Community also means fun!

“Life is more fun if you play games.” — Roald Dahl

I often say that the PHP Community is not all about PHP and work, its about community, friends and good times. As an expat recently arrived in Amsterdam I found lots of comfort in the group and made new friends that have grown into my closest circles. I also found that when life decided to give me a hard time, these same people were there to lend a hand.

Cards Against HumanityThe is the spirit of community and is what I like to grow and care for wherever I go, its not about learning its about sharing good times and knowledge with a group of like minded people.

In keeping with this we had a wild idea one day, let’s all get together to play games! Aisha quickly volunteered to be the champion behind the idea and we started working out details. We quickly settled on Café Batavia 1920 as our first venue since they have an awesome back room that would be perfect for this.

Turns out we have loads of games so we picked a few of them and in the beginning of october got together for the first Geeks & Games meet up. And it was amazing, the back room echoed with laughter all night, the beer kept coming and we had fun all night, from 19h to 3am.

We also welcomed a few members who had never come to any meet up, even a recently arrived expat from South Africa. It was really great to off these newcomers with the same network and friendliness that i got from the group.

MunchkinBetween games of CAH, Munchkin, Mascarade and Tsuro we had a night full of healthy competition and complete and utter madness. We made new friends and we strengthened already existing friendships, at least that is how it felt to me.

So having decided this was a success, we came to the one obvious conclusion, DO IT AGAIN!

In december we will meet again (reserve the 12th/December!), and hopefully settle into a pattern every 2 months.

User Groups! This is an amazing way to strengthen the unity of your group and introduce new members into the fold, if you want to try it, feel free to get in touch with us and we can share our experience.

Companies! Do you want to associate your brand with bonding and network building? We would love to have a company sponsor drinks and snacks and be part of this unique experience. Get in touch on our website.

Wanna be a champion? Our community is built on the back of volunteers and enablers, if you have an idea you think would work for the group, come join us in making it happen, we will provide you the man-power (and women-power) and support as long as you are willing to captain the boat.

Thank you all who made this possible, see you next time!


Research: Type-safety in PHP


Robert Stoll, an ICT student from Switzerland is researching type safety in PHP for his undergraduate study. This is a very interesting topic and he wants to see how the community deals with this in its day to day development.

The deliverables of the research will be provided in an Open Source Project at the conclusion of the research.

If you want to help, all he needs is 5 to 20 minutes of your time to answer a survey.

More about the project TSPHP.

December Meeting


WEBclusiveThis month’s meeting will be something special! We’ll be teaming up with our friends from the Amsterdam.rb user group to give you a special event that will surely spark some discussion.

The December meeting will have two talks, one selected by each group. Note that (for this time only) this meeting is on a wednesday, instead of our regular thursdays. Due to the increased content, this event will also start earlier than normal.

This event will be sponsored by our friends at WEBclusive.


18:30 – 19:00: Welcome & Drinks
19:00 – 19:45: Talk: Your code sucks, let’s fix it! – Rafael Dohms
19:45 – 20:15: Break – Pizzas!
20:15 – 21:00: Talk: Debugging with Pry – Yorick Peterse
21:00 – 21:15: Raffle
21:15 Social, drinks, snacks.


PHP Talk: Your code sucks, let’s fix it! – Rafael Dohms

How do you measure the quality of your code? Performance and testing are just one aspect of code, in order to meet deadlines and make maintenance quicker you also need your code to be readable, decoupled and generally easier to comprehend and work with. This talk will go over tips and exercises to help you identify trouble areas, refactor them and train you to write better code in future projects. Come make your code look and function better.

Ruby Talk: Debugging with Pry – Yorick Peterse

I aim to talk about what Pry does, what makes it cool (features, ease of use, etc) and why people should use it to debug code instead of relying on clunky tools such as IRB or Kernel#puts. Examples range from simple ones such as defining code to more complex ones such as inserting “breakpoints”, listing variables and retrieving documentation.


As usual, we’ve got some awesome stuff to give away. Software licenses, books, and a ticket to one of the best (if not the best) PHP conference in Europe.

For more info and updates, be sure to check out Meetup.

PHP TestFest with PFZ

PHP needs contributions, and you can help. Writing tests for PHP is very simple and all you need to know is PHP, and what to test. This is where the PHP TestFest comes in.

This month we will be giving the PFZ group our support and helping them organize, in our backyard, a June PHP TestFest. Its very simple, if you wish to come, let them know bu registering here (in dutch, but quick and easy), bring you own laptop and come willing to learn and help. Three mentors will be available to help: Derick Rethans, Rafael Dohms and  Felix de Vliegher. They will help people get started and guide them towards finding areas to test and getting tests written.

This is a great way to give back and a great learning experience, so join us at the WEBclusive office (Rozengracht 133-3hg) on the 23rd of June at 10 am.