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Improve Your PHP Development Skills

Maybe you struggle with object oriented code, understanding it and writing it. Perhaps you’re tired of having to rewrite code that doesn’t pass code review or introduces a bug you didn’t expect. Maybe you’d like to impress your boss by improving your skills without having to attend an expensive conference.

If any of that describes you, then I have good news: Do This, Not That: Object Oriented PHP is almost here! I’m launching it tomorrow to subscribers to my mailing list, and then on Wednesday to the general public. But here’s the catch: I’m offering a special 20% off launch day deal and it’s only available to people who are members of the launch list!

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Introducing “Do This, Not That” For PHP Developers

Do This, Not That

When I was a new PHP developer, I discovered that there’s a myriad of solutions, options, configurations and frameworks available. I thought, how does one sift through all the noise and get something done? How can anyone have a grasp of the best practices in PHP, and make sense out of all the options? Which extensions do we use, and how do we use them? What’s a best practice, anyway?

This is why I’ve decided to offer “Do This, Not That” for beginning and intermediate PHP developers looking to find a better grasp on precisely how to develop in PHP. This great series of highly focused e-books will offer tips, tricks and best practices focused on core areas of PHP development, including databases, security, filtering, regular expressions, configuration and more. Since it will be a series of tightly targeted solutions, developers will be able to pick all, some or just one of the offerings that solves their specific problem(s).

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Learning Zend Framework: A Case Study

Recently I’ve been immersed into a Zend Framework project in a way that I’ve never been immersed before. This immersion experience has brought out a few thoughts and lessons that I’ve learned through the process about how to get into a framework, how to start a new project using a framework you’ve never used before, and the best way to learn without losing your sanity. Here are my findings.

Don’t fight the framework.
Various frameworks out there have varying degrees of integration with one another. While an argument can be made as to whether or not tightly integrated frameworks are better or worse than loosely integrated frameworks, when starting a new framework it’s best to accept it lock, stock and barrel (in other words, accept it completely).

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Learning From Other Communities

Last week, Aaron Brazell posted a blog entry about the state of the WordPress and PHP communities. At the same time, Keith Casey was in Redmond, Washington, where he was experiencing the Microsoft Web Developer’s Conference. As so often seems to happen with “Aha!” moments, both men came to pretty much the same realization at the same time: the WordPress and PHP communities need each other, but don’t do nearly enough to work with each other.

Keith made his point clear when I explained to him that I agreed with what Aaron was saying in his blog post, but that WordPress supporting PHP 4 was WordPress’ “fatal flaw.” In his…articulate way…he reminded me that WordPress existed and flourished, in spite of our attempts to attack their support for PHP 4. Their use of PHP 4 was certainly not a fatal flaw, as much as our arrogance as a community seems to be.

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Looking Back: Learning From Old Code

In 2007 I wrote a blogging program from scratch. I was really proud of it, too. It was all my own invention, with a little help that I got from a Facebook developer I knew, and I worked really hard on it. Spent the whole summer writing it so I’d be able to launch it in time to blog from Washington, when I moved here. When I started looking for coding jobs, I gave them the website address as an example of my work.

Turns out that it’s great they didn’t ask for a code sample.
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