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Anna Filina:
Common PHP Mistakes
July 21, 2014 @ 13:53:31

Anna Filina has posted her own addendum to a top ten list of common PHP programmer mistakes, adding seven more of her own.

I was recently asked by one of my readers to give feedback on the following article he read: 10 Most Common PHP Mistakes. It is well written and very thorough. Most of the tips are specific to PHP, others are about web programming in general or database performance. It's a very good read. I was also asked to contribute to this list, so here are 7 more tips.

Her list of seven touches on topics like caching, allowing SQL injection, disabling error reporting and ignoring accessibility. She also includes some configuration settings, code and links to other tools/resources to help provide information on preventing these other mistakes.

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Link: http://afilina.com/common-php-mistakes/

/Dev/Hell Podcast:
Episode 41 Let Me Wet My Beak
March 12, 2014 @ 13:14:27

The /Dev/Hell podcast, hosted by Chris Hartjes and Ed Finkler, has posted its latest episode - Episode 41: Let Me Wet My Beak. In this new episode they're joined by guest David Rogers.

This week we're joined by David Rogers, aka @al_the_x, to hear how he's teaching PHP in college courses for brand-new programers. We also talk about what possessed Ed to develop his own unit testing framework.

You can check out this episode either through the in-page player or by downloading the mp3 of the show. Also, be sure to subscribe to their feed if you like what you hear.

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Link: http://devhell.info/post/2014-03-10/let-me-wet-my-beak/

IT World:
Does relying on an IDE for development make you a bad programmer?
February 27, 2014 @ 10:04:45

On the IT World site there's an interesting post that poses the question - does relying too heavily on your IDE make you a bad programmer?

The truth is that a good IDE makes you vastly more productive than a bad one or none at all. Projects are off the ground faster thanks to helpful scaffolding. Coding moves faster thanks to intelligent autocompletes and IDE refactoring tools. Integrated unit testing helps your application be more maintainable. Built in deployment tools, web servers, code analysis, and compile time bundling streamlines the workflow. It also standardizes the developer experience which benefits both the programmer and the business.

He mentions the original post that got him thinking about the topic. It talks about the reliance one developer feels like they now have on their IDE. They feel that it's "made them lazy" in their development practices. The article isn't specifically focused around PHP as there are IDEs for other languages that do a lot more for work for you. There are some in the PHP world, like PHPStorm that do rank up there as far as automated features, though.

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Link: http://www.itworld.com/development/406451/does-relying-ide-development-make-you-bad-programmer

Pádraic Brady:
PHP 5.6 and SSL/TLS Getting Better But Will PHP Programmers Actually Use It?
January 31, 2014 @ 11:24:32

In his latest post Pádraic Brady looks at a new addition to PHP (well, to be included in the next release) related to the SSL/TLS handling it provides in streams. He's happy to report that things are improving. This commit integrated an RFC allowing for TLS perr verification in PHP streams.

The RFC reverses PHP's course and provides PHP streams with defaults that enable both peer verification and host verification. The patch implements the RFC and it lets PHP leverage the local system's own certificate stash (e.g. Debian's ca-certificates) where possible to avoid PHP having to distribute a bundle of its own and while also assisting in backwards compatibility. [...] Once we have a PHP streams/sockets system with a passable level of default security, the rest will be left to programmers on the ground to change their practices.

With this new functionality coming in PHP 5.6, he strongly encourages developers to change how they're currently doing things and embrace this new verification to keep their code safer.

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Link: http://blog.astrumfutura.com/2014/01/php-5-6-and-ssltls-getting-better-but-will-php-programmers-actually-use-it/

Reddit.com:
What does it take to be hirable in the world of PHP?
September 14, 2012 @ 09:57:56

On Reddit.com there's a new discussion about what it might take to be "hirable" as a PHP developer and recommendations from the community as to things to do.

I'm a 19-year-old who has recently hit a bit of a rough spot in life, and the only real skill I have other than tending the cash register is programming. I've been programming for quite a while, although I've never taken more than small web design work in terms of paid jobs. I'm interested to know if with some touch-up and extra learning PHP is something that's realistic for a young person to be looking at for a career, or at least an interim step in life.

There's several different kinds of suggestions including:

  • They may consider relocation as a viable option
  • Learn MVC and related technologies
  • Find a local meetup and network
  • Learn about the most up to date techniques (namespacing, wriitng secure code, etc)
  • Make a publicly available code repository with samples of your work
  • Look for an open source project to contribute to
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Marco Tabini:
Duck blinds
July 20, 2012 @ 09:03:14

In this new post Marco Tabini gives his take on "language haters" and how it's less about the language and more about what you do with it.

The reason why I'm here is that, on occasion, a person decides that it's time write Yet Another PHP Bashing Post. Typically, this is followed by a bunch of Posts Defending PHP. [...] Saying that PHP is horrible or great is no more useful than saying that a hammer is horrible or great (regardless of the number of claws it comes with). [...] The real question is whether PHP - or any other technology - is good for you.

He goes on to mention current successful projects that use PHP, but focuses on the people and the ideas that made them happen, not the language "behind the scenes". He also comments on what he thinks makes a good programmer (and one that has matured past the "X language is the best!" stance):

And this brings me to the crux of the matter: The trick to being a great programmer is to learn as much as you can about as many programming languages and techniques as you can. Eventually, you'll learn that any language is excellent at some things, good at others, and a poor choice for many others. It's all about the context, and finding the right tool for the job.
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Anthony Ferrara's Blog:
The Secure Programmer's Pledge
July 17, 2012 @ 12:23:22

Anthony Ferrara has posted a pledge he recommends all developers take to improve the security of their applications.

Every day I come across code that is insecure. Sometimes the code is so hilariously insecure that any 10 year old could break it. I've also gotten into discussions with people who should know better about their practices. It's very, how to put this, disheartening. It's sad that the average developer knows (and cares) so little about proper security practices. So, I've put together a simple pledge (or manifesto, if you'd like).

The pledge includes the ideas of data storage techniques, taking responsibility for user data, reusing existing/tested libraries instead of writing your own and being open to constantly learning. He elaborates on each point, giving a little context for each.

Are you a secure programmer? Do you want to be? Then take the pledge, and fight for the security of your applications. It's all of our responsibility, so do your part!
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7php.com:
Interview with Chris Hartjes - The "Grumpy Programmer" of the PHP Community
February 20, 2012 @ 08:02:28

7php.com has posted their latest interview with a member of the PHP community - Chris Hartjes, the "grumpy programmer".

In this edition I talked with Chris Hartjes (@grmpyprogrammer), the co-organizer of the GTA PHP User Group (@gtaphp). Chris is a real Grumpy PHP Programmer! But grumpy in a very positive sense though. He focuses his effort in applying and transcending his best practice ideals with the codes he write. I would tag him as the "perfectionist programmer"; he will not hesitate to scrap his piece of work if he finds a fault or a room for improvement and start all over again with that "eye for perfection". In this interview, he will talk a bit about those coding best practices fortunately.

Chris answers questions about:

  • His history with PHP
  • His favorite PHP book
  • What tools he uses (IDE)
  • His description of the PHP community
  • His favorite conference

You can read the answers to these and more in the full interview.

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Francois Zaninotto's Blog:
Node.js for PHP Programmers #1 Event-Driven Programming... and Pasta
January 26, 2012 @ 08:35:41

On his blog today Francois Zaninotto has a post that aims to introduce those with a PHP background to how Node.js works. In this first part of his series, he tries to explain the idea of event-driven programming - parallel processing of different parts of an application based on some action taken in the code.

For a PHP developer, asynchronicity is the most puzzling aspect of the Node.js runtime. It's simply a new way to write programs. And once you pass the first learning steps, event-driven programming opens a world of possibilities PHP programmers would never dream of. I'll try to explain you how it works, but first, let's talk about pasta.

In his "pasta" example, he shows how a typical PHP application would make a "Pan" object, call a "warm" action, "add olive oil", etc. All of this happens in sequence, though and takes 29 "minutes" to complete. To help things along, he implements an "EventLoop" class that handles tracking the timing and includes two methods to execute callbacks and delayed methods. He expands on this example with asynchronous objects and method calls to handle multiple things at once. He relates this to what Node.js offers - a built in event handling system, an included EventLoop object and native blocking I/O operations.

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Chris Roane's Blog:
What does it mean to be an Advanced PHP Programmer?
June 06, 2011 @ 09:42:28

In a new post to his blog Chris Roane has a few suggestions about advanced programming and what it might take to be considered an advanced programmer in any language.

On a previous post I had someone comment that they did not agree that the code implementation that was presented in the article was advanced (which was described in the title). They also claimed that I was not an advanced PHP programmer. This made me think. Not because my programming skill or knowledge was challenged. But because I'm not sure what makes code or a programmer "advanced".

He asks a few questions about the criteria for considering someone an "advanced programmer" including things like how fast or efficient they are, how much they make or the conference(s) they've been to. He points out that, because "advanced" is such a relative term, it's hard to put a finger on it. Being this hard to define (and mostly worthless even if it is) he suggests an alternative to trying to figure it out:

Instead of throwing around general terms in labeling code or other programmers, let's come together and figure out ways in improving code together. Practical applications.
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