KillerPHP Blog

Learning PHP

Which Code Editor is Best for Teaching PHP?

February 15, 2015

There are soooooooo many choices out there these days when it comes to writing PHP code. Here are just a few popular apps:

  • Sublime Text – uber-nerds love this one!
  • Notepad++
  • Dreamweaver – yes, it has a code editor too.
  • jEdit

And there are many others, and I am not including the PHP IDE’s out there!

A PHP IDE (by the way,) is short for ‘Integrated Development Environment’. It is a code editor on steroids. They are much more powerful than standard code editors but they are also harder to learn. These days (2015) PHPStorm seems to one of the best, if not the best.

… The guys who created PHPStorm, created my favorite IDE for Java – IntelliJ IDEA. My nerd-servants are telling me PHPStorm is amazing. But, when teaching beginners how to program in PHP (or any other language,) it is best to not expose them to the added complexity of learning a full blown IDE. They can be very complex.

Back to code editors – so which is best?

In a nutshell: If I were teaching PHP, I would use either Sublime Text or Notepad++ if I was on Windows. Sublime Text works on both Mac and Windows but the license is ambiguous: it is free to demo but at some point you are supposed to pay the $70 for it. Not sure when though? I heard of some users still demoing it after 2 years!

This is a consideration for schools in terms of licensing. On the other hand, Notepad++ is free but it is Windows only.

Textwrangler is a Mac only HTML, CSS code editor but I don’t see you could use it for PHP.

Stefan Mischook
killerPHP.com

Creator of Studioweb.com

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Learn PHP with Stefan

January 6, 2015

Hi,

After a long delay (I wanted to get it right) my new subscription based training site is up and running – check out webmentor.org

Why join webmentor?

All my new videos will be there, you can ask questions right on the video pages, you have full access to the source files and my classic videos (that are still relevant) have been remastered in HD.

I’ve even written up a page on why learning PHP makes sense.

That’s all for now.

Stefan Mischook
killerPHP.com

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New Video Training Site from Killerphp

September 8, 2014

Hi Guys!

So, I am just announcing our new video training subscription service we built using Laravel and Twitter Bootstrap … among other things. Check it out:

webmentor.org

What makes Webmentor.org different than what we’ve had in the past? Again, check it out:

  • All the new videos will be in HD.
  • All videos are responsive and resizable.
  • Videos can easily be played back at different speeds.
  • Ask questions and make request – we will do our best to answer!
  • All courses are date stamped.
  • The system shows you which videos you’ve started to watch and which you’ve completed.

This is just the early launch (late stage beta but only a day away from version 1), so we’ve populated the system with our courses that are still good .. though they were created a little while ago. That said, we have brand new courses that cover HTML5 and CSS3 effects. A lot more coming over the next several months. Here is a sample:

Fullscreen background video with CSS3.

Thanks for reading!

Stefan Mischook
killerPHP.com

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Teach High School Programming with PHP

August 1, 2014

k12 web design

Let’s start with the conclusion: PHP is a great language to start teaching middle and high school students programming. My 10yrs + of teaching web design and programming has taught me that.

Why?

PHP is a much more approachable language compared to other popular languages out there.

For example, Ruby is a great and powerful language but you have to grasp some pretty advanced concepts to just get going with it. If you look at PHP, it has an easy to understand layer that can be used as a gentle introduction to programming.

Ok, now to the main article:

Many K12 teachers are now being asked to teach web programming/development for the first time. This presents a challenge since few teachers have professional programming experience.

I was approached about two years ago by a couple of schools who needed a way to more easily teach web programming and web design. Luckily, I had been working on an application that would more than just help: Studioweb is an interactive web design and programming training system that automates the teaching process:

  • automated quizzing
  • automated scoring
  • automated hinting

All based around a proven turnkey curriculum that I’ve been training people with for years.

The Key to Modern Web Design and Development

Web design/development has evolved a lot over the last 20 years, the way webapps are built today is nothing like the way we did it back in the early 1990’s. It is so different in fact, that web programmers/developers from that time, would almost have to completely retrain themselves!

Today, creating web apps is about:

  • HTML 5 … NOT XHTML
  • CSS and CSS3
  • Responsive web design – Bootstrap
  • PHP & MySQL
  • JQuery
  • JavaScript

There are other server-side programming languages that are used a lot today – for example:

  • Java
  • Ruby
  • C# (.Net)

… But far and away, PHP is the most widely used programming language out there. Something like 85% of sites run PHP!

The Recognition of the Importance of Code

One of the biggest changes in the last few years, is the world’s realising that code is now as important as reading, writing and math. When kids learn to code, you give them a practical skill set along with problem solving experience … all the while, you reinforce logical thinking.

Studioweb focuses on teaching real-world web design and programming techniques as well as the key fundamental concepts. Students come away with demonstrable skills that can be applied in the real world on real projects. The aforementioned cognitive benefits come as a bonus.

If you want to learn more or if you are interested in trying out Studioweb, feel free to contact me.

Stefan Mischook
KillerPHP.com

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A Gentle Introduction to PHP

June 22, 2014

For web designers coming to PHP for the first time, programming can seem pretty complex. The main reason it feels that way, is because many PHP tutorials are not created by teachers … they are created by young programmers who have never taught before.

… Believe it or not, there is a skill and a method to teaching.

Learning PHP made easy

My beginners course on PHP has a proven track record of being ultra-simple – anyone can learn PHP with Beginners PHP. Not the most exciting name for a course but nonetheless, I can guarantee you will learn PHP after doing it.

If you have any questions, feel free to write me.

Stefan Mischook
killerPHP.com

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Top 10 Web Programming Teaching Tips!

April 24, 2014

studioweb logo

Hi!

This blog post is for teachers teaching web programming and design … but if you are learning PHP (or any other language) many of these tips will be helpful to you too.

Let’s start with a teaser:

1. Start with an Easy Language:


Don’t use hard to understand languages like Java, C#, C++ to teach beginners programming! Stick to simpler languages like PHP, Ruby, Python or JavaScript. Once your students have a grasp of basic programming concepts, then you can move into the more complex languages … if you need to!

2. Don’t teach A to Z:

Teaching people to code has a lot more to do about leaving out the non essentially elements of a language. Don’t cover every nuanced aspect of the HTML link tag, don’t cover all the ways a method can be created in PHP … leave out the less often used aspects of a language and save it for later. Just expose your students to the key aspects of the language, just enough so they can move forward.

If you want the other 8 tips, follow this link.

Thanks,

Stefan Mischook
killerPHP.com

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The #1 Rule of Programming

April 22, 2014

stefans-php-rules

Hi!

There is a lot to learn when it comes to PHP programming … actually, there is a lot to learn when it comes to programming, regardless of the language. Here are my top for programming tips.

Stefan’s #1 Rule of Programming:

You will not remember everything you learn.

All the methods, functions, design patterns and other constructs found in PHP are far too many to for any human to remember. That’s why god invented Google and php.net.

… A good book can help too!

The most important thing to remember when learning PHP, are the basic concepts and practices. So I am talking about things like, function, arrays, classes, recursion, MVC et cetera. Again, it is not important that you remember the specific syntax – that you will forget in time. No, it is only important you understand what these things are and WHY you would use them.

(more…)

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PHP Discussion with Stefan Mischook

March 31, 2014

microphone-podcast-icon

Hi!

I did a guest podcast for DCRadio about a month ago on PHP, programming languages and choosing a PHP framework. I think David summarised it well:

For anyone reading this, scratching your head wondering which language or framework to use… this is a good discussion on the factors that you should consider…

If the audio player doesn’t show up, here is the direct link:

Podcast: (31:02 min) PHP Frameworks in 2014

The length of this podcast demonstrates my ability to speak non-stop, for extended periods of time. Something that is painfully clear to the ears of those around me.

Thanks!

Stefan Mischook
killerphp.com

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KillerSites University vs. StudioWeb.

March 23, 2014

studioweb logo
Yo!

I recently got an email from a single mom asking two questions:

  1. Should I take StudioWeb or KillerSites University?
  2. Making money with PHP.

My response:

Hi Samatha,

You asked:

“… StudioWeb vs. KillerSites University?”

KillerSites University was/is basically StudioWeb in an earlier form … that means you want to go with Studioweb. In fact, KillerSites University is pretty much shut down; I just kept it up for old subscribers.

… Studioweb is now being used by public schools, community colleges and tutoring centers – the courses and the Studioweb system are much more refined vs. KillerSites University. Makes for a much better learning experience.

Why did we change the name from KillerSites University to Studioweb?

We actually changed the name, because school boards did not like the word ‘killer’ in software they were using at the school.

Fortunatly, I was lucky enough to have kept studioweb.com – I created this domain in 1998 for my web design studio.

… Time flies!!

PHP and making money:

Yep! Not only will you be able to raise your price, you will find many, many more jobs open to you.

Studioweb’s cost:

It cost me a small fortune (!) to build and refine Studioweb over the last two years – but it will cost you practically nothing to use it!

We kept the price low – $119 for year. Or three payments of $39.99. This comes with the option to go for certification with us – same one being used by public schools.

If you are interested, feel free to contact me.

Stefan
Studioweb.com

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