PHP Video: Improve your PHP skills by learning ANOTHER programming language.

June 21, 2009

php video

In this video, I discuss how learning another programming language will make you a better PHP programmer. This may seem strange at first, but watch the video and you will see that I am not smoking anything …

The major points:

Most modern programming languages:

– Java
– Actionscript
– Javascript
– etc

… Share a common foundation, and as such, are very similar. Though similar, they all do things in their own unique ways. So for example, learning how to create classes in Actionscript 3.0 and then comparing this to how you would do it in PHP, is like looking at something from another angle.

Contrasting and Comparing Programming Languages

Being able to compare languages this way, will give you insight into both languages that might take you much longer to learn otherwise. This is something I discovered years ago by accident, when I started to dive into Java … learning Java gave me a much deeper understanding of Javascript. It was a huge eye opener.

Does that mean you should drop PHP?

No! PHP is the Web programming language of the day. I would suggest you choose a second or third language that will compliment your day-to-day PHP work. For example, something like Javascript so that you can get into Web 2.0, Ajax and libraries like JQuery. Or maybe Flash Actionscript, if you think you may want to get into rich internet applications.

What?! Actionscript and PHP!

You bet. Actionscript/Flash has been used with PHP for years. And now the connection is getting even deeper where Flex Builder will be working with Zend.


Whichever language you choose, by selecting something that is complementary to PHP, you will be killing two birds with one stone, as you deepen your overall programming knowledge.


Stefan Mischook

5 Responses

  1. Stefan Mischook Author June 21, 2009 at 3:36 am

    I just wanted to comment on Javascript: Javascript is really a prototype-based programming language which is a style of object-oriented programming.

    … This is for the inevitable hard-core nerds who will call me out on this because I grouped Javascript with Java and Actionscript.


  2. Daquan Wright Author June 22, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    I personally set up languages to teach myself, majoring in computer science but I’m not waiting on school to learn. I have the biggest database available, Google.

    For personal projects, I chose JavaScript+PHP.

    But to get a job, I chose Java and C++ that I will work in. Later on I may choose ASP.NET with C#. Because I am thinking of buying the adobe suite, ActionScript and PHP sound quite good.

    I still have a lot to learn about programming and at one time I was blind to it. I just take it one day at a time, just focus on learning the core basics.

  3. Stefan Mischook Author June 22, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    “I just take it one day at a time, just focus on learning the core basics.”

    That is the key to learning anything. People run into confusion typically because of some lack of understanding of the basics.


  4. aurel Author June 26, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    i consider myself to be a beginner in programing, though, from what i have seen and what i am trying to learn at the moment is PHP and just (in2 months or so) started learing JvaScript (and mainly the Mootools library)

    so in a way im glad that it seem that i am in the right lines

    though over all, i am having a lot of problems learing OOP ( – the fondamentals of classes)

    i went through the great video tutorial in killerphp though cant seen to be able to advance or build upon what was explained in the tutorial

    so i hope that JvaScript may help me with Classes

    ps – i agree with Daquan Wright – that is hard to rely on the university without spending triple amount of time working in your own and using the incredible help provided by sites like KILLERPHP

  5. Stefan Mischook Author June 27, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Hi Aurel,

    Be sure to write out the code as you go a long – you would be surprised how important that is.


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