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O'Reilly Software Engineering Blog:
The traits of a proficient programmer
Aug 09, 2016 @ 10:52:26

On the O'Reilly Software Engineering blog there's a post from Gregory Brown sharing what he thinks is the definition of a "proficient programmer" and how it differs from competence.

Do you know what the difference between competence and proficiency is? That sounds like a trick question, because the words seem to mean the same thing. But the subtle distinction between them is critically important.

Competence means having enough experience and knowledge to get stuff done; proficiency involves knowing why you are doing something in a certain way, and how it fits into the big picture. In other words, a proficient practitioner is always a competent practitioner, but the opposite may not be true.

He goes on to talk about the Dreyfus Model of Skill Acquisition and how it relates to the biggest bottleneck he sees for developers: "crossing the divide from competence to proficiency." He defines what it means to be a "competent" programmer first and then one of the things junior developers struggle with - thinking knowledge is enough to make you more competent. He gives a more concrete example of this with the use of the Memento pattern, when to use and - for the competent side - when it breaks down.

He ends the post with some suggestions that can help you if you're wanting to make the jump from "proficient" to "competent" (even if you've been programming for a long time, some good tips here).

tagged: traits proficient programmer opinion oreilly

Link: https://www.oreilly.com/ideas/the-traits-of-a-proficient-programmer

Matt Stauffer:
Things I didn't know Laravel could do
Jun 03, 2016 @ 10:47:51

Matt Stauffer has a post to his site sharing a few things he didn't know Laravel could do as discovered during his work on his book Laravel Up & Running.

It turns out that there's a long road between "I have a book contract" and "I know everything there is to know in order to write this book."

It doesn't matter how much of an expert you feel like. It doesn't matter how much time you've spent learning and teaching. Across the board, every tech author I've talked to has described just how much they learned—had to learn—when they wrote a book.

I learned a lot in writing Laravel: Up and Running. And I want to share it with you.

He includes a list of four of the interesting things he learned during his writing:

  • The Cookie Facade is one special cookie
  • Attaching files to emails is easier than you think
  • You can chain more Scheduler methods than the docs show
  • You can assert that a view gets passed certain data

Each item also comes with a brief code example showing it in action. If you'd like more information about the book and a free sample, be sure to sign up using the form in the post or you can just pre-order the book and get the whole thing as soon as it's released.

tagged: oreilly book laravel interesting feature top4 free sample

Link: https://mattstauffer.co/blog/things-i-didnt-know-laravel-could-do

Laravel News:
Laravel: Up and Running Available for Preorder
Feb 10, 2016 @ 11:34:08

If you're interested in the Laravel framework and possibly using it for your upcoming projects but aren't sure where to start, you should consider checking out Matt Stauffer's upcoming O'Reilly book "Laravel: Up and Running". According to this post on the Laravel News site the book is now available for pre-order.

Matt Stauffer has been writing a new book on Laravel named Laravel: Up and Running: A Framework for Building Modern PHP Apps and it’s published by O’Reilly Media. [...] This first edition is 250 pages and will come in either paperback or ebook form, but this current preorder is only available in paperback. Based on Amazon the expected shipping date is August 25, 2016.

The book walks you through the creation of a Laravel application from start to finish. it's no meant as a reference but a "work book" to teach the foundations of the framework. It hopes to provide a single point where developers, especially those familiar with "C-family programming languages", will be able to get started quickly.

tagged: laravel upandrunning oreilly preorder book mattstauffer framework introduction

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2016/02/laravel-up-and-running-available-for-preorder/

Davey Shafik:
Upgrading to PHP 7
Nov 12, 2015 @ 09:19:52

As Davey Shafik mentions in this post to his site, O'Reilly has just released a "mini-eBook" he's written up to help you migrate your current codebase up to PHP 7 compatibility.

Yesterday, O’Reilly published my report on Upgrading to PHP 7. This 80-page mini-eBook is available free (and DRM free) in ePub, Mobi, and PDF formats.

Grab it today or read more details here.

The book guides you through the updates and features that come along with PHP 7 including: "deprecated features, Unicode enhancements, changes in Object-Oriented programming, and other enhancements." You'll get more details on what to change to bring your code up to the level of PHP 7 and remove deprecated features and what to replace them with. The book is free so there's no reason not to pick up a copy and find out what the PHP 7 revolution is all about.

tagged: php7 upgrade ebook oreilly published released download free

Link: https://daveyshafik.com/archives/69401-upgrading-to-php-7.html

Lorna Mitchell:
New Book: PHP Web Services
Feb 19, 2013 @ 10:31:25

Lorna Mitchell has officially announced the release of her O'Reilly-published book about creating and working with web services in PHP, PHP Web Services.

I'm delighted to announce that my new book "PHP Web Services" is now available as an early release! [...] The book isn't huge (or expensive, hint!), but it aims to give solid theory in a practical and approachable way. There's the topics you'd expect to see, covering HTTP and verbs and headers and status codes, and also around data formats. It also covers RPC services including SOAP, and also has a chapter (predictably the longest one!) about REST. I've tried to go beyond simply the "how to do" and into the "how to do in a kick-ass manner" realm, so there are chapters about how to design your API and choose what kind to build, how to handle errors, how to make your API really robust - and of course how to debug when things go wrong!

The book not only has the summaries and descriptions of some common web service challenges, but also includes code samples you can use in your own projects.

tagged: webservices oreilly published api soap rest rpc

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Lorna Mitchell's Blog:
Book Review: MongoDB and PHP
Apr 05, 2012 @ 09:50:56

Lorna Mitchell has posted a book review of an O'Reilly publication (by Steve Francia) - "MongoDB and PHP".

The tone of the book is quite informal and approachable [...]. This book also does a great job of deferring to other resources where that is appropriate; in particular where some features of MongoDB will change rapidly and the online documentation is well-maintained. [...] There is no hiding from the very lovely, very technical, features available in MongoDB and although this book doesn't drill into all the possible use cases of each one, it does cover some advanced topics such as sharding and GridFS which was completely new to me.

Her review of the book is positive, noting that it takes a topic that, despite possibly being overwhelming for someone new to it, makes it approachable and easy to digest. You can find out more about this book on the O'Reilly website.

tagged: mongodb book review stevefrancia oreilly

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Rafael Dohms' Blog:
Book Review: The Art of Readable Code
Feb 29, 2012 @ 10:41:12

Rafael Dohms has posted a new review of a book that focuses on helping you create better, more readable code - "The Art of Readable Code" (Dustin Boswell, Trevor Foucher, O'Reilly). This is isn't about "pretty code" as much as it is manageable, easy to follow structures and logic flows.

"The Art of Readable Code" was written by Dustin Bowell and Trevor Foucher and basically focuses on concepts and suggestions to make you code not just readable, but comprehendible by other developers, or as the author’s suggest, yourself in six months. Code readability is a topic that I truly believe the PHP community does not focus enough on and i really wanted a look at this book to see what kind of ideas it had and what I could do my best to bring to the attention of other developers.

The book is language-agnostic and provides ideas that developers should keep in mind when doing their development - clear variable names, making comments that make sense, refactoring tips and hints for implementing your ideas in code. He recommends the book to any developer (in any language) to help them make code that will stand the test of time and be easier to manage/understand in the future.

tagged: code readable book review oreilly clean comment naming refactor testing

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Brandon Savage's Blog:
PHP: The Good Parts - Book Review
May 03, 2010 @ 11:21:49

Brandon Savage has posted a review of one of O'Reilly Publishing's latest PHP-related offerings - PHP: The Good Parts.

My overall impression of the book was disappointment. To some degree I was hoping for a book that would show me special parts of PHP that perhaps I had overlooked; instead, the book focuses on a basic introduction to PHP, and one that isn’t very detailed in the first place. The book’s focus as an introduction also fails to teach basic programming concepts, meaning that non-programmers will not find the book to be useful.

He was disappointed in some of the specifics of the book as well - things that, while not technically false, might not be totally correct either. Overall, though, he didn't feel the book would be a valuable resource to other developers out there and that it was only average.

tagged: book review goodparts oreilly

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Community News:
O'Reilly Publishes "PHP: The Good Stuff"
Apr 21, 2010 @ 08:50:38

O'Reilly Publishing has just released a new PHP book for those looking to get to the "heart of the language" the fastest - PHP: The Good Parts.

Get past all the hype about PHP and dig into the real power of the language. This book explores the most useful features of PHP and how they can speed up the web development process, and explains why the most commonly used PHP elements are often misused or misapplied. You'll learn which parts add strength to object-oriented programming, and how to use certain features to integrate your application with databases.

You can see the full table of contents on their page for the book including beginner topics like functions and variables all the way out to security, advanced goodies and PHP 5.3.

tagged: oreilly publish thegoodstuff book

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Carsten Lucke's Blog:
O'Reilly PHP 5 Cookbook - 3rd German Edition
Oct 29, 2009 @ 10:14:23

Carsten Lucke has posted about the release of the third edition of O'Reilly's "PHP5 Cookbook" ("PHP5 Kochbuch") German edition:

The book is published by O'Reilly - written by David Sklar, Adam Trachtenberg, Stephan Schmidt, Ulrich Speidel, Carsten Lucke and Matthias Brusdeylins. The German PHP 5 cookbook in a new and completely revised 3rd edition with information on the new PHP 5.3. Collected knowledge of American and German PHP experts. It contains hundreds of well-approved "recipes" including explanations of the new PHP features.

Carsten and Matthias Brusdeylins reworked the third edition and revised quite a bit of it for this new release (including adding some PHP 5.3 examples). The book comes in at a hefty 879 pages and more information can be found on the O'Reilly website.

tagged: oreilly cookbook edition german

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