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PHP South Africa Meetup


With the global move to online events, the regional South African meetups for our beloved programming language are joining forces into one national platform! Come join us for informative talks on PHP and related web technologies, meet developers from around the country and be part of our community. All skill levels and backgrounds are welcome.

Next Event

June 30 2021: APIs in Laravel, Symfony, and Drupal: a comparisonRoger Saner

Roger Saner


Building an API is easy, working with someone else’s API is hard.
Following the JSON:API specification helps build standardized APIs and makes automatic documentation easier. As says, “If you’ve ever argued with your team about the way your JSON responses should be formatted, JSON:API can be your anti-bikeshedding tool.”

This talk shows how to build APIs following the JSON:API spec in Laravel, Symfony, and Drupal. Each platform has its benefits, tradeoffs, and frustrations. I’m especially interested in considering tests, productionizing, and continuous integration when evaluating each platform.

Spoiler: there’s no right choice! (You should probably be writing TypeScript-based lambda functions anyway...).

Along the way I’ll give my opinionated take on what I like and don’t like about each platform. I’ll also introduce the context in which I recently evaluated these platforms: a multi-tenanted CMS site with a decoupled admin backend.


Roger is a web developer and CTO at How Might We, a Cape Town-based usability consultancy (human-centered design FTW!).

He started out as a PHP developer with Drupal 4.6.2 (yes, that’s old) until Drupal 7, then it hurt his head too much and he switched to frontend frameworks and pretended he’d never heard of PHP. After a deep dive into Vue and testing, he discovered Laravel which restored some of the joy of server-side coding.

Then he discovered Symfony and realised that it’s possible to code entities with typed properties (hey Tyler, why use arrays and strings for everything?).

He is currently studying a post-graduate diploma in complexity theory and sustainability at Stellenbosch University and the Sustainability Institute, thanks to the helpfulness of the Cynefin Framework.


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Get Involved

If you're looking to get more involved in the PHP South Africa Meetup we are always looking for volunteers and speakers. The best place to reach us is on the ZA Tech Slack. Come lurk in the #php channel or bug @nik

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