Sheffield PHP

My first meetup!

July 21st, 2017 • ☕ 3 min read

I’m sat on the train, slightly intoxicated, on the way home from my first ever meetup. Sheffield PHP. Kindly sponsored by the guys at Evoluted.

This was in fact the first Sheffield PHP meetup after a long hiatus and what a fantastic way to make a comeback. Tonight’s speaker was Sam Burns from Inviqa giving a talk on Driving Design with Behat. Brilliant talk, excellently delivered by Sam. You can view the slides here.

If I’m honest, I was slightly apprehensive about attending the meetup tonight. Being new to development, a few hours before, the impostor syndrome had kicked in and I did consider getting my usual train home and giving it a miss. However, it was time for me to suck it up and take some of my own advice! — I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did. The organisers and all the guys were friendly and welcoming and the talk by Sam was awesome.

Driving Design with Behat

Sam spoke about Behat, Behaviour Driven Development, Modelling by Example and Domain Driven Design. Being a relative newcomer to development, I thought these topic’s might have been well over my head. In fact, this talk was incredibly interesting and delivered at a level everyone could understand. It really opened my eyes to just how this method of development could really help me as a Junior Developer.

For me, sometimes the hardest thing to understand in software development is not actually the development itself but the requirements of the end user and the real world implementation. To be honest, it’s something that I struggle with on a day to day basis. I don’t have a problem writing the code as such. The problem is understanding the domain of the end product.

Sam talked about the process of understanding the domain requirements first and then using that to drive the development and architecture of the software. I also loved the idea of using ubiquitous domain language to help make your code more readable and understandable.

This has really left me thinking.

I’ve always assumed that adding this type of testing could convolute the development process for a junior engineer. However, I’ve left thinking that writing these type of tests first may actually simplify the process for me.

Behat is something that I’m most certainly going to look into further and hopefully try and implement somewhere. Thank you Sam.

After a tough day at work, I left this meetup feeling encouraged and motivated. Yes, it was a free bar and the talk was interesting, which inevitably helped, but what I found most encouraging was that I didn’t feel out of place, I certainly didn’t feel like an impostor. Apparently. it seems that I might actually (vaguely) know what I’m talking about! Who would have thought that this time last year I was fitting boilers for a living!

Seriously though, it really did reinforce exactly how far I’ve come and how much I’ve progressed.

Whilst I don’t think I’m looking for a new job just yet. I was very interested to hear that a lot of the companies where people worked were actually hiring. I spoke to 3 separate people who’s companies were all currently looking for developers.

If you are looking for work, its definitely worth checking out your local meetup and networking with local companies and agencies. Attending meetups may be the hidden gem when it comes to getting a new job. More on that at a later date I think.

Overall, what a positive experience Sheffield PHP was. Again, many thanks to Evoluted for sponsoring the event and providing the free bar and thank you to Sam Burns for a very good talk.

What a welcoming community and great bunch of people. Cant wait for the next one!

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