Supporting Ryan Weaver: a pillar in the PHP community and tech education faces his toughest challenge

Renowned for his significant contributions to Symfony’s ecosystem and Blackfire’s educational resources, Ryan Weaver is now facing a dire diagnosis of incurable brain cancer. Find out how you can support Ryan during this immensely challenging time.

By Thomas di Luccio, on Apr 10, 2024

[tldr] If you are in a position to, please donate Ryan’s GoFundMe Donations Page

Observability is one of these critical areas that has evolved from a nice-to-have into an absolute must-have, particularly in complex application environments. It’s about putting oneself in a situation where you can witness your application behaving, all to improve, control, and enforce its performance.

Some see observability as a temporary firefighting tool you use as a last resort. Some even wish it would work as a fortune teller, preventing you from doing any investigative work. 

Blackfire is a unique opinionated continuous observability solution that collects observability data and transforms it into actionable and highly valuable information. More than doing the work for our users, we commit to putting them in the driver’s seat and empowering them with more knowledge and the ability to regain control of their apps.

Yet, without a solid educational foundation, achieving true observability is akin to navigating a labyrinth blindfolded. Observability is a journey that’s easier to start with a proper technical education. It depends on a community of performance enthusiasts who like nothing more than exploring new grounds and sharing their discoveries.

Ryan Weaver is one of those who made a significant impact on many tech communities— including ours—as a Symfony core contributor, the founder of SymfonyCasts, and the author of a crash course on using Blackfire Profiler. Even more, Ryan is a wonderful and kind human being, a genuine inspiration for many beyond all his technical and educational contributions.

Ryan is also the author of Finding Bigfoot, a fun demo application we use during workshops. Some versions of which can be seen on, an application that anyone can profile and that’s referenced in Fabien Potencier’s book PHP code performance explained. The educational material guides new users into their first step with observability and Blackfire.

Another version is behind Blackfire’s Escape Game used a discovery tool during onsite events. Attendees, new to Blackfire, can start experimenting with our solution solving dev puzzles of different complexities and, usually, in under 10 minutes.

Blackfire, and the people behind it, are immensely grateful for what Ryan has brought to our product education, and to all the tech communities he is a part of. This is the true spirit of open source. More than code, it’s about empowering people with better tools. Those who can contribute to helping others, taking turns to make the world better, one commit at a time.

Sadly, Ryan recently announced that he is battling incurable brain cancer and that he needed our help with his treatment. If you are in a position to, please donate Ryan’s GoFundMe Donations Page and help this incredible family in whatever way you can

To better observability and beyond

Thomas di Luccio

Thomas is a Developer Relations Engineer at for He likes nothing more than understanding the users' needs and helping them find practical and empowering solutions. He’ll support you as a day-to-day user.