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stfalcon.com:
Increasing project productivity in Symfony2 from Doctrine2 ORM
March 16, 2015 @ 13:55:36

In this tutorial to the stfalcon.com site Sasha Lensky talks about some things you can do to help boost the performance of your Symfony2 application with a few tweaks in how Doctrine is used.

I have been trying to write this article for a long time, but just couldn't get around. Finally, I pulled myself together and did it. So, what will we discus ... I will share some techniques about working with Doctrine2 ORM, which will help to improve the site performance on Symfony2 (precisely any site that uses Doctrine2 ORM). I have created a project and put it on GitHub as a visual guide, so anyone can test my words in action now.

He shares five tips and includes code examples and results (based on the Profiler toolbar) for each:

  • Downloading all necessary connections
  • Updating multiple entities by request
  • Hydration waiver
  • Using Reference Proxies
  • Using Symfony Profiler Toolbar

That final tip about the Profiler toolbar is actually one used in the rest of the examples too, showing how to get that other information from the tool.

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doctrine2 symfony2 orm performance tips profiler toolbar

Link: http://stfalcon.com/en/blog/post/performance-symfony2-doctrine2-orm

Stefan Koopmanschap:
On Code Reviews
March 06, 2015 @ 09:11:40

Stefan Koopmanschap has a new post today talking about code reviews and introducing the concept for those not familiar with what they are or their usefulness.

Code reviewing is exactly what it sounds like: It is reviewing code written by another developer. There are different ways of doing this, but in the end it all comes down to having at least one other set of eyes checking any code written before it is released. There's many reasons for doing code reviews. It can be to prevent security issues, to ensure correct performance of your application, to prevent bugs but eventually it all comes down to the more generic term of ensuring the quality of your application.

He goes on to talk about some of the most common ways to do code reviews, either in something a simple as a pull request out to face-to-face discussions as the code is being introduced. He includes some hints on preparing for the review, steps to perform the review, dealing constructively with the comments made and finally the approval. He talks about who should do the reviewing and how they can still be useful even if you work alone or with a QA department.

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codereview introduction why how tips results methods

Link: http://leftontheweb.com/blog/2015/03/06/Code_Reviews/

Matt Stauffer:
Upgrading from Laravel 4 to Laravel 5
January 19, 2015 @ 10:37:19

Matt Stauffer has posted a guide to his site to help you migrate from Laravel 4 to Laravel 5 as painlessly as possible. This is part fourteen in his overall introduction to Laravel 5 series of posts.

It's very simple to get started in a new Laravel 5 app [...] but what if you have a Laravel 4 app you want to upgrade? You might think the answer is to upgrade the Composer dependencies and then manually make the changes. Quite a few folks have created walkthroughs for that process, and it's possible-but there are a lot of little pieces you need to catch, and Taylor has said publicly that he thinks the better process is actually to start from scratch and copy your code in. So, that's what we're going to be doing.

He walks you through cloning a new Laravel 5 instance and setting up the various pieces of the application including the app itself, the domain folder and Composer dependencies. He then gets into the migration of things in the "app/" folder like controllers, database migrations and models. He also includes steps to update namespacing, handling the configuration updates, moving over user handling and any forms you may have created.

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laravel4 laravel5 upgrade guide tips steps

Link: http://mattstauffer.co/blog/upgrading-from-laravel-4-to-laravel-5

SitePoint PHP Blog:
PHP Tips, Resources and Best Practices for 2015
January 05, 2015 @ 09:59:18

The SitePoint PHP blog has shared a list of their suggestions of the best tips, resources and best practices for 2015. This includes tips about your environments, tools and techniques you can use to improve your everyday work.

PHP has had many reputations over the years, but being insecure as a language never really was one of them. The core team, all its faults notwithstanding, is rather quick in pouncing on all security matters, and updating PHP to the latest version will often allay all worries. But the end users, such as we are, tend to mess things up. We don't update, we use outdated packages or packages with holes in them we're not aware of, we use ancient extensions… we expose ourselves to risk in some truly creative ways.

Some of the things mentioned include:

  • Keeping your PHP up to date
  • Adopt HTTPS
  • Secure your PHP
  • Stay on the Right Way
  • Avoid Bad Packages
  • Dodge common mistakes
  • Use Virtualization

Each section comes with a description and plenty of links to point you in a good direction and get you started off right for 2015.

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bestpractice tips resources list 2015 tools

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/php-tips-resources-best-practices-2015/

AirPair.com:
Best Practices for Modern PHP Development
December 05, 2014 @ 09:50:22

On the AirPair site today they've posted an article from developer Brian Fenton covering several things he sees as the best practices for modern PHP development, a listing of several tool, practices and suggestions to improve your skills as a PHP developer and bring them to the next level.

He breaks it down into five main sections (each with their own subsections):

  • Setup and configuration
  • Use Composer
  • Follow good design principles
  • Object calisthenics
  • Unit testing

Some of the points made under each of these sections include suggestions about using sensible defaults, installing and using Composer, the SOLID design principles and unit testing tools. Check out the full post for more great suggestions and techniques to improve your skills.

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bestpractices modern development tips list composer objectcalisthenics unittest

Link: https://www.airpair.com/php/posts/best-practices-for-modern-php-development

Rob Allen:
A few Phing tips
December 02, 2014 @ 10:40:07

Rob Allen has shared a few Phing tips in the latest post to his site today. Phing is a PHP-based automation tools most popularly used for the deployment and configuration of PHP applications.

Following on from my last post, here's a few other Phing things that I've found helps me.

He shares three short but useful tips:

  • Hiding targets from Phing -l
  • Main target vs subtarget
  • List available targets by default

Each tip includes the XML markup you'll need to make it functional. You can find out more about Phing and what it's capable of on its website.

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phing tips hide target subtarget available list

Link: http://akrabat.com/php/a-few-phing-tips/

Anna Filina:
Reduce number of queries
October 29, 2014 @ 10:53:10

In her most recent post Anna FIlina makes a recommendation to those looking to increase the performance of an application, especially one that's already in place: simply reduce the number of queries. It sounds simple enough, but can sometimes prove to be difficult depending on the application.

Customers often call me because their site is slow. One of the most common problems I found was a high number of queries that get executed for every single page hit. When I say a lot, I mean sometimes more than 1000 queries for a single page. This is often the case with a CMS which has been customized for the client's specific needs.

In this article, aimed at beginner to intermediate developers, I will explain how to figure out whether the number of queries might be a problem, how to count them, how to find spots to optimize and how to eliminate most of these queries. I will focus specifically on number of queries, otherwise I could write a whole tome. I'll provide code examples in PHP, but the advice applies to every language.

She suggests starting from "the top", looking at the browser's own information on which pieces of data are taking the longest to return back to the client (the latency). This gives a starting direction and tells you where to look for the worst offenders. She talks about a technique to locate and count the queries being made and some common issues found in multiple kinds of software (hint: loops). Then she gets down to the optimization - combining similar queries and better queries through joins.

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query database performance join similar tips

Link: http://afilina.com/reduce-number-of-queries/

Beth Tucker Long:
How to Submit a Talk to a Conference
October 29, 2014 @ 09:21:00

If you've ever considered taking the leap and trying your hand at speaking at (technology) conferences but weren't sure where to start Beth Tucker Long, well known PHP community member and speaker, has posted a guide to help you submit a talk to your conference of choice.

I've been on both sides of the proverbial conference table. I have been the one submitting proposals, hoping against hope that they will pick mine, and I have been on the selection committee, struggling to choose between hundreds of awesome proposals when you only have a few talk slots available. Through these varied experiences, I've learned a few things about what works and what doesn't when submitting a conference proposal.

She provides a "checklist" of sixteen things that she's learned over the years about submitting ideas to events and what to do/not do when giving the actual presentation including:

  • First and foremost, remember to hit spell-check
  • Don't talk about yourself in your talk description
  • Explain the practical applications of your topic
  • Share past feedback in the comments or notes section
  • Submit a lot of proposals
  • Don't submit multiple topic ideas or variable time lengths in one submission

The final three on her list have more to do with the presentation itself than the proposal and, in my opinion, are almost more important: don't talk down to your audience, be brief and be interesting.

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conference talk submission tips top16 list submit

Link: http://www.alittleofboth.com/2014/01/how-to-submit-a-talk-to-a-conference/

NetTuts.com:
Securing Your Server Login
October 22, 2014 @ 10:43:27

While PHP developers usually pay more attention to the code level of things, it's good to know something about managing the servers their applications live on too. In this most recent tutorial from NetTuts.com they introduce you to some of the basic things you can do to help secure your server against potential attacks, more specifically around the logins.

Thanks to the growing abundance of useful self-hosted apps such as WordPress and the affordable growth of cloud hosting providers, running your own server is becoming increasingly compelling to a broader audience. But securing these servers properly requires a fairly broad knowledge of Linux system administration; this task is not always suitable for newbies.

They provide a list of seven things to look at (not a comprehensive list, but good none the less) to protect your system logins:

  • Update Your System Components
  • Change Your SSH Port From the Default
  • Activate a Firewall
  • Change Your Root Login Name
  • Activate Google Two-Factor Authentication
  • Switch to Using SSH Keys for Login
  • Manage Your Application Security

Each item includes a summary of the "why" and commands or links to other resources with more information.

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server login security top7 list tips hosting

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/securing-your-server-login--cms-22001

Ben Ramsey:
Learning a New Codebase
September 18, 2014 @ 09:38:51

In a new post to his site Ben Ramsey shares a few suggestions around things to ask and do to learn a new codebase (whether that means in a new job or coming into a new open source project).

A few days ago, my friend Ed Finkler started a new job. Earlier this week, he posted on Twitter: "First days humble us all." Having begun a new job myself, I shared Ed's sentiment. Last weekend, while at the Madison PHP Conference, we were discussing what developers can do during the interview process to get an idea of the kind of codebase a company has.

He includes a few questions for developers to ask, either during the interview or once hired, about the codebase itself including:

  • what coding standards the company follows
  • how much of the code is covered by tests
  • have the company's deployment process described

He also recommends learning the codebase by diving in and either writing tests for untested areas or work through bug reports and fix (then test) them.

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learn new codebase tips questions bugfix unittest

Link: http://benramsey.com/blog/2014/09/learning-a-new-codebase/


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