In case you hadn't heard yet, Drupal 8 RC 1 is out. And there has been much rejoicing! I'm going to save my own lengthy celebration-and-thank-you post for the 8.0.0 release, so for now I will just point everyone at Campbell Vertesi's post and say "what he said!".
But it's also a good time to consider the impact that Drupal 8 has had on the PHP community. The "off the island" movement has grown large, and people outside of Drupal are echoing the same message. In fact, not one but two conferences this fall are actively trying to build bridges between PHP sub-communities: ZendCon and php[world].
php[world] began last year, as the second conference by php[architect] after their long-running php[tek]. (Side note: I know brackets are not letters. Sorry. I blame Eli White.) It's explicit goal is to be a "summit" of different PHP projects. Last year's keynotes included Drupal's Angie "webchick" Byron and Jeffrey "JAM" McGuire, as well as WordPress's Andrew Nacin. It's back this year, and I expect it to be just as good.
The idea of php[world] is to encourage cross-pollination and collaboration between projects. There are distinct tracks for Magento, Laraqvel, WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Zend Framework, Symfony, and Cake PHP: Most of the big players. Some sessions are targeted at just one framework, others at several. Importantly, however, they're all mixed up. It will be really hard to go to just Drupal, or just Joomla, or just Cake sessions. That's by design. The goal of the conference is to break down barriers and encourage attendees to learn and experience beyond their own island. Keynotes this year include Andrew Nacin of WordPress, Tessa Mero of Joomla, Taylor Ottwell of Laravel, and general PHP luminaries Lorna Mitchell and Anthony Ferrara (both of whom have graced DrupalCons before). And lunch will, of course, by a smorgasbord of everyone. A perfect opportunity to chat with people you probably don't know yet but could learn from (and vice versa).
Even then, there's still 9 Drupal-targeted sessions (including by yours truly) as well as many general PHP talks that should be applicable to everyone, Drupal or not (also including yours truly). As Drupal is now a multi-island project, attending an archipelago conference is something I invite everyone to do. Hopefully I'll see many of my readers there in Washington, DC, 16-20 November.
One of the oldest PHP conferences around, ZendCon this year is taking a cue from php[world] as well. Featuring sessions targeting a variety of frameworks, including 6 on Drupal (including, again, yours truly), this "more corporate" (relatively speaking) conference is trying to do its part to bring communities together as well. Plus, there are many sessions of general PHP interest, including multiple on asynchronous PHP. (Why does that matter? Check out the video of my DrupalCon Barcelona talk on Drupal in 2020 to see. You need to be ready for this.)
ZendCon is one of the largest PHP events in the world (even if it's dwarfed by DrupalCon), so if you want to get off the island and meet more non-Drupal developers (Tip: Yes you do), this is another good place to do it. ZendCon is coming up fast, 19-22 October in Las Vegas. That's just 2 weeks away. If you're in the area, come on by.
The PHP islands are dead. Love live the new, collaborative PHP community. Let's get together soon.