On PHP’s Best Practices

When it comes to best practices, there’s always a healthy debate, and that’s never more true than in the PHP community. The “best practices” that have been written about, agreed upon and talked about don’t exist out of thin air, but are hard-won knowledge derived from experience, plus a little bit of not following best practices.

I want to talk a little bit about what PHP’s best practices are, where they come from, how you can get involved in the next generation, and the best way to use best practices in your day-to-day coding.

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in PHP | 694 Words

Help! My team is full of junior programmers!

Hiring is perhaps the most challenging thing that any manager can ever do. Getting it right is half skill, half luck. Making a good decision on a candidate can be the difference between moving the project forward and setting it back.

So what happens when you’re hoping to hire mid-level or senior engineers, and you end up with a staff of juniors? This isn’t all that uncommon a problem; I’ve seen it at least a dozen times in my career. What do you do next?

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in PHP | 527 Words

Is isolated testing dead?

Recently there’s been a great deal of discussion as to the merits of isolated testing versus integration and acceptance testing. Some proponents argue that integration testing far outweighs the value of isolated testing. While this is a perfectly valid position, I feel oversimplifies the complexity of testing in the same way that the “isolated testing only” crowd does.

Integration testing is wonderful for testing how components come together for a particular task. And it’s perfectly acceptable (and reasonable) to test how a model interacts with a real database, or to test how a controller interacts with the lower levels of an application.

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in PHP | 481 Words

The Software Dilemma

Any time software and business come together, there is an inherent conflict between “get it done fast” and “do a good job”. This conflict often comes to a head when deadlines are missed, whether through unrealistic expectation or underestimation on the part of the developers.

The dilemma between quantity, speed and feature set isn’t going to go away any time soon. It’s an inherent dilemma in software. But there are approaches we can take to help solve it.

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in PHP | 1,105 Words

Why I write, maintain and use my own framework (and you should too)

Note: The recommendations in this post are intended for a very advanced audience. While the content applies broadly, creating and maintaining your own framework is not advised for everyone, unless you know exactly what you’re doing.

For many of us in the PHP community, our identities are as much tied into the framework we use as the language that powers our products. For better or worse, we often tie our careers to a particular platform, and we spend considerable energy on the community and culture of that platform and it’s supporting tools.

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in PHP | 508 Words