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Christoph Rumpel:
10 Things That Will Make You a Better Developer
December 15, 2014 @ 10:56:19

Christoph Rumpel has posted a list of ten things he thinks will help you be a better programmer overall.

It is easy to become a web developer these days. The only things you need is a computer and Internet. But I believe there is big difference between a developer and a good one. Good developers are like little heroes. They are awesome in what they do and are there when you need them. A real benefit to the our world and definitely someone you can look up to! I believe everyone can make this step and start being a better developer today. This is why I asked great developers from all around the world what they think makes someone a really good developer.

His list covers more than just good coding practices too. He suggests things like:

  • Experimentation
  • Reading the code of other good developers
  • Just build websites
  • Contribute to other projects
  • Watch out for the Hypetrain
  • Never give up

He includes a quick summary of each of these and the rest of the top ten list too. Be sure to check out the full post for more.

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Link: http://christoph-rumpel.com/2014/12/10-things-that-will-make-you-a-better-developer/

Jani Hartikainen:
In order to become a better developer, you must first become a teacher
August 18, 2014 @ 10:35:28

In his latest post Jani Hartikainen makes a recommendation for those wanting to become better developers: first become a teacher. He suggests that communication is the second most important skill a developer can have.

What is the most important skill for a developer besides actually writing code? Communication. What do you typically do when you communicate as a developer with someone else? You explain problems, you describe solutions, you talk to non-programmers about what you're doing. You could also say that you're teaching others about what you're doing. [...] Being a good communicator is often completely overlooked.

He looks at why it's important for a developer to have good communication skills and what it means to "communicate well" with fellow developers. He suggests that real teaching can start when developers understand the domain and code they're working with. He also talks about the flip side of things, the importance of listening to other developers and those trying to help. Listening well means understanding the question and being open to different ideas, even if they contradict your own.

As with all aspects of programming, the best way to improve communication and your ability to reason about code on a higher level is practice.
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Link: http://codeutopia.net/blog/2014/08/18/in-order-to-become-a-better-developer-you-must-first-become-a-teacher/

php[architect]:
January 2014 Issue Released - How to Be a Better Developer
January 27, 2014 @ 12:29:14

[php]architect has officially released their latest issue - the January edition with articles focusing on how to be a better developer (and a few other things).

The first issue of 2014 is now available. Our January issue aims to give you some tips and tricks to make your development life easier.

Articles in this edition include:

  • Straight-forward ways improve your developer skills
  • Thoughts on commenting code from two great developers
  • Get the CLI working for you with console apps and ZF2
  • Learn which common OOP misconceptions you may be following
  • Harness the power of regex

You can pick up your own copy (print or digital) directly from the php[architect] site.

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Link: http://www.phparch.com/magazine/2014-2/january/

PHPClasses.org:
Lately in PHP, Episode 35 - Better Documentation for PHP internals
May 09, 2013 @ 09:12:10

On PHPClasses.org today they've posted the latest episode of their "Lately in PHP" podcast series - Episode #35, "Better Documentation for PHP internals".

With the inclusion of Zend Optimizer+ extension in PHP 5.5, the need for better documentation of PHP internals became more evident, so PHP contributors can write extensions that take the most of the core PHP features. That is one of the topics discussed by Manuel Lemos and Ernani Joppert in the episode 35 of the Lately In PHP podcast. They also talked about having more optimized PHP opcodes, some interesting PHP feature proposals that got rejected, as well the article about the top version control systems used by PHP developers.

You can listen to this episode in a few different ways - either through the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 or by watching the video of the recorded Google Hangout session.

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Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/207-Better-Documentation-for-PHP-internals--Lately-in-PHP-podcast-episode-35.html

Anthony Ferrara:
Becoming A Better Developer - Programming With Anthony
March 28, 2013 @ 12:37:32

Anthony Ferrara has posted his latest episode of his "Programming with Anthony" video series, this time he talks about becoming a better developer (hint: it's not about knowing everything).

In today's episode, I talk a little bit about what it takes to become a better developer. Nobody will ever expect you to know everything, but you better know how to find it...

You can watch the video either in his post or over on YouTube. He also has this and his other videos set up in a playlist if you'd like to see coverage of other topics like design patterns, iterators, dependency injection and prepared statements.

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PHPClasses.org:
26 Ways to Show that PHP Can Be Better Than PHP
March 21, 2013 @ 11:14:33

In a new blog post on PHPClasses.org today Manuel Lemos has gathered together some of the things that PHP doesn't have (yet). Most of them are things that developers have expressed a desire for in the core and either have yet to make it into a RFC or are still just being implemented in "userland" code.

The PHP development process is still a bit frustrating. Many developers hoped that PHP had certain features but those are still missing due to several reasons. One way to see those features happen is to write code to implement the features and then submit the code to the PHP core. However that is not a guaranteed process. Even if you provide the necessary code, other developers may object to the addition of those features and the effort is wasted.

Among the things he lists as features that are desired but not implemented yet are things like:

  • Aspect oriented programming
  • Annotations
  • Class generics
  • Introspection of private variables and functions
  • Named parameters

There's a summary of each of the features mentioned and in some cases links to RFCs that presented the same ideas. If you're interested in presenting your own ideas to the PHP project for inclusion, you can "demystify" the RFC process by checking out this post from Chris Jones with lots of good suggestions and the flow of how the process (usually) works.

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PHPMaster.com:
10 Tips for Better Coding
May 24, 2012 @ 10:30:17

PHPMaster.com has a new post with ten helpful tips for you to consider using during your development. These tips can help to not only make your current development simpler but make for easier to maintain, stronger code in the future.

Good code is maintainable, reusable, and testable. The following tips address how you and/or your development team can handle various coding tasks and how to keep everything as neat as possible. I will introduce you to some "best practices" that will help you write better code and help make you and your team happy and efficient.

Among the suggestions on the list, there's things like:

  • Use a Coding Standard
  • Refactor
  • Use Meaningful Names
  • Use Automated Build Tools
  • Use a Testing Framework

Links are provided in several of the tips to other resources/tools that can provide you with more information about how to use it in your development.

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Jani Hartikainen's Blog:
5 ways how PHP is better than Node.js
April 25, 2012 @ 09:13:50

In what's sure to be a "flame bait" kind of post, Jani Hartikainen has posted five reasons PHP is better than Node.js - some simple one-liners and others a bit more complicated.

All hail Node.js! Boo PHP! Except there are various things where PHP is better than Node…

His five reasons are:

  • Easier to find hosting
  • It's easier to get started with PHP
  • If your PHP code breaks, it doesn't bring your whole server down
  • PHP processes are short lived
  • Bigger standard library

There's a few comments on the post already, one noting that some of the points could be turned around to make PHP fall more on the "bad" side.

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Anthony Ferrara's Blog:
Becoming A Better Developer
November 09, 2011 @ 08:54:27

Anthony Ferrara has a new post today on his blog with some things he think you can do to become a better overall developer (and not just in PHP). He shares six things from his own experience to help answer this question.

One of the most frequent questions that I get asked is "How can I become a better developer?" I think that it's a very good question to ask that deserves a good response. But how can you respond to something like that? Becoming a better developer depends so heavily on past experience (where to grow), interests and rationale (why do you want to grow), that it's really hard to answer without a fair bit of discussion. This post reflects my experiences from both my own growth and the growth that I've seen in others.

The things on his list are pretty simple, but they're easy to forget in your day to day development life. Things like being motivated to better yourself, gaining confidence in your abilities, sharing your knowledge and/or becoming a mentor to developers with less experience than you. Interestingly enough, this last one can sometimes teach you a little something about you and your processes too.

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Kevin Schroeder's Blog:
The Curve of Talent
October 12, 2011 @ 12:54:41

Kevin Schroeder has posted about an idea he recently came across (in this article) called the "Curve of Talent". Kevin's post expands on the idea and makes it a bit more relevant to the "how can I be a better developer" question asked quite often.

I get asked, quite frequently, about how people can be better programmers. Why they're asking me, I have no idea. But what I usually tell them is to be curious and be creative. Waste time. Now, I don't mean "wasting time" by playing Quake (one of the best adrenaline-based games of all time), I mean taking time to learn new things and try new things... sometimes without permission and sometimes before or after normal work hours. (Though not ALL the time. If you always are working you have priority issues).

He recommends working on side projects - ones where you can be free to explore new technologies and ideas that might not fit in the confines of your day to day work. The article from Eric Paley talks about "C level performers", people who may or may not have the experience, but just can't seem to make things happen. Kevin's recommendations can help you break out of this "C" mold and get on the path to not only better yourself as a developer but also make you more equipped for future projects.

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