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Rob Allen:
Use statements
March 17, 2014 @ 10:13:08

Rob Allen's latest post focuses in on something that's been a part of PHP for a while now, back when namespacing was introduced - the "use" keyword. He shares some thoughts, both from others and himself, about whether or not they make code more readable.

I was having a discussion on IRC about use statements and whether they improved code readability or not. [...] Those longer class names make it a little hard to quickly parse what it going on. The [example with "use" statements] is clearly less cluttered, but is at the expense of ambiguity. Exactly what class is User? I would have to go to the top of the file to find out. Should I use aliases? If so, how should I name them?

He went out to Twitter for advice from other PHP developers on the issue too. The feedback from his question came mostly in support of the "use" statements:

  • "I think use statements just abstract where the class is coming from. Some people find that useful."
  • "I think it's helpful seeing all of the packages used by a class without having to look through the full code."
  • "One reason I like them is that I can glance at a file and know dependencies immediately."
  • "I do appreciate what you are saying about the indirection use statements introduce."

There's also a bit of talk about "aliasing" with namespaces rather than the full classname, then using the namespace and class name in the code to "minimise ambiguity".

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use statement namespace twitter advice feedback alias

Link: http://akrabat.com/php/use-statements/

Michelangelo van Dam:
There's no PHP user group here!
February 12, 2014 @ 10:27:28

Michelangelo van Dam has a new post to his site today talking about PHP user groups and some suggestions you can follow if you'd like to start one of your own in your local area.

When going to conferences you always hear "join a local user group, and if there's none in your area you're the person who needs to start one". But then what? Where do you get started? How do you organise a PHP user group? Basically, you're left in the dark and you're missing out of all the great stuff everyone else can enjoy.

He makes a few suggestions as far as sites and resources to use to help you promote your group (including Meetup.com and even LinkedIn). He offers some guidelines as far as what to do for your first meeting and a few other people and groups at your disposal to help promote and group your group.

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Link: http://www.dragonbe.com/2014/02/theres-no-php-user-group-here.html

7PHP.com:
A Talk With PHP Recruiter Lonnie Brown - Forget About Money & Take Care Of Your Candidates
February 10, 2014 @ 09:17:59

On the 7PHP.com site today there's a different sort of community interview, this time with Lonnie Brown, a recruiter that's been focusing in on PHP development jobs for the last few years and helping people find that right fit.

You have all heard of recruitment; we have it in all sphere and The PHP Sphere is no exception to that. Have you ever had an talk with a recruiter? [...] Look no further, I bring you The Guy for all these questions and curiosity that you may have! [...] There are some that are making a difference and may be today this interview can show some lights down that tunnel. I would love to hear your comments and feedbacks after your reading + any questions to Lonnie Brown - I'm sure he will happily respond.

In the interview they talk some about Lonnie and his background in recruiting in general and more specific to the PHP community. They focus in on the PHP-related aspects of recruiting and some of the common challenges he deals with. Lonnie shares some of his thoughts for those looking for positions and dealing with recruiters in general.

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recruiter lonniebrown community interview 7php advice

Link: http://7php.com/php-recruiter-lonnie-brown

Matt Frost:
Getting Talks Selected
January 27, 2014 @ 09:04:23

If you're considering getting into the world of speaking at an upcoming PHP conference, Matt Frost has some advice for you to help you get started. It can be intimidating, so learn from some of his own experiences as a relatively new speaker in the community.

It's a very busy conference season in and around the PHP Community. [...] These conferences are such a blessing to those who are able to attend, the speakers know their stuff and are very open to sharing and talking outside of their sessions. But you're a smart cookie too! You've got ideas and thoughts and knowledge that other people would like to have, so how do you get in on this? I'm going to tell you how I got into it, your mileage may vary, but hopefully it helps.

He points out that submitting a talk and getting accepted is "a lot like the lotto" sometimes, that you can't win unless you buy a ticket (submit that talk). He looks at a few of the other common questions from beginning speakers - what do I talk about, how do I write an abstract and common first time speaking concerns.

There's no magical elixir that will land you speaking gigs at cool conferences. Everyone that speaks, from the seasoned pro to the up and comer, has worked extremely hard to not only put the talks together; but acquire all the knowledge necessary to give the talk in the first place
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talk session technical conference advice beginner speaker

Link: http://shortwhitebaldguy.com/blog/2014/01/getting-talks-selected

Stefan Koopmanschap:
How to Get the Most Out of a Conference
November 01, 2013 @ 12:49:51

Stefan Koopmanschap recently posted a great new article about how you can get the most out of conferences and what they have to offer besides just the sessions.

At the most excellent PHPNW conference, Kat convinced me to deliver the first unconference talk of the day. It took me a while to get the right topic. I ended up with a topic I felt everyone at the conference could use for the rest of the two days that they were there: How to get the most out of a conference. For those that were not there, I want to try and put my unconference talk into a blogpost, so that everyone can use this information for their next conference.

He's broken it down into a few different major topics including the obvious "learn from the best" as well as:

  • Learn and meet the best
  • Find your new colleagues (or new friends)
  • The backchannels
  • Hack away! (at hackathons)

He also makes a great recommendation about providing feedback - not only is it important to the conference to let them know they've done a good job, but also to the speakers to help improve their skills.

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conference advice learn colleagues friends social feedback hackathon involvement

Link: http://leftontheweb.com/blog/2013/10/25/How_to_get_the_most_out_of_a_conference/

The Nerdery:
Why Most Stories About WordPress Security Are Wrong
September 12, 2013 @ 09:18:55

On The Nerdery's blog today there's a new post suggesting that most of the reports of WordPress' insecurity are wrong and they're going to set the record straight.

I have often heard the remark "WordPress is insecure!" My response is "Where did you hear that?" and "When did you hear that?" [...] WordPress core is, in fact, very secure, just as secure as any other Content Management System, just as secure as any other software suite or Operating System. Security issues most often arise from administrators and users. In other words, you are the weakest link.

They suggest that between the high-profile nature of WordPress and the constant (sometimes wrongful) warning being put out there about its security, people perpetuate the message sometimes unknowingly. Besides the human element being the largest risk, they also point out a few others including issues around shared hosting and the availability of easy-to-find tools to exploit flaws. They talk about a brief history of the WP core security and how they define the real security of a product - how quickly it responds to security issues. They also include a few suggestions for you to help harden your own WP installation.

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wordpress security risk history wrong story advice

Link: http://blog.nerdery.com/2013/09/why-wordpress-security-stories-are-wrong/

Erika Heidi Reinaldo:
Advices and resources for PHP novices
September 11, 2013 @ 09:59:01

Erika Heidi Reinaldo has made a post over on her Coderwall page with a few helpful hints for the budding PHP developers out there about things to investigate and learn to help further their knowledge of the language.

This post is a collection of things that I consider important for people who are starting with PHP, based on my experiences with this language through the years. PHP has considerable evolved in the last years, thanks mainly to the community efforts. [...] As a downside for the language evolution, as things change, tutorials and practices might get deprecated. So we have a lack of good updated tutorials for beginners.

She includes some great things for new developers to look into including a recommendation to "learn the language, not a framework" and exploring git and Github as a collaborative workspace to both share your own work and explore the work of others for helpful hints. She also makes a recommendation that can help more than most developer think - get involved (contribute to projects or meet with other developers, online or at something like a user group).

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advice resource beginner developer language recommendation

Link: https://coderwall.com/p/0ictea

7PHP.com:
How-To User Group - Hear It From James Titcumb & Organisers Of PHP Hampshire
August 06, 2013 @ 09:58:56

7PHP.com has posted another community interview, this time with James Titcumb, an organizer of the PHP Hampshire user group. It's part of a "How-To User Group" series sharing some experiences from current user group leaders to help those starting out.

This is the #2nd set of How To Start A PHP user group in an attempt to help PHP guys all around the world to spring out a local PHP user group if they do not have one nearby. So before you embark on this journey, you need to know what you have to expect, how to prepare yourself, the pitfalls, the to-do lists, the workload behind, the commitment behind and above all the gratification this can bring to your PHP life. [...] Last time I welcomed the PHP Hampshire User Group here on 7php - where James talked about the group, the crew, how it all started and everything else...

In this latest interview, however, James shares things like:

  • Things to keep in mind before creating a group
  • Some common challenges
  • Tips & tricks to do it right
  • what the group founders are responsible for
  • How to find (good) speakers for the group

If you're new to the user group game and are looking for some good advice, check out this interview (and the others in the user group how-to series.

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usergroup interview phphampshire jamestitcumb advice

Link: http://7php.com/howto-php-usergroup-james-titcumb-phphampshire/

7PHP.com:
A Chat About Cloud Computing & PHP Development In The Cloud
July 29, 2013 @ 09:05:13

On 7PHP.com today there's a new interview, another with Vito Chin, this time talking about cloud computing and doing PHP development specifically for that environment.

Whenever we talk about web development nowadays, there has to be an awareness or at least an interest towards cloud computing. We, as PHP Developers, should be aware of what development in the cloud has to offer and how we can leverage it to stay in the game. To this end, I bring forward a small interview with the Pro Cloud Computing guy, I named Vito Chin! Let's hear and learn form his pro experience and advice...

After some brief introductions, they start in talking about Vito's book (co-author) "PHP Development in the Cloud" and some of the basics of SaaS (cloud-based services) ownership. He mentions the high scalability needed and some architecture considerations you'l need to keep in mind during development. He also points out a few "pain points" to watch out for and includes some recommendations of services/libraries to use.

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computing cloud vitochin advice development tools saas iaas

Link: http://7php.com/php-cloud-computing

Reddit.com:
I want a job as a developer. Here's my situation, can you help?
June 20, 2013 @ 11:17:48

On Reddit.com there's a recent post asking what kinds of things someone can do to gain the skills they need to get a job as a web developer. Disregard the comment at the top and get straight to the good stuff - there's lots of great recommendations here including:

  • "take the time to take algorithm classes , UML classes and db modelling classes and , very important , read other people's code"
  • "Work on stuff that interests you." and "Work on stuff that doesn't interest you but solves a problem for someone else"
  • "Pick a major CMS (doesn't matter which one) and tear it apart."
  • "Go through the PHP tracks on codeacademy.com"
  • "Go to MIT Open Courseware and start reading up data structures and algorithms."
  • "Just keep programming. You'll do stupid things, but having to do those things should become annoying."

Unfortunately, the poster started things out with a "don't tell me to read a book" mentality, so there's some responses in there about that. Don't let that disuade you from some of the other answers, especially if you're new to PHP, though.

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developer learn advice resource reddit community feedback

Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/1gpmr5/i_want_a_job_as_a_developer_heres_my_situation


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