I just returned from the Barcelona phpconference.es . It was a small on day conference, with just a few talks and not many big names. It was also really cheap at 20€. The organization was very good, especially for Spain. It was held at citilab in Cornellà Centre, which is at the very end of one of the metro lines. There were two rooms with parallel talks. The talks were all in english, which was a change from the last PHP conference. Wifi was available everywhere and there were free drinks and food.
In the morning I got hassled a bit by companies looking for developers, though nothing which convinced me to quit my job yet. I am glad that there are companies like this available in Barcelona though, as they seem to be interested in improving the communitiy through supporting events like this instead of seeing PHP or open source just as the “free beer” option.
I enjoyed the talk about PEAR and the one about xdebug. But none of the talks was really advanced and each one was more or less just an introduction to the topic.
One thing I noticed was the number of netbooks in use by the attendees. I would say the distribution was 30% netbooks, 40% mac and 30% for the rest. I just bought a Asus Eee PC, which is my first portable computer – but more about this another time.
Overall I must say that I am probably not a conference person. I enjoy the talks, but I am not so much av crowd person and probably could get the same information spending a day in front of firefox and youtube. But I will give it a another try next time.