapper, RemoteEvent, and Webhook. Or new additions to improve Developer Experience, dependency injections, and existing components (for instance HttpClient, Controller, Notifier, etc.) Symfony 7 is coming at the end of the year, and we are excited to see what it will look like.

Nicolas Grekas and Wim Goodens talking in front of the attendees of the meetup. A lightning block with the inscription "We love Symfony" is in the foreground.

Second, after a 10-minute break, Juliette Reinders Folmer gave her talk “Tackling the Elephpant in the Room.” Juliette focused on PHPCompatibility, an external standard for PHP CodeSniffer. It is also a tool to help find PHP cross-version incompatibilities. She explained the impact of the many syntax enhancements in PHP thanks to PHPCompatibility.

A Meetup before SymfonyCon

The two presentations sparked many interesting questions. Nicolas and Juliette were happy to answer them. The meetup was really a conversation with the local community.

After the talks, the event ended with informal chats between the attendees. We had delicious stone-oven pizzas, IPA beers from Brussels Beer Project, and soft drinks. It was the perfect time to talk about the two presentations and get to know better the other attendees. They came from all over Belgium and even from the Netherlands. We had a lot of fun meeting the local community, who loves Symfony. We put in sale Symfony swag like hoodies and mugs: everything has been sold at the end of the event!

PHP Brussels Meetup attendees during the social event after the conferences.

The PHP Brussels Meetup was also the opportunity to spread more information about the upcoming SymfonyCon Brussels 2023. The largest Symfony conference of the year will be in the Belgian capital city this year. On December 7-8th, we are waiting for +1,500 Symfony enthusiasts at Square Brussels in the Mont des Arts. The call for papers is open until August 28th. Many surprises will be unveiled soon. Tickets at regular price are still available here until October 16th.

A big thank you to Juliette Reinders Folmer, Nicolas Grekas, PHP Brussels,, Symfony, and Smile Benelux for this amazing meetup.

See you all in December at SymfonyCon Brussels 2023!

SymfonyCon Brussels 2023