The Functional PHP tour

Submitted by Larry on 13 April 2014 - 11:35pm

Ever heard of functional programming? Not procedural programming, but actual functional programming. Probably, as some fancy academic thing that no one really uses, right?

Did you know you can do it in PHP, too? It's true. In fact, I'll be speaking about it four times in the next couple of weeks!

For whatever reason, last year everyone kept asking for my Aphorisms of API design talk. I ended up giving it in Dallas, Costa Rica, Prague, Madison, Paris, and Fox Valley, IL. (I may have forgotten one...) This year, the popular talk is Functional PHP. I've given this talk a few times now, revising it each time. This year's edition includes a revised history section to better capture the history of functional programming as a philosophy in contrast to procedural programming and Turing Machines.

Really, it's a lot more exciting than it sounds! The subtitle is "doing awesome cool stuff with anonymous functions", which have been available in PHP for some time now but still many people haven't learned to grok them. It's also about the mental shift from "process think" to "logic think". Thinking about a problem not as a series of steps, but as a logical transformation of data from point A to point B.

And you have no excuse to not get to see it!

The first showing will be at Refactor::Chicago, the Chicago-area multi-language meetup. It's coming up fairly soon, on Wednesday 23 April. It won't be at the usual location but hosted at We have free parking, unlike the usual location. Although the talk is in PHP, the concepts behind it are language-agnostic so if you're in the city do stop by!

The second, also in Chicago, is at php[tek], from May 19-23rd. Tek is one of the largest PHP conferences in North America, and I'm looking forward to getting back to it after a few years off. Did I mention it's right here in Chicago? (OK, it's out by O'Hare, but still, no flights for you Chicagoans!)

I will also be presenting "What to expect from Drupal 8?" a session for developers to get a taste for the upcoming Drupal 8 release. If you turned your nose up at previous versions of Drupal because of its quirky, unusual architecture it's time to take a second look. I won't be doing a usual "hello world and done" type session, but giving more of an architectural overview of the system.

For the Drupal set, you can also catch Functional PHP at DrupalCon Austin 2 weeks later, from June 2-6th. Expect over 3000 Drupal, Symfony, and general web professionals, all packed into one convention center for a week. It should be a blast. :-) I will also be giving a Core Conversation session on The Road to 8.1, about how to plan ahead for Drupal 8's new release cycle.

Finally, if that's not enough for you, I will also be presenting for Nomad PHP in June. Nomad PHP is an online PHP user group, with presentations given via live screencast. Anywhere in the world, you can see presentations by world-class presenters (or sometimes me). Even if you have no local user group, a couple of bucks will get you access to a conference-quality presentation every month. Learning: You can't get away from it!

'course, I haven't figured out my summer/fall schedule yet. I believe functional programming is the next-big-thing for PHP, now that most of us have figured out dependency injection, so I'm trying to speak about it as often as I can in as many places as I can. Let me know if you would like to see it somewhere else.

And oh yeah, somewhere in there I'm also giving a keynote at Lonestar PHP April 25-26th on modernizing big software projects, like Drupal. You know, in case you're coming. You are, right?