/ php

My first external talk

A few days ago I took the plunge into speaking at an external tech event. In the past I've never felt I've had the depth of knowledge or confidence to attempt one. But since working at Sky for over 2 years, I have greatly broadened my horizons. The work has been both interesting and challenging. I have definitely had to raise my game. The vast array of technologies I have been exposed to over the last 24+ months has been overwhelming in a very positive and gratifying way. Due to the projects and features I have been immersed in, this has given me the confidence and the ability to attempt my recent talk.


From the feedback I had from colleagues who attended and others, was very positive (hope they were not just being nice). My goal was to teach at least one person in the audience something they didn't know. So I achieved my goal. Looking to practice my public speaking skills in the near future for other events. The best thing I've found is to watch yourself on a recording afterwards. I'm sure you will probably cringe like I did, but it's great to analyse yourself and look for areas where you could have improved.

The focus and basis was to discuss the ingredients for standing up a PHP Silex API in production. With a special emphasis around how you can make it more secure and improve the performance. I discussed about trimming the modules you import with Composer to keep your PHP codebase smaller and reduce the attack surface area. I then went to discuss that you should be using PHP 7 as PHP 5 has become antiquated and is slower and 5.6 is racing towards EOL. Deeper into my talk I iterated the benefits of NGINX and how you can tune your configuration. The talk then focused on containerisation with Docker in particular. I shared my analysis of 3 Docker images I had tested for performance and startup time. I closed the talk off with my experience and suggestions of performance and security tools.

If you feel you would like to do talk at a meetup of conference, I highly recommend you do so. I spent hours preparing for this one and did a couple of rehearsals, but in the end it felt like it had paid off. I was nervous at the start of the talk, but soon got into my stride and relished the experience. Take that leap and share with the development community. You won't regret it!

My slides are below and if you have any questions email me or leave a comment below.