Finding the right place to kickstart your coding journey may sound like a bit of a rough ride. However, before you decide whom to train with or what the course may offer, it is good to have a basic understanding of taking the right approach.
Our very own PHP pros have some interesting learnings to share with you. It is what led them to master their art. So, let’s dive right in!
1.Elizabeth Naramore – Stay Current
Naramore works for SourceForge & she reminds us that learning is a continuous process. She also suggests that it’s essential to keep tabs on the PHP world to become a better developer.
Staying in your comfort zone and coding the way you have been all along is easy. However, you must stay relevant with the latest releases and other news to add value to your work. It’s also essential to take the time to explore and play with new ways of working to improve skills. She also suggests listening to podcasts, reading blogs & regularly upskilling. Additionally, taking the time out to work on an open-source project will take your skills to a whole new level.
2.Keith Casey – Interact with Others’ Code
Casey started a software shop and recommended that seasoned PHP developers socialize more to work on other developers’ code. He says it’s important to explore different projects and look for innovative ways to solve problems. With this approach, you may be able to submit bug reports or patches. You may have your code criticized in public, but it is an excellent opportunity to learn others’ strategies. He also agrees with Naramore’s advice to stay on the learning curve and explore new methods.
3.Eamon Leonard – Give Back
Leonard, who co-founded CloudSplit, a real-time analytics service for cloud computing & runs Ireland-based software company Echolibre. It advises intermediate to advanced PHP developers to keep in touch with the community.
At an intermediate or advanced level, you would have learned a lot from others in the form of blogs, attending seminars, or even webinars. At this stage, it is essential to give back to the community in whatever way possible.
You could share your learnings by writing your blogs, or even conduct a conference where common and uncommon problems can be heard and resolved.
4.Lorna Jane Mitchell – Ask Questions
Mitchell is more commonly known as “Lornajane” online. She is a developer, PHP consultant, speaker and writer. She takes on a Curious George approach to enhance her PHP skills and encourages that the masses follow it.
She says that you should never be afraid of asking questions. You could either land on a forum, mailing list and IRC channels, along with real-life user groups.
5.Chris Cornutt – Help the Noobs
He helps intermediate developers that they pretty much understand the language if they have made it past their second or third PHP application. In an ideal situation, they should help beginners and guide them through the steps ahead.
He also suggests that intermediate and advanced PHP developers need to set specific standards. There should be no space for lapses or laziness. Since you have come a long way, you must find a way to fix it if you face a problem. Additionally, it is essential to document your code since it can help you in the long run.
6.Abraham Williams – Keep it Simple
Williams is both a developer and a hacker advocate. He encourages PHP developers to keep things simple and focus on the right improvements in a code instead of reinventing the wheel.
He further adds that you should not over-engineer since a clean, modular code is required. Additionally, you need to be active in your local community and help out peers whenever possible.
7.Demian Turner – Use Better Tools
Turner has been working on web and open source projects since 1996. He handles PHPKitchen.com, which was a Seedcamp finalist.
His word of advice for developers moving on to the intermediate level is to use better IDEs, static analysis tools & unit tests to become better at coding.
8.Stuart Herbert – Maintain Your Code
Herbert started his career in coding in 1999. He has also been writing about PHP for many years and made a significant contribution to Gentoo Linux.
He shares one of the significant reasons that got him the title of an expert coder. He says you need to maintain your code so that you can learn from your mistakes. Also, he agrees with Cornutt about how teaching others is important.
9.Maggie Nelson – Monitor Your Code
Nelson works as a PHP developer for Flickr. She recommends a few useful tools for code monitoring using FirePHP, FireBug & YSlow add-ons for Firefox. It will help you track your web app’s front-end and back-end performance.
Also, it is good to profile your code and monitor what your PHP does. In case you don’t understand something, read through what you have documented and got hold of other developers to get your questions answered.
Developers should also keep a keen eye on error reports and strive for clean logs. PHP tends to have levels of error reporting, so you need to use them accordingly. By taking advantage of what the application tells you, problems start finding a fix when you see them. Finally, she adds that even though you find yourself comfortable as a PHP developer, understand that there is much more to web development than PHP.
10.Michael Maclean – Work with Others
Maclean is both a PHP and Python developer. His advice is more or less in line with Naramore and Casey. He suggests never to work in isolation and always keep a check on what others are doing. Read up a few blogs, watch a few videos, or interact with fellow developers. There is so much you can learn on-the-go!
He also adds that a developer should take on the role of curious George and keep a hacker’s state of mind about the tools they use.
We hope that these tips straight from the gurus will give you a good head start and the motivation to get your career started. Our PHP training course at LearnAtRISE offers you an immersive experience into the robust and world’s most used server technology framework. Join us!