Nexmo at Midwest PHP 2018

Published March 16, 2018 by Michael Heap

This time last week, we were kicking off Midwest PHP 2018 at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Minnesota. We had a fantastic two days meeting the attendees, speakers, and organisers, as well as learning a thing or two.

Surveys, Surveys, Surveys! Revealing Framework Usage and Topic Interests

Part of our role on the Nexmo DevRel team is to keep track of the directions that communities are moving in and make sure that we support everyone to the best of our ability. To help with that, we put together a little survey that we asked the attendees to complete Here are our findings:

Backend framework usage graph

Developers use a wide range of frameworks. Laravel and Symfony usage is close at 35.7% and 33.3%, respectively. However, WordPress dominates with 52.4% of attendees saying that they regularly work with the tool.

As we’re building out a JavaScript SDK for Nexmo Stitch, learning about which JavaScript frameworks PHP developers use was of particular interest to us. jQuery dominated the results, with 78% of the attendees working with it regularly.

Something particularly interesting for us is that whilst we provided vanilla JS (14.6%) as an option, most people prefer working with a framework. Our quickstart guides currently use vanilla JS so this is an insight that we’ll be using to help shape our content going forwards.

The organisers sent out a survey asking which sessions people were most interested in before the event to ensure that they matched the talks to the correct rooms. This worked fantastically—no room was standing room only at any point. For those of you submitting to conferences, testing, readability (code and documentation!), and devops are what people want to see.

Outstanding Sessions on Grammar and Mentoring

As well as staffing the booth, we managed to sneak into some of the sessions. All of the talks were excellent (as demonstrated by their ratings), but there were two in particular that were relevant for our team.

The first was “Don’t eat grandma: common grammatical issues in technical writing” from Kara Ferguson. Kara took us through issues that may seem small to us, but can totally change the meaning of what we’re writing. For example, ID and Id have totally different meanings for those that have studied psychology. We made extensive notes in the session and will be working to incorporate all the tips that Kara shared into our writing.

The second was Tessa Kriesel’s talk on developing a culture of mentorship. Personal and professional growth is at the core of Nexmo’s developer relations team, and seeing Tessa explain how to stay focused on growing the skills of both our team and the developers that use the Nexmo platform was an awesome way to wrap things up before the closing keynote.

See You Next Year (Hopefully)!

This was our first year at Midwest PHP as a sponsor (though it was our second as an attendee). Everyone we spoke to was having a great time and we’d love to be there again next year. Hopefully see you there in 2019!

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