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Life Line


Derick Rethans is a PHP internals expert and author of Xdebug. He works as an independent contractor and consultant on PHP extensions, the PHP language, and related projects.

He works for the PHP Foundation to improve PHP, and continues to contribute to the PHP project in numerous forms (Date/Time Extension, Xdebug, PHP 4.4/7.4 Release Manager, etc). He is a frequent lecturer at conferences, the author of php|architect's Guide to Date and Time Programming, and the co-author of PHP 5 Power Programming. Derick also hosted the weekly-ish PHP Internals News podcast.

In his spare time, he likes to travel, hike, and photography.


2023 — OpenUK Honours List
For my work on PHP through the PHP Foundation
2011 — php|architect Impact Award
For Xdebug
2022 — ActiveState Active Awards
The Activators Choice Award for PHP


The PHP Foundation

February 2022 - present
Working on the PHP language, as a software engineer of the PHP Foundation.
Some of the feature and functionality that I focus my attention on:
  • The Date/Time extension
  • Unicode Support

Derick Rethans Limited / Self-employed Contractor

January 2019 - present
I'm a self-employed contractor/consulting doing C, PHP, and Go projects.
Some of those projects include:
November 2001 - present
Speaker at numerous conferences, seminars and usergroup meetings around the world.
February 2010 - March 2012
Some of those projects include:

The PHP Project

May 2002 - December 2018
Working on Xdebug, the PHP debugging and development assistent extension.
August 1999 - January 2021
Joined the PHP development team and submitted my first patch: SWF support for getimagesize(). Since then I've been continiously contributing to the PHP project. I was release manager for PHP 4.1.1, various PHP 4.2.x releases and the PHP 4.4 and PHP 7.4 series.
	certificationMay 2004 - Dec 2005
Helping out with the Zend Certification process in order to boost enterprise support for PHP.


December 2015 - January 2019
Senior Software Engineer
April 2012 - December 2015
PHP Engineer and Evangelist
I am the "voice" of PHP, on both the MongoDB team and within the broader MongoDB community. I am responsible for supporting MongoDB in the PHP ecosystem through driver development, integration with open source tools, community support, and developer advocacy.

eZ Systems

July 2005 - January 2010
Working as project leader for the eZ Components project, eZ Systems AS in Norway.
June 2009 - October 2009
Serving on the board of directors for eZ Systems AS in Norway.
January 2004 - June 2005
Working as core-developer on eZ publish, eZ Systems AS in Norway.

JDI Media Solutions

January 2001 - December 2003
Working on countless projects for my own company, JDI Media Solutions.
October 1998
Founded JDI Media Solutions with two other class-mates to provide internet services to local customers.

Other work experience

June 1997 - October 1998
Did tech support for customers of PC Privé projects for Diabolo Informatisering.
October 2002 - January 2004
Editor-in-chief of the International PHP Magazine managing content and themes of issues.


May 2001
Received my Bachelors degree in CS and Information Technology.
1997 - 2001
Attended the Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen to study Computer Science.
1991 - 1997
Went to highschool at the Thomas à Kempis College.


(since September 2004)


April 2009
php|architect's Guide to Date and Time Programming, Derick Rethans, ISBN: 978-0-9810345-0-8
October 2004
PHP 5 Power Programming, Andi Gutmans, Stig Sæther Bakken, Derick Rethans, ISBN: 0-13-147149-X


June 2013
"Introduction to Document Databases with MongoDB", Web & PHP, June 2013
Januari - March 2009
3-part column in php|architect about PHP's Garbage Collection mechanism
Februari 2006
"eZ components", php|architect, Februari 2006, page 27 to 35
January 2005
"Transliteration with PHP", php|architect, January 2005
June 2005
"References: an in-depth look", php|architect, June 2005 [PDF]
December 2004
"Translittération en PHP", direction|php, December 2004, page 27 to 33
September 2004
"Debugging Questions and Xdebug Answers", php|architect, September 2004, page 9 to 22 [PDF]


December 8, 2019 — The Regent's Park Royal Parks Winter 10K Series - Regent's Park
10 km in 55m05s (5m31s/km)
November 3, 2019 — Mornington Chasers Regent's Park 10K - Regent's Park
10 km in 55m03s (5m30s/km)
December 13, 2015 — Royal Parks Winter 10km series - Regent's Park
10 km in 51m49s (5m11s/km)
September 15, 2015 — Run the River 2015
5 km in 24m56s (4m59s/km)
September 6, 2015 — Kew Gardens 10K
10 km in 49m17s (4m56s/km)
July 12, 2015 — British 10K London Run
10 km in 55m47s (5m34s/km)
June 4, 2015 — JP Morgan Corporate Challenge
3.2 miles (5.15 km) in 28m53s (5m37s/km)
April 12, 2015 — The Race Organiser - Hyde Park 10k
10 km in 59m13s (5m55s/km)