In Defense Of Self-Publishing

Back in 2009, I signed a contract to write a book. The book was published by php|architect, and was called The PHP Playbook. It was published in 2011. Being my first book, I assumed that going the route of a traditional publisher made sense, but after publishing a book this way, I opted for self-publishing for my next two books.

For individuals considering publishing a first book, going the traditional publication route offers some distinct advantages: credibility, editing, cover and layout, as well as marketing and promotion. Developing an idea for a book can take time, and for those inexperienced with the process, this can be helpful.

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The Community Toxic

There’s a famous line in the movie Bruce Almighty, where the protagonist is describing a cookie as being like a community. He opines that a community is made up of hardworking and dedicated members, with a few nuts thrown in, that make a cookie great.

The PHP community is lucky that our “cookie” contains few nuts but many hardworking and dedicated individuals. There are dozens if not hundreds of developers working daily to improve PHP, and to make the community, the product, and the environment better for current and future developers.

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Making Conferences Better

I love PHP conferences. I attended a lot of PHP conferences when I was a brand new developer. Zendcon, OSCON, php[tek], Wordcamp Baltimore, DC PHP and others were my stomping grounds. I learned a lot, and the conferences I attended were on the whole useful, beneficial and wonderful experiences. But I also felt challenged by the fact that conferences don’t offer much for bringing up new developers with concrete information and training. This isn’t necessarily the fault of conferences: it’s impossible to truly impart a useful skill into a developer with only a 45 minute talk.
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Best PHP Blogs To Follow

bestblogs

A lot of people, especially when starting out in PHP, ask me “what blogs should I read?” There are a lot of great PHP blogs (you can see a nearly complete list of them at Planet PHP) but there are a few that I read on a regular basis and I feel are important.

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New Rockville PHP Group

There are lots of active, vibrant developer groups in the DC area: DC PHP, Baltimore PHP, and the Frederick Web Tech group. The DC PHP Beverage Subgroup meets monthly in Northern Virginia. But in the middle between all these groups lies Montgomery County, Maryland. In that area live hundreds of developers who struggle to reach any of the developer groups in the area on a weeknight.

It’s time to build them something of their own.

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Caching For WordPress – A TEK-X Webinar

Anyone who has worked with WordPress knows that it’s greatest strength is also one of it’s greatest weaknesses: it’s architecture. The same architecture that makes it easy to include literally hundreds of plugins also makes it slow, resource-intensive and bulky. Unlike Drupal, WordPress doesn’t have a built-in caching mechanism. What is a developer to do?

On Friday, I’ll be presenting a webcast called “Caching for WordPress.” In this webcast, we’ll talk about ways to make WordPress perform better, including aspects of caching from the application perspective and from the content perspective. There will be a discussion of caching plugins available, as well as a discussion of the WordPress API and what it offers by way of caching opportunities.

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