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SitePoint Web Blog:
How to be a Good Developer
October 13, 2014 @ 11:54:17

On the SitePoint Web Blog there's a recent post by George Fekete with a few suggestions about how to be a good developer, regardless of the language or technology you're using.

As a PHP developer, or any kind of developer as a matter of fact, you need to constantly improve yourself in this ever-changing industry; you need to learn and use new knowledge every day. What successful developers have in common, is that they care about programming a lot, they are professionals treating good programming practices as a form of art. In this article, you'll learn about how to be a better developer by following the "etiquette" of programming and you'll learn how to use this information to perhaps teach others to better themselves.

He starts with some tips about "being professional" overall that include things like being responsible and having a strong work ethic. Then he moves into writing good code. This isn't about actual code examples, more about good practices and tools. He also shares some tips about how to keep things (and yourself) on track and tips on how to "be a master" when it comes to social interactions and the work you're doing.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/good-developer/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Becoming a PHP Professional Practical Teamwork
January 07, 2014 @ 13:35:12

In part four of his "Becoming a PHP Professional" post series Bruno Skvorc looks at the topic of "professional teamwork" , more so as it relates to a bit more practical things.

Last time, we discussed social aspects of teamwork, and how working in a team can both benefit and harm you. There's loads to take into consideration when working with other people, and lots to be gained. This time, let's talk about practical aspects of teamwork, particularly virtual teams or, in other words, teams with remote members.

He covers a three main topics (several that only relate to non-colocated teams):

  • Time Zone Difference and Broken Bottleneck in Teamwork
  • Organic Solutions (the importance of a technical lead and filter)
  • Inorganic solutions (technology to make life easier and remote workers more productive)
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professional developer series part3 practical teamwork solutions

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/becoming-php-professional-practical-teamwork

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Becoming a PHP Professional Social aspects of teamwork
December 17, 2013 @ 14:16:31

Bruno Skvorc has posted his latest article in his "Becoming a PHP Professional" series to the SitePoint PHP blog today. This time he talks about the social aspects of teamwork, a look at three things to consider to make working on a team easier regardless of the size.

This article will focus on social aspects of teamwork and initiative, and will serve as an introduction into a more concrete and practical teamwork based article coming soon. t's important to note that when I say teamwork, I don't only mean teams while working for a larger entity - a corporation or company in which you're a minor sub-group. A team is also a group of freelancers working together on a project - either close by, or remotely. Whenever you work with someone in any capacity whatsoever - that's a team. A loose team, but a team nonetheless.

He makes three suggestions that can help you figure out how to interact with people both in your immediate team and those outside of it:

  • Knowing your role
  • Giving respect to superiors (to a degree)
  • Don't be afraid to leave
What I'd like you to take away from this part is - don't be a slave of circumstance. Be courteous, professional and honest, but don't be afraid to leave a poisonous environment - it harms you, the people who love and support you, and finally, the project you're working on.
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professional developer series part3 social aspects teamwork

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/becoming-php-professional-social-aspects-teamwork/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Becoming a PHP Professional The Importance of Others
December 03, 2013 @ 09:59:37

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post in the "Becoming a PHP Professional" series today from Bruno Skvorc. In this latest post he talks about the importance of other people in the process, including both learning (being mentored) and teaching (mentor).

When you work on improving your skills on your own, you'll often find yourself stuck. In fact, the experts frequently find themselves stuck more often than newbies, but it's the speed and skill with which they "unstick" themselves that makes them stand out in the cold, snowy field of identically unimpressive snowflakes.

He talks about having an "invisible friend" or another non-developer to talk to that may provide a different perspective (see rubber ducking). He covers teams and both the good and bad of being a part of them. He also looks at the mentoring/being mentored relationship and some places you can go to get more information about both in the PHP community. Finally, he looks at a tricky topic - ego in development and the inflation that can happen as your skill level grows.

Others around you - either digitally or in real life - can protect you from both inflation and deflation - a good mentor or colleague will tell you when you're steering wrong, and they'll motivate you when you're in a slump. They'll help you avoid the multi-month cooldown periods and the post-burnout lack of interest that eventually occurs.
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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/becoming-php-professional-importance-others/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Becoming a PHP Professional The Missing Link
November 18, 2013 @ 13:55:36

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
  • Read
  • 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.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/becoming-php-professional-missing-link/

thePHP.cc:
Announcing thePHP Curriculum
September 18, 2013 @ 11:22:31

The PHP.cc (a consulting firm made up of Sebastian Bergmann, Arne Blankerts and Stefan Priebsch) has officially announced their latest offering, thePHP Curriculum.

Beginning in early 2014, we will introduce thePHP Curriculum to our international clients, your best opportunity to become an expertly trained Certified Web Professional or Certified PHP Craftsman. The International (English) version of thePHP Curriculum expands upon its successful implementation this year in Germany.

The program aims to certify developers for various skill levels - Certified Web Professional and levels 1-3 of a Certified PHP Craftsman. It includes study materials, programming tasks, individual feedback and email support. The modules (and their order) is customizable so you can learn at your own speed and focus on the areas you'd like.

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thephp curriculum professional craftsman certification study

Link: http://thephp.cc/viewpoints/blog/2013/09/announcing-thephp-curriculum

Chance Garcia's Blog:
Valuable Professional Reading
August 13, 2010 @ 08:14:39

As a part of the Dev Derby he's participating in, Chance Garcia has put together a list of books that he sees as beneficial to developers out there to hone their craft.

Our book selections are not limited to our respective Languages. I thought I would share my list with everyone. The first 2 (GoF design patterns and Patterns of enterprise application architecture) really just need to be in every developer's library. The rest are a collections of books I've read and liked as well as recommendations from developers I like and respect.

Books on his list include:

  • Patterns of enterprise application architecture
  • Building Scalable Web Sites
  • Mythical Man Month
  • Guide to PHP Security
  • Guide to Enterprise PHP Development
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professional reading devderby suggestion book


Dougal Campbell's Blog:
Book Review Digging Into WordPress
June 30, 2010 @ 10:06:38

Dougal Campbell has posted a review of a book targeted towards both WordPress beginners and pros - "Digging Into WordPress" by Chris Coyier and Jeff Starr.

I spent some time looking over it, And wanted to share my impressions. If you're in a hurry and just want the 5-second review: It's good, and it's got something for beginners and experts alike. If you want a more in-depth look, then please read on.

The book weighs in at 400 pages and eleven chapters covering all sorts of topics like themeing, security, installation of a fresh version of the code, plugins and custom development. There's also an archive included with the book with all of the code and plenty of examples to get you headed in the right direction.

You can find out more about the book - and order your copy - from its website.

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Eli White's Blog:
Conferences, Speakers & Presentations
March 18, 2010 @ 13:58:41

Eli White has an interesting new post about the PHP community and the conferences/presentations associated with it. According to his commentary, it's being done wrong and not quite how other communities/companies do it.

The PHP 'conference circuit' if you will, is one that has grown up in a different manner than other conference circuits that I've been familiarized with in the past (Java, Adobe, 'Web', etc). In most of these other areas, the speakers are PAID to attend. [...] On the flip side, in the PHP conference circuit, every speaker there, in fact, is PAYING for the right to attend that conference and be a part of it.

He talks about the fact that speakers will have more than just the cost of the conference to worry about. In fact, sometimes they can all add up to more than the conference would have cost them normally.

In the end, my point is this. I feel that given the nature of all of these conferences. That the organizers and attendees need to understand the situation and treat the speakers not as a '˜professional speaker that they paid good money to see'. But as what they really are. Far more akin to an Open Source Developer, who is donating their time for the better good and education of the masses.
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Stefan Mischook's Blog:
What makes a professional programmer?
August 12, 2009 @ 07:52:08

In this new post to his KillerPHP blog Stefan Mischook takes a quick look at professional programming and what separates professional programmers out from the rest.

I recently got an email question put to me by someone wanting to know what makes a professional programmer. [...] A good programmer is able to put out clean code that works and is easy to update. Simplicity is a sign of professionalism in any profession or discipline.

He goes on to talk about some of the things a programmer should learn to help them move towards that "professional" status including object oriented programming, design patterns, MVC frameworks and getting in "under the hood".

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