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Reddit.com:
What constitutes the "PHP community"?
July 18, 2014 @ 12:09:37

There's a good conversation happening over on Reddit today about what constitutes the "PHP community" and how it can be defined. JordanLeDoux wonders if those who just write PHP are included in that group as well.

One conversation was with a dev who hates PHP because (mostly) they work with code that was written by some non-PHP dev who was asked to write it. The other was with /u/krakjoe from the PHP internals team, where I was commenting on a sentiment that sometimes finds its way into the internals mailing list: if you want a real programming language, then go use one. In both cases, I made the assertion that most people who utilize PHP or edit a script aren't actually part of the PHP community. [...] How can someone that is functionally isolated from any other person working in PHP be part of the PHP community?

Responses to the post are, for the most part, encouraging suggesting that

  • There's not a single "PHP community" but many smaller ones
  • sub-communitiies can revolve around technology or a product
  • The different definitions of community
  • The broad range of skills that "PHP developers" are known to have

Check out the full post for more opinions and share your own!

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Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/2ayxkg/what_constitutes_the_php_community/

Symfony Blog:
Improving REST in Symfony
July 11, 2014 @ 12:15:56

On the Symfony blog there's a recent post about a new effort being started to help improve REST in Symfony-based applications. William Durand talks about some of the current tools and some of the missing features/difficulties each has. This effort wants to help change that.

Building APIs with Symfony is not new. We've done that since the early beginning of Symfony: Askeet, Jobeet, it's been a long time! Nowadays, more and more web applications are made of an API and a client side application. Sharing data across applications using APIs also became an essential feature. [...] For most of us, it is not as clear as it should be, and we can certainly do better than what we have right now! Hence the creation of a working group to gather both people and knowledge for REST in Symfony: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/resting-with-symfony.

The target of the group is just about anyone associated with the development of APIs: developers who build them, developers to contribute to Symfony's REST functionality, people with questions about REST and, really, anyone else interested. It's a part of their wider developer experience initiative they've recently ramped up.

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Link: http://symfony.com/blog/improving-rest-in-symfony

SitePoint PHP Blog:
10 Essential Sublime Text Plugins for Full-Stack Developers
July 09, 2014 @ 12:32:33

Users of the Sublime Text 2 editor already know how flexible and useful it can be in developing their own software. SitePoint has a new post that wants to help enhance that experience even more with a list of 10 essential plugins you can use as a full-stack developer.

When I started with web development a few years ago, Vim was my first choice of text editor. It was easy to work with and I could get the basics done without much hassle. [...] In spite of the "Vim vs Emacs" debate out there, about a year ago I decided to try out a native text editor and Twitter was abuzz with one of them (no prizes for the guessing which one.) The creators of Sublime Text say it's a text editor you'll fall in love with and, having worked with it for almost a year now, I must say I completely agree with them.

Among their "top 10" list are things like:

  • Package Control
  • GitGutter
  • AllAutocomplete
  • ColorPicker
  • DocBlockr

Each item on the list comes with a link to the library, a brief description of what it has to offer and a screenshot (in most cases) of it at work.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/10-essential-sublime-text-plugins-full-stack-developer/

Developer's Lane:
Top 20 CakePHP Interview Questions and Answers
July 04, 2014 @ 13:48:25

The Developer's Lane site has posted a top ten list of questions answered about the CakePHP framework. The idea is that they could be used as a part of an interview to see how well the candidate knows the framework.

Here there are many questions and answers about How CakePHP Framework works? and basic questions related to CakePHP framework functionality.

Questions include:

  • What are are drawbacks of Cakephp?
  • What is the name of Cakephp database configuration file name and its location?
  • What are commonly used components of Cakephp?
  • Why does Cakephp have two vendor folders?
  • Can you remember what is the directory structure when you download Cakephp?

The questions provide a good overview of the framework, but won't tell you if the developer is any good...you still need to figure out that one on your own.

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Link: http://www.developerslane.com/top-20-cakephp-interview-questions-and-answers/

Symfony Blog:
First Online Symfony Community Hack Day July 5th!
July 01, 2014 @ 11:58:07

On the Symfony blog today Ryan Weaver has posted a note about the first ever Symfony online community hack day coming up on July the 5th.

Last week, I talked about the Symfony Experience, and announced a new Developer Experience Initiative. [...] And now it's time to put our ideas into action, with the first community hack day on July 5th. This hack day is for everyone and we'll focus on tasks from all around the Symfony world: the core code and third party bundles. This is our chance to really push on things that never quite get done as well as they could: third party bundle documentation, exception messages, shortcuts, etc.

The event will be happening on July 5th from 9am to 8pm Central European Time (3am to 2pm Eastern time in the US) and will be run from the #symfony channel on the Freenode IRC network. There'll be plenty to do, so if you're interested in getting involved, reach out to Ryan or Javier once you're on and they can point you in the right direction. More information can be found on the Symfony blog.

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Link: http://symfony.com/blog/first-online-symfony-community-hack-day-july-5th

Toptal.com:
The Insider's Guide to PHP Interviewing
June 26, 2014 @ 10:43:39

The TopTal.com site has posted some suggestions on things to ask when interviewing PHP developers, especially those shooting for a senior level role.

Ubiquitous…that is definitely one word you could use to describe PHP in relation to the web. It really is everywhere. [...] What makes PHP so popular and widely-used? While there's no single answer to this question, PHP's ease of use is certainly a significant contributing factor. [...] But therein lies much of the challenge of finding highly-skilled PHP developers. PHP's relatively low barrier-to-entry and 20 year history means that PHP developers have become practically as ubiquitous as the technology itself. Yet while many can legitimately claim to "know" PHP, those who are true experts in the language are capable of producing software that is much more scalable, functional, robust, and maintainable.

There's a wide range of questions included in their list, each one with a brief description and the "right" answers a knowledgable candidate might give. This includes questions about:

  • Defining and using closures
  • What "global" is and when to use it
  • Describing the PHP superglobals
  • The use of "static"

There's also a section for the even more advanced development positions out there with questions about PHP's internals (the actual C code) as well as the differences between some built-in object types.

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Link: http://www.toptal.com/php#hiring-guide

Symfony Blog:
Making the Symfony Experience *Exceptional*
June 18, 2014 @ 12:52:34

In this new post to the Symfony blog Ryan Weaver talks about some steps the project is making to help improve the "developer experience" (DX) around using the framework. There's four things listed that they're trying out to see if they can improve the framework even more.

When Symfony was released, we (the community) thought a lot about the Symfony experience: working on documentation, improving error messages and creating open source bundles. But since then, innovation has slowed down and the Symfony experience has stopped evolving. Today, the Symfony Framework is still the highest quality PHP Framework available. But the Symfony experience has stagnated. The good news is that improving the developer experience is easy, and it involves you!

He includes the "four easy steps" that any developer using Symfony can follow to help out the development team and make things even easier (and more intuitive) to use:

  • The DX (Developer Experience) Label (on the Symfony issues list on GitHub)
  • Adding a suggested DX Label for your own repository
  • Working on DX issues at a Community Hack Day
  • Being Aggressive, Focusing on Beginners
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Link: http://symfony.com/blog/making-the-symfony-experience-exceptional

Lorna Mitchell:
What Got You Involved in Open Source?
June 13, 2014 @ 12:16:04

Lorna Mitchell has shares some interesting results of a recent survey asking people how they got involved in working with open source projects. The results were from a poll announced on Twitter.

I did a very unscientific twtpoll recently regarding what brought each of us into open source. Plenty of people took the time to vote or retweet, so I thought I'd loop back around and let you know how it looked overall when the poll closed.

Not surprisingly, the largest group came from the "find a problem, submit a fix" category (40%) with the next in line being the group that open sourced their own code. The third category she mentions, coming in at 18% of the responses, was those seeking new skills either for personal growth or for their current (or next) job.

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Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2014/what-got-you-involved-in-open-source

Dawn Casey:
Things Developers Say
June 05, 2014 @ 09:13:45

In this new post from Dawn Casey (wife of the infamous Keith Casey) she talks about some of her "growing pains" around becoming a new developer and the learning process. She's come up against some interesting problems in the course of her learning, both good and frustrating.

In the course of my learning development (seven months at this point) I've heard quite a few things from other veteran developers, all of whom were trying to be helpful. Or I'd ask a question and get one of these things in response because it makes sense to *them*…they don't realize I have no point of reference. [...] I'm frustrated because they can't explain whatever it is I don't understand..mostly because I don't understand exactly what it is I'm not understanding.

Her frustration comes not only from not being able to ask the right questions, but also from being a "blind deaf alien" thrown into the world of development. She point out an issue common to those trying to get into programming: the wealth of information one needs to know before getting started. She also mentions another common problem, particularly for new developers (or those looking to improve one certain skill): the sometimes unhelpful nature of other, more experienced developers. While some are happy to help and guide you through the learning process, there's others that will just toss you a tutorial link and call it a day.

Here's the gist of what I'm saying: There is so much back-knowledge needed to be a web developer today that many are derailed for months trying to learn everything they need to know before they can learn anything at all. PLEASE REMEMBER THIS!!
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Link: http://sdawncasey.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/things-developers-say/

LinkedIn.com:
Dev Recruiting 101 10 Ways NOT to Interview a Candidate
June 02, 2014 @ 10:21:50

For those out there hiring developers to join their team, you might read up on a few tips in this new article on LinkedIn for the "things not to do" during the interview process.

It has been my observation that most recruiters and hiring managers tend to make the same common mistakes. That is why I've decided to write this new series, "Dev Recruiting 101". In it, you will have the unique opportunity to view your industry from the perspective of a veteran developer. You'll learn the secrets that will win us over and the pitfalls that will make us run for the hills. My goal is to give you the "inside scoop", as it were, about how to attract the best talent in our industry.

The list it broken out into ten different points, each with their own descriptions and real-world examples from the author's experiences:

  • Discourage the candidate by telling them how lousy the job is.
  • Don't show-up for the interview or initiate the call at the agreed-upon time.
  • Don't speak clearly.
  • "Okay, now we'd like you to write some code. Here's some blank printer paper and a #2 pencil."
  • Spend 30 minutes giving a detailed history of the company, then say you've run out of time.
  • "As you know, our site is an adult-oriented webcam service. How often do you watch internet porn?"
  • Make the candidate spend 6 hours interviewing with virtually every single member of the engineering department.
  • Ask niche-specific technical questions that are neither part of the job description nor the candidate's skillset.
  • "If a plane crashes on the border between Russia and Ukraine, where do they bury the survivors?"
  • Judge the candidate based on whether or not they're a telepath.
There is nothing more important in hiring the right candidate than conducting an effective interview. Not only does it help you narrow down your choices, but it's also an opportunity to show the candidate why they want to work for you and not someone else.
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Link: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140530075430-11756056-dev-recruiting-101-10-ways-not-to-interview-a-candidate


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