GrumpyConf 2018

March 22-24, 2018 -- Learn like a grumpy programmer

High Performance PHP and Professional Development

I helped run True North PHP for five years, and now I wanted to do something different. I want to use my conference organizing experience to do something unique for you.

GrumpyConf 2018 is your chance to hear from some of the PHP community's most impactful speakers in the morning, and then interact with them and your fellow attendees in an open spaces environment in the afternoon. This event will be small and focused on developing your technical and personal skills.

The venue is the beautiful Elm Hurst Inn in Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada (about 90 minutes west of Toronto). Breakfast is provided for guests staying overnight at the Inn, lunch and snacks will be provided to attendees. Additional nights at the hotel are available if you need them, just let me know what you require. At this point in time we only have tickets that do not include accomodation available.

Each of the available experts has a specific area of expertise, and you will have the opportunity to discuss your real-world situations in small groups with them. I want you to have the type of access that is difficult to get at traditional conferences. If you've ever heard of people talk about the "hallway track" at events, well, this entire event is like one big "hallway track"

Thank you to Future500 for sponsoring this year's event


Thursday, March 22

Friday, March 23

Saturday, March 24

  • 09:00 AM: Lorna Mitchell -- Roadtrip Through Database Country
  • 10:00 AM: Matthew Weier-O'Phinney -- The Promise of Middleware
  • 11:00 AM: Sara Golemon -- High Performance Developer Efficiency
  • 12:00 PM: Lunch and then open spaces!
  • 05:00 PM: Birthday party for Chris!

Getting Here

The closest airport is London International Airport, a smaller regional airport that offers connections to larger airports, like Toronto Pearson. Either way you will need additional ground transportation to get to the venue. I recommend car rental or the use of services like Robert Q.

Additional flight + ground transportation options are available from Detroit Metropolitan or even Buffalo Niagara International Airport


I've selected 5 speakers who I feel will push both your PHP skills and your professional development. So who is speaking?

Moses Ngone

There are some folks whom you come across online and you say to yourself "I need to figure out how to get this person to speak at my event" and things never line up quite right. This time around, I made sure to ask Moses to come and talk.

His background is one of picking lots of interesting (at least to me) projects and his experiences will be invaluable to someone looking to build a career full of opportunities to work on things that interact with the real world.

Developing Beyond The Web

The fast development of "smart" devices and their demand has opened up new avenues for the web developer. This session will look at the new opportunities, challenges and how one can leverage skills, tools and processes already available to the modern day web developer.

Sara Golemon

She's part of the core PHP team, the release manager for PHP 7.2 and worked on HHVM and Hack. She also always calls me Grumpy. Sara is an entertaining speaker who loves talking about programming languages She spoke at TrueNorthPHP and I'm happy she accepted my invitation to come and speak at GrumpyConf 2018.

High Performance Developer Efficiency

The performance war between PHP and HHVM is over, but HackLang still leads the way in language innovation and developer efficiency. In this presentation, Sara will introduce you to the the PHP that might have been and still can be.

Elizabeth Marie Smith

Elizabeth is the person who got me into mentoring with her infectious energy surrounding teaching people

She is one of the few people putting a lot of work into making PHP run on Windows and has probably forgotten more about the internals of PHP than I will ever know. I always come away from her talks saying to myself "wow, I knew way less about this than I thought"

Matthew Weier-O'Phinney

From divinity major at college to "Supreme Allied Commander" of Zend Framework, Matthew is one of the most well-rounded people I've gotten to know over my years in this industry. I had been trying for years to get him to speak at my events, and I'm grateful he accepted my invitation this time.

Matthew is also one of the lucky few that was inspired by my 4-day work week strategy and made it work for himself!

The Promise of Middleware

Several years ago, a movement towards PHP microframeworks began, and largely fell by the wayside. The main problem was interoperability: every framework provided its own abstractions around HTTP messages, and the contracts around dispatching code varied greatly.

In recent years, however, PHP has undergone a renaissance, in large part due to the rise of standards and the ease of managing dependencies via Composer. Middleware finally fulfills the promise of MicroPHP, in ways many never envisioned.

Find out how middleware can simplify your development of applications, both small and complex, and how else it can benefit your development and teams.

Lorna Mitchell

The very first time I saw Lorna speak she did it with no slides, which blew my mind! She is also another speaker whom I have invited over the years to hop onto a plane and fly across the Atlantic to come to Canada and speak.

Lorna always packs a lot of knowledge into her talks, and I never come away from any of her talks without learning something new. Lorna's talent lies in cutting through complexity and teaching you what you really need to know.

Roadtrip Through Database Country

Databases must be reliable. As a result, developers mostly stick with the tools they already know and trust, leaning more on the side of safety than innovation when choosing a database. This is totally reasonable, but if you're curious then let's put the top down and take a road trip around Database Country, looking at the options that are out there and what might lead us to choose them as our destination one day. We'll start with the well-trodden streets of relational databases, the head out to the rolling hills of NoSQL to check out document databases, graph databases, and more. This high-level tour of the landscape will give you some pointers for what's available, which problems they solve, when to combine solutions - and when to simply turn tail and head for home.

Conference Code Of Conduct

Please carefully read the conference's Code of Conduct before purchasing a ticket. I strongly believe in a safe and supportive environment for all attendees.