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Jonathan Hill:
How much does it cost to be a web developer?
March 14, 2014 @ 11:17:48

Jonathan Hill has taken an interesting perspective in his recent post looking more at some of the average financial costs around being a web developer.

With Software Development topping 2014′s top jobs list, I thought I would share how much it cost me to become a web developer, and what my monthly expenses look like nowadays.

He breaks it down into a few different categories, listing an average price for each:

  • Initial (start-up) costs for hardware and software
  • Training costs
  • Recurring costs

Obviously, not all of the software and tools he lists are needed for every software developer, but it does give some perspective. Thankfully, he also links to some free alternatives to the tools he mentions that can reduce these costs as well.

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Link: http://jonathonhill.net/2014-02-19/how-much-does-it-cost-to-be-a-web-developer/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
The Pros and Cons of Zend Certification
February 10, 2014 @ 11:35:49

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post that weighs the pros and cons of getting the Zend PHP Certification. The Zend Certified PHP Engineer is described as "a measure of distinction that employers use to evaluate prospective employees".

As a PHP developer, you may have been asking yourself how to improve your skills, gain reputation or become more professional in your work. One of the ways of doing so is to get through a certification programme. The only one that covers PHP itself (not a particular framework or software solution) is being delivered by the Zend company. In the remainder of the article I will focus on this particular certificate and describe its advantages and disadvantages. At the end I will also mention some other certification programs that may be valuable to a PHP developer.

He starts with a bit of general information about the certification including some of the categories it covers. He then gets into the pros and cons, listing two items for each. He suggests that it's a good way to measure your knowledge but there is a question of how much it really proves to get a passing score.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/pros-cons-zend-certification/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Understanding Symfony Bundle Configuration and Service Container
February 04, 2014 @ 10:46:03

The SitePoint PHP blog has a post today for those that may be new to the Symfony framework or just wanting to get into it and having trouble understanding bundle configuration. In this new post Carl Vuorinen walks you through this process, combining an example bundle with its configuration.

In this post we'll cover different ways on how to configure Bundles in Symfony2 and how the dependency injection container works with the configuration. The Bundle configuration and Symfony dependency injection container (also known as service container) can be difficult concepts to grasp when first starting development with Symfony2, especially if dependency injection is not a familiar concept beforehand. [...] I am used to working with YAML because I think it's more readable than XML, but you do get the benefit of schema validation when using XML.

He briefly introduces the concepts behind "bundles" in Symfony and two ways to create one - either via the generator on the command line or manually. He also shows two ways to get a bundle's configuration loaded. There's the "easy way", configuring it inside the main "confix.yml", or the slightly harder way of adding a configuration file inside the bundle structure itself and using the "get" method to grab the values manually. With the location(s) of the configuration defined, he gets into the contents of the file and its structure. Finally, he shows the complete example, an "ExampleBundle" with a "greet" method that accepts the configuration value from the "cvuorinen_example.greeter" setting.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/understanding-symfony-bundle-configuration-service-container

PHPClasses.org:
Lately in PHP Podcast #43 - "Is Facebook HHVM going to Replace Zend Engine in PHP6"
January 20, 2014 @ 11:36:41

On the PHPClasses.org site today they've published the latest episode in their "Lately in PHP" podcast series, Episode #43 - "Is Facebook HHVM going to Replace Zend Engine in PHP 6".

The Facebook HipHop Virtual Machine, HHVM, has been evolving a lot, so PHP developers are considering it as a possible replacement for Zend Engine in PHP 6. This was one of the main topics discussed by Manuel Lemos and César Rodas in the episode 43 of the Lately in PHP podcast. They also discussed other topics like FastCGI support in HHVM, having PHP function naming consistency plans for PHP 6, TLS peer verification for secure connections, and using Composer to install JavaScript, CSS and images for PHP projects.

You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page player, by downloading the mp3 or watching the live video recording from the Google Hangout.

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Link: http://www.phpclasses.org/blog/post/225-Is-Facebook-HHVM-going-to-Replace-Zend-Engine-in-PHP-6--Lately-in-PHP-podcast-episode-43.html

Lorna Mitchell:
Zend Certified PHP Developer 5.5
January 08, 2014 @ 09:23:45

If you're thinking about taking the Zend Certified PHP Developer (5.5) test but aren't sure exactly where to start, Lorna Mitchell has provided a list of some good resources to help you out.

Yesterday I updated my previous ZCE certificate to the Zend Certified PHP Developer qualification (the new ZCE for PHP 5.5 also got a new name). Since the ZCE 5.3 exam is no longer available and I work with various clients to prepare their teams for these certifications, it was important to me that I keep my own certification up to date. Now I've done that, I'd like to share some resources for others doing the same thing.

She points to a few things that could help you make the grade:

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Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2014/zend-certified-php-developer-5-5

Paul Jones:
Quicker, Easier, More Seductive Names, Usage, and Intent
December 18, 2013 @ 10:39:05

Paul Jones has updated his "service locators vs dependency injection containers" series with another post to his site today, this time he focuses on implementation not names. He suggests that the difference in naming makes it easy to think they're very different things, so he focuses on implementation rather than just the names.

As the disucussion progressed, it became more clear to me that there really is no significant difference in how Dependency Injection containers and Service Locator containers are written. They are both Inversion of Control (IOC) containers, and are not distinguishable by their code, API, features, etc. (although some may have more or fewer features than others).

As such, the terms Dependency Injection and Service Locator appear to be interchangeable in the sense that a container is a container is a container. The difference in naming comes from how the container is used, not how the container is implemented.

He suggests that one of the main differences is where they are, either inside or outside of a non-Factory object. He circles back around to the names, though, and points out that when developers talk to one another, they need to be speaking the same language. As such, he tries to set this vocabulary for the implementations, separati

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Link: http://paul-m-jones.com/archives/5853

Paul Jones:
Quicker, Easier, More Seductive How To Tell A DI Container From A Service Locator
December 17, 2013 @ 13:55:11

Paul Jones has continued his posts about dependency injection containers versus service locators in his site with this new post that hopes to make it easier for you to tell the difference between the two.

It is easy to confuse a Dependency Injection container with a Service Locator. They are very similar to each other. The differences are subtle. Indeed, it's even possible to use a Dependency Injection container as a Service Locator, although I think it's difficult to use a Service Locator as a Dependency Injection container. They are both sub-patterns of a more generic pattern called Inversion of Control, and some people confuse the term Dependency Injection with the more generic term Inversion of Control.

He starts off with a few questions you can ask to see which camp the implementation belongs in, mostly revolving around how the objects are fetched. He includes some code samples to help reinforce the point, showing both a service locator and DIC. He's also done some looking around at some of the major DIC implementations and which of the two he sees them as (with a few notes explaining his thoughts).

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Link: http://paul-m-jones.com/archives/5843

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Translation and Text-to-Speech with Microsoft Translator
December 05, 2013 @ 09:19:29

On the SitePoint PHP blog today there's a new tutorial showing you how to combine the Microsoft Azure platform services with their Translator API to create a text-to-speech translation service with some simple curl calls.

Text to speech is a popular technique used by many websites to provide their content in an interactive way. The generation of artificial human voice is known as Speech Synthesis. Even though it's highly popular, there are very few speech synthesis services, especially when looking for those free of charge. Microsoft Translator is one of the services we can use to get a speech service with limited features. In this tutorial, we are going to look at how we can use Microsoft Translator API to translate content and then make audio files using said content.

He walks you through setting up an Azure application (you'll need an account for the marketplace already) and how to subscribe to the translation service. It's a paid service but there's a "try before you buy" level that allows 2,000,000 characters of translation before it's cut off - perfect for testing. He includes the PHP to make the requests to the Translation API via curl. Included is code to initialize the configuration for the request, get the correct tokens and a reusable method for making the actual translation request. Finally, an example of doing the actual text-to-speech conversion is shown, resulting in an mp3 file.

He also includes an example of a simple frontend UI. You can see a working demo of the script here.

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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/translation-text-speech-microsoft-translator/

Inviqa techPortal:
Create a RESTful API with Apigility
December 04, 2013 @ 09:29:15

On the Inviqa techPortal they've posted a new tutorial from Rob Allen introducing Apigility, the recently announced API management and creation tool from Zend. He uses his usual album/music illustration to show how to create a simple API inside the tool.

On the 7th October 2013, Zend introduced Apigility to the world. Once you get beyond the name, you see a very interesting project that allows you to easily create a web service without having to worry about the nitty-gritty details. Which details? Well, Apigility will handle content negotiation, error handling and versioning for you, allowing you to concentrate on your application. In the recently tagged 0.7 release, Apigility also supports both HTTP and OAuth2 authentication. In this tutorial we will create a simple REST API that allows us to view a list of music albums, showing how to start using Apigility and how to publish an API using this tool.

He walks you through all the steps you'll need to create the basic API, more specifically around the "Albums" data and functionality:

  • Creating a new project with Composer
  • Using the Admin dashboard to create a new API
  • Making a new REST endpoint (albums)
  • Building an Album collection endpoint (with Collection, Entity and Resource)
  • Making the data model, including the table SQL

He includes all the code you'll need for these last few items and shows the curl calls to make for grabbing a single and multiple album listings. There's also a brief discussion in there about how Apigility handles API versioning with some internal handling.

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Link: http://techportal.inviqa.com/2013/12/03/create-a-restful-api-with-apigility/

Zend Blog:
Rise of the Native Cloud Developer - ZendCon Keynote
October 11, 2013 @ 12:54:22

If you weren't able to make it to this year's ZendCon conference that just happened in Santa Clara, you can get at least a little piece of it from this new post to the Zend blog. It's a video from a keynote session from Peter Magnusson titled "Rise of the Native Cloud Developer."

At his keynote session at ZendCon, he shared some of the important and sometimes unexpected lessons Google learned while building for the cloud - such as the importance of lightweight execution containers, relying on failure, and how to overcome the speed of light when building distributed systems.

And then he went ahead to discuss about the rise of the "Cloud Native" developer - how engineers and organisations large and small now using these principles to build truly robust and scalable services, and businesses.

You can watch it embedded in the post or full size on Youtube.

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Link: http://blog.zend.com/2013/10/10/rise-native-cloud-developer/


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