I’ve been building web apps for over 20 yrs, and teaching PHP since 2006. In that time, I’ve boiled down all my teaching and coding experience to three powerful tips. These three simple things you can do, will make learning PHP development much easier for you:
Take hand written notes as you learn. It’s one thing to watch a video, or read a book. It’s a whole different experience when you take notes as you are learning. The simple act of putting pen to paper, will tell your brain that the information is more important than normal.Because of this, your brain will put more effort into remembering what you are writing the notes about.
… The more senses you activate when learning or experiencing something, the more powerful the memory will be. So when watching a video while writing notes, you are activating sight, sound and touch. The touch comes from the contact of the pen in your hand. By activating the touch feeling, you are giving your brain that much more of an association to the information.
Write code as soon as possible! There is nothing like doing it for real. When you write code, even when you are not sure what all the code means, you will see that your understanding of the code, will come much more quickly. So don’t be afraid to start writing code! For example, on day one of my popular web developer course, students write code…. And they will all tell you, how easy it was to learn PHP with me. A part that success comes from students writing code on day one.
Be prepared to make lots of mistakes! PHP programming is an error-prone process. Even the best coders in the world are constantly making mistakes. That’s why you have Windows 10, and not just Windows. OK, new versions of apps come out for two reasons:
To fix bugs. Bugs are mistakes in code written by professional programmers.
To add new features.
Nonetheless, making errors and writing PHP code go hand-in-hand, so don’t let it bother you when you make them. You might not get something on Monday, but don’t worry, it will probably come to you by Wednesday. In the end, all that is important is that you learn. No one will care if it took you a little extra time.
I’ve recorded a series of videos I call ‘Careers in Code’, and it is about many things related to coding professionally. The series of videos is less about code, and more about all the things professional coders have to understand.
Drawn from my 20+ experience in the coding arena, there is a lot of good information in there I learned the hard way … you can learn it more easily watching these videos.
If you have an old app that works, but it has some problem spots, it might make sense to use microservices to fix these issues.
Sometimes rewriting core modules or classes in an old app, is just not feasible. In these cases, using a microservice to bypass the old code is the way to go. This strategy can work wonders in breathing new life into an app, saving you the cost and headaches of writing a brand new app from scratch.
Bypassing the Apps old ORM with a much quicker ORM
As an example, we recently fixed a huge speed issue (with an old app) that was using an old slow ORM. An ORM is a layer of code, used to interact with a relational database. ORM is short for Object Relational Mapping … just in case you don’t know.
So we used the micro-service pattern (strategy,) to leverage a new faster ORM.The end result: records that took minutes to load, now loaded in 1-2 seconds!
Sometimes you have to break the nerd-rules
We had to duplicate some fields in the database (typically a big no-no,) to make this work. But by using database transactions and database triggers (to keep up the data integrity,) it made sense to break these rules in this situation.
… Besides, these were fields whose value rarely, if ever change.
We deployed Sunday night (as usual) just in case something went wrong on the live server. I am happy to report, all went well.