Join Michelangelo and his talks on improving quality, locking down at security and deploying to the cloud at the final TrueNorthPHP conference 2016 in Toronto, Canada.

The last TrueNorthPHP Conference

TrueNorthPHP conference is one of those community conferences that you want to be at as a PHP developer. The two founders Chris Hartjes and Peter Meth have done an awesome job creating an environment where knowledge, passion and sharing are brought together in a truely relaxing atmosphere.

Each year the conference organizers have outdone themselves, raising the bar on topics, social activities and conference organization. We (along with the rest of the PHP community) are sad they announced this year will be the last TrueNorthPHP conference.

I am one of the few lucky speakers that is selected to present two talks and one tutorial on this final conference event. So it’s my honor and privilege to introduce the sessions scheduled for the very final TrueNorthPHP conference.

Test drive your development

Test driven development (TDD) is still a subject all developers agree upon it’s a great thing, but never get around to actually do it for many reasons. In this workshop I use real world business requirements for which code needs to be produced, but we’re doing it in a TDD way.

No matter if you’re already a testing veteran or a junior developer just started working yesterday, this workshop will give you the basic skills to continue your career as a Test Driven Developer.

test drive your development
 In this tutorial we will cover:
  • basics of unit testing
  • writing tests-first or test-driven development (TDD) on a new application
  • testing and refactoring legacy applications
  • migrating from old to new with TDD & BDD
  • some testing tips

In order to follow along in this tutorial it is key that you have a good knowledge of:

  • common PHP functions
  • branching and merging with GIT
  • rebuild your autoloader with Composer

The tutorial is split-up in a theoretical part, excersises and showcases.

200K+ Reasons why security is a must

This talk all started as a shocking discovery a colleage of mine found which I broadcasted to Twitter.

In 2013 there were already 99,317 results found on GitHub for the query “extension:php mysql_query $_GET”. A year later, GitHub returned 208,613 hits on the query. Today we hit an astonishing number of 444,770 results. By the time you’re reading this article I can already promise you with sadness this number has increased again.

Screenshot 2016-08-08 09.14.21

444,770 usages of mysql_query and $_GET – Aug, 8 2016

The whole issue here – besides the fact people use PHP super globals in their database queries – is that security and protection is not a consideration with many developers when they start or continue work on a PHP project. And when security becomes a matter of importance, it’s hard to implement it in existing code.

For years, speakers like Chris Hartjes, Sebastian Bergmann and myself have advocated testing to improve quality of code and restore confidence with developers and their employers. We probably have reached 1% of the PHP developers out there who are now writing tests. But now we need to inspire developers to start thinking about security as well when writing code. My dear friend Chris Cornutt is already doing a good job teaching developers about security and why it should be implemented directly from the start of a project, but more advocacy is necessary to raise the awareness. Definitely check out his securing-php website where he’s collecting all security related articles and projects.


It’s not because you’re a small company you are of no importance to hackers. Exactly because you’re small, digital culprits know you don’t have enormous budgets to invest in security. But you offer services to big brands and major companies. That makes you the ideal target. It’s only a matter of time before someone targets you!

In my talk “200K+ Reasons why Security is a Must” I’ll go over some of the security issues found at companies and how you can tighten the security in your workflow. I will also go over a few tools we use to test and improve our security layers, so they fit within our automated testing pipeline.

A must-attend session for every PHP and web application professional!

Azure and OSS, a match made in heaven

Microsoft has done a tremendous good job in supporting open source software (OSS) on their cloud solution Azure, making it the now the best cloud solution for professional IT requirements.

In this talk I will explain how today’s IT challenges can be tackled by using OSS solutions within the Microsoft Azure ecosystem. I will also give you an overview of ready-to-use OSS solutions provided by Azure library. I even show how you can set it up yourself and run your own open-source based projects on Azure.


From a simple WordPress blog all the way to enterprise applications, Microsoft Azure supports it all. Come and see for yourself how you can use Azure for your PoC and corporate production deployments.

Michelangelo van Dam

Michelangelo van Dam is a senior PHP architect, PHP community leader and international conference speaker with many contributions to PHP projects and community events.