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Reddit.com:
I want a job as a developer. Here's my situation, can you help?
June 20, 2013 @ 11:17:48

On Reddit.com there's a recent post asking what kinds of things someone can do to gain the skills they need to get a job as a web developer. Disregard the comment at the top and get straight to the good stuff - there's lots of great recommendations here including:

  • "take the time to take algorithm classes , UML classes and db modelling classes and , very important , read other people's code"
  • "Work on stuff that interests you." and "Work on stuff that doesn't interest you but solves a problem for someone else"
  • "Pick a major CMS (doesn't matter which one) and tear it apart."
  • "Go through the PHP tracks on codeacademy.com"
  • "Go to MIT Open Courseware and start reading up data structures and algorithms."
  • "Just keep programming. You'll do stupid things, but having to do those things should become annoying."

Unfortunately, the poster started things out with a "don't tell me to read a book" mentality, so there's some responses in there about that. Don't let that disuade you from some of the other answers, especially if you're new to PHP, though.

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Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/1gpmr5/i_want_a_job_as_a_developer_heres_my_situation

Reddit.com:
Where do people put good PHP job ads now?
June 14, 2013 @ 11:08:46

On Reddit.com there's a post sharing some opinions on where to look for PHP jobs and find "the good ones" out of the sea of positions.

I don't want to make this a "hire me" post, because that would and should get downvoted, but where would a person go to find interesting PHP related job ads in 2013? Some of the older big job sites like Monster and Dice are a barren wasteland of boring recruiters hiring for defense contractors, health insurance companies and low end agencies. Github has a small but decent section. Stack Overflow has some decent ones. Hacker news has a monthly thread, but a strong anti-PHP hipster bias. Reddit, at least from search has so few that I find 2 year old ones.

The responses range from links to specific companies looking for people out to some more general resources like LinkedIn, Craigslist, and yes, even recruiters (just be sure to pick a good one).

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Link: http://www.reddit.com/r/PHP/comments/1g59kb/where_do_people_put_good_php_job_ads_now

Anthony Ferrara:
Failure Is Always An Option - Programming With Anthony
April 01, 2013 @ 09:03:19

Anthony Ferrara has posted another video in his "Programming with Anthony" series, this time pointing out that failure is always an option.

A few days ago, I posted a video about how to become a better developer. There were a few interesting comments made, but one in particular from the Reddit threadpeaked my interest. So I decided to do a reply.

You can watch the video either in his blog or over on Youtube. He's also included the some of the contents of the Reddit post and a funny (relevant) comic about learning "C++ in 21 days".

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Reddit.com:
Good guidance for shifting to OO from Procedural coding
March 19, 2013 @ 12:33:29

On Reddit.com there's a conversation kicked off by user swiftpants about making the move from procedural PHP programming to the world of object-oriented programming. They ask for advice from the community for the next steps to take to make the jump.

One thing I always have in the back of my head is that all my code is procedural and I should be making use of classes and ?? more. I have a very basic understanding of OO programming but I rarely implement it. Is there a good book or online guide that can get me on my way to OO programming in php. I am especially looking for feed back from self taught programmers.

There's lots of comments on the post talking about everything from:

  • Introductory videos from KillerPHP
  • Reading lots of other people's (OOP) code
  • That OOP is more about code reusing and simplicity (DRY) than abstraction.
  • You can learn a lot by working with one of the MVC/OO frameworks. Download one and build something.
  • The suggestion of phptherightway.com

Have any other thoughts on the best ways to learn OOP in PHP? Share them here!

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Reddit.com:
Building software from scratch vs learning a framework, before applying to jobs
February 13, 2013 @ 12:17:32

On Reddit.com a user has asked a question about frameworks versus writing things from scratch - which would provide them with more advantages in the future?

When applying for PHP jobs would it be more advantageous to have made your own software without the use of a framework? I'm starting a portfolio of projects and I'm unsure whether to stick to one framework and learn it well, use a variety of them, or also try building software from scratch. Which would look better to a prospective employer? or does it not matter too much? (considering I'm talking junior roles)

Recommendations from the comments including things like:

  • "Making your own software is always a better qualification. Because doing your own frameworks means that you understood the general concept of frameworks. But it doesn't hurt to be familiar with the big ones"
  • "It doesn't matter. Show that you know how to write good quality code."
  • "Frameworks change, the language doesn't. With a good understanding of the language itself, you should be able to pick up any framework fairly quickly."
  • "I think you need to know enough of the underlying language to understand what the framework is doing for you. Typically that comes from folks rolling their own framework for awhile"

Read the rest of the comments (or make your own contribution) on the full post.

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Reddit.com:
Suggestions for a University Talk Covering a PHP Introduction
August 30, 2012 @ 12:09:04

In this new post to Reddit, the author asks the community for suggestions for a talk they're giving at a university to cover the PHP language and some of its major features.

I've been asked to give a 1.5-hour talk to university students about PHP. What helpful information should I not miss to impart? Little help please. I plan to name the talk "Why PHP?" to give an introduction of the language and give reasons why it's a good/bad career path. I'm also asked to show a short demo and show some past projects. [...] What would be really helpful facts, tips, etc that I can impart to the students?

Suggestions in the comments include:

  • PHP performance
  • The accessibility of the language
  • Popular sites that currently use it
  • The wide community
  • Corporate usage

Have any other thoughts? Share them here!

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Reddit.com:
History Lesson What PHP coding was like in 1996
July 13, 2012 @ 09:46:15

On Reddit.com there's a new post that throws you back to a different time in PHP's life - back to 1996 when PHP was still in version 3:

I was lurking one day on Usenet Perl forums when I saw an announcement about the release of PHP 2.0/FI, the first truly public version of PHP. I was growing weary of trying to get PERL working via CGI and fell in love immediately with how simple and fault-tolerant mod_php with Apache was compared to CGI hell. In 1996, they didn't have sites like reddit when I was a noob. They didn't even have Google when I first learned PHP (years before google existed). Hell! php.net's search functionality barely worked. I don't remember there be any real documentation until after PHP 4 came out in mid-2000.

Other people have added their own memories to the post, mentioning how they started out with the language and some opinions on its current state.

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Reddit.com:
What does the day-to-day look like for a LAMP developer?
July 03, 2012 @ 13:13:13

In this recent post to Reddit.com, a "solid novice with PHP" asks the community for some insight into what the day-to-day life is like for an average LAMP developer.

I wanted to hear from someone who does LAMP development for a living, What does your work day look like? That is to say that, I have no idea what the responsibilities for a LAMP developer look like. Are these people putting together entire websites on various platforms (wordpress, joomla, whatever)? Are you simply doing backend work (setting up databases, working with tables, etc)? All of the above?

The comments on the post talk about things like:

  • The differences between the "startup" and "business" life of a typical developer
  • Sympathy over some of the debugging methods in PHP
  • Technical issues
  • Working as a lone developer
  • The variety of skills needed
  • Discussion of specs and system architecture

What's your average day like? Share it here!

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Reddit.com:
Let's talk Character Encoding
March 15, 2012 @ 11:07:07

On Reddit.com there's a recent post with a growing discussion about character encodings in PHP applications (with some various recommendations).

I would rather not have to convert these weird characters to the HTML character entities, if possible. I'd rather be able to use these characters directly on the web page. If this is for some reason a bad idea, let me know. This might be more of a general web design question (i already posted it there), but I figured it is still appropriate to post here as well since PHP is used to pull an entry from the database, and I figured a lot of you here would know the answer to the question.

The general consensus is to use UTF8 in this case, but there's a few reminders for the poster too:

  • Don't forget to make the database UTF8 too
  • Be sure you're sending the right Content-Type for the UTF8 data
  • an link to an article about what "developers must know about unicode/charactersets"
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Reddit.com:
A Response to "The MicroPHP Manifesto"
January 04, 2012 @ 09:18:42

On Reddit today there's a rather large discussion going on about the recently posted manifesto from Ed Finkler about building simple, manageable tools rather than using "kitchen sink" frameworks for your applications.

As of the time of this post there's about sixty-five comments posted to the thread with widely ranging opinions:

  • "How is [lots of separate libraries scattered around] better than simply using a framework?"
  • "This is part of the reason for the PSR0 reference for auto loaders [...] Part of the problem is an inconsistent way to load modules."
  • "I would love to see this become a trend in the PHP community. I think this is exactly the direction needed to make PHP exciting again and regain mindshare in the wider dev community."
  • "I know, many people are currently on that micro trip but seriously, I think that there is as much to microframeworks as there is to microoptimization"
  • "A framework is a tool. If you don't need it, why use it?"
  • "There's a tool for ever job, I agree some projects or companies "need" something like Zend or Symfony for their enterprise projects. Whether or not you'd want to work on a project with 1000's of classes is something else all together."

Read the full responses to Ed's article here.

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