Ronald van Zuijlen

Squashing bugs in spare time

NOVEMBER 11, 2008 - Utrecht NL TAGS: bughuntday, coding, php

Last saturday I’ve attended the first PHP Bughuntday with Mattijs and Jeroen. The goal of this meeting was, of course, to find bugs and fix ‘em. The main idea for the event is to concentrate on a PHP framework at each specific bughuntday. The first bughuntday was all about the Zend Framework.

Arriving at Hotel Goderie in Roosendaal, we met around 25 PHP enthousiasts ready to squash some bugs. After firing up the internet connection we received a small introduction from one of the programmers at Ibuildings one of the main contributors on the Zend Framework: Jurien. He told us what would be the correct way to find and fix a bug in the Zend Framework.

Since I’m officially a Java programmer, I found it a bit exciting to attend this meeting. My knowledge of PHP has not been improved for over a year, and the Zend Framework was a bit new for me. Nevertheless, I’ve enjoyed myself and actually fixed a small bug in the Audioscrobbler features of the Zend Framework. Since the internet connection in the Hotel was not working later in the afternoon, I wasn’t able to actually check my fix in to the svn repository. I’ve still not managed to do so, but it’s on my todo-list :).

I think this bughuntday-thing is a great initiative; it brings together a small group of programmers and is a great way to involve new people into open source. I’ve never actually been very active in the open source community, although I’ve been using open source for quite some years now. I’ve never even reported a bug, so me actually fixing one in an open source product is quite encouraging. It is great to see there are a great number of people out there willing to fix bugs on open source products. This inspires me.

The exact number of fixed bugs on the bughuntday is not yet determined, but I’m sure we did some good. I’ve learned quite a lot about unit testing, so it was useful for me anyhow :). And above all: we all received an elePHPant, whoohoo!

Some pics of the event can be found here.

@Mattijs: thanks for fixing my wireless connection on my laptop, I can finally blog from bed (without using a rather inconvenient cable).