On the SitePoint PHP blog today Bruno Skvorc has posted some tips to helping you become a "PHP professional" and advance your skills and, potentially, your career in web application development.
When reading various PHP related blogs, Quora questions, Google+ communities, newsletters and magazines, I often notice extreme polarization of skill. Questions are either at the "How do I connect to a MySQL database?" level or something in the range of "How do I best scale my mailing system to send over one million emails per hour without introducing a new server?" I personally distinguish between 4 distinct levels of PHP prowess (likely applicable to any language/profession): beginner, intermediate, professional and elite.
He starts by looking at "the extremes" - the absolute beginners and the highly experienced professionals that have spent a lot of time "honing their skill". Somewhere in the middle are the intermediate developers. These are the ones he focuses on for the rest of the article, providing them with the knowledge and resource to advance. His recommendations include:
- Abandon spaghetti code
- Learn to set up your own PHP environment
- Exercise best practices early
- Find a buddy/mentor
There's a description for each one - and several more - with links to resources and other information to get more detail.