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    How to become professional in PHP


    I have a good knowledge in Php. I had also designed many websites few of them including dynamic websites and now i want to learn more but the problem is I don't know where to go or from where to learn more.

    I need advice as in how to become professional in PHP or what to do next to increase my knowledge in Php?
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    Dazed&Confused
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    If you have a decent working knowledge of PHP, or even programming concepts in general, the best road to increase your experience will simply be to find an entry level job using it.

    Otherwise, coming up with projects yourself and learning as you go can work, but you'll have to push yourself.

    Sorry, I know that's not a very definitive answer. My personal experiences had a good amount of lucky timing and a boss that gave me a chance to do programming on the side and get my foot in the door professionally.
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    Thanks for your reply and no it's a definite answer. So i decided I'll work on projects, let's see how that goes.
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  7. Confused badger
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    Originally Posted by dmittner
    If you have a decent working knowledge of PHP, or even programming concepts in general, the best road to increase your experience will simply be to find an entry level job using it.
    I now work as a PHP developer for a company whos website gets around 1.5 million unique hits every day; In my previous job I did Windows desktop and server support (3rd line), VOIP provisioning and a number of other related things.

    While there I noticed there were many things that the company could benefit from - An ITIL based ticket management system and that the VOIP billing was being done manually each month in Excel to name two things.

    I'd had an interest in web-development and so decided to just dive in (if you search my posts on this forum you will find many!)
    After about 6 months, I had created these systems and found other projects - for example a customer of their is a large housing association, I wrote a Repairs system for them in PHP so that as an engineer completes the work, they can log into the web-interface and update the job, request parts or whatever.

    I then found that most of my time was being spent developing so I searched for a PHP job and bish-bash-bosh, here I am!
    So my advice, find projects, hone your skills, practice, practice practice some more and then when you're pretty confident, start to look for something - there's always entry-level developer roles going, just don't expect the big bucks straight away!

    Good luck and don't forget that the people on this forum are VERY happy to help and more so if you're willing to learn and try for yourself first.
    "For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function and they would sweep it away"
    - George Orwell, 1984
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    I am "ok" at php. I can do same kind of stuff like dynamic sites. little bit of OOP but when i look at requinix etc posts talking about advanced stuff, i think how do i learn that?

    I have yet to delve into exec, background processes, sockets, patterns etc.
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  11. Confused badger
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    Originally Posted by paulh1983
    I am "ok" at php. I can do same kind of stuff like dynamic sites. little bit of OOP but when i look at requinix etc posts talking about advanced stuff, i think how do i learn that?

    I have yet to delve into exec, background processes, sockets, patterns etc.
    Haha, I concur, there really are some wizards out there (and on this forum here!) but I guess it's like anything once you've done it a few times or for a while, it just comes naturally.
    "For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function and they would sweep it away"
    - George Orwell, 1984
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  13. Sarcky
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    Requinix (and I, thanks for noticing :-P) learned the way you guys did, we've just been doing it for longer and have encountered trickier problems. The extensive research I did on PHP's Memory Management in Foreach Loops stemmed from unacceptable memory usage in the SOA-based application I was developing. I Built the Data Warehouse because our Oracle version was too slow. Other times, like when northie was using eval or when someone wanted to "write numbers out" in English I see an interesting problem and see if I can solve it in a clever way. One of those solutions uses recursion, the other uses references.

    Once you understand (or think you understand) a very complex topic (like recursion or the singleton pattern) use it to solve a problem. If you have no problem to solve, invent one and see if you can solve it using the new technique.

    I have yet to delve into exec, background processes, sockets, patterns etc.
    I rarely use exec in PHP. It executes command-line programs and I know bash and perl so I'd use those languages to do what I need to do on the cli. Similarly, I rarely use sockets in PHP, preferring to fall back to more low level languages for that. I have, of course, and I even wrote a bulk ping utility in PHP for uptime monitoring, but if I were to do that today I'd use perl. PHP doesn't really use background processes (though you should read up on map-reduce, in PHP but especially in Python) so that's something most PHP guys never get into much. I don't know what you mean by "patterns" unless you mean design patterns, and even then you're probably already using a few without realizing. There was a time in the short history of computer programming where "using functions" was a design pattern.
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    yeah i mean design patters, sure i may be using them but like not PROPERLY. Sockets etc examples were me just saying I havent really used/learnt them even if there is no need for them, it is a good idea (?) to have at least the understanding.

    Sometimes I still make stupid mistakes like I really shouldnt and then "run" the script to see them, then fix and repeat..
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  17. Sarcky
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    That's just called "debugging" usually.
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    yeah but making silly mistakes is called being a noobie.. I would like to think i know enough to not make silly mistakes over & over again.

    also stuff like this: http://forums.devshed.com/showpost.php?p=2885462&postcount=8 is so advanced etc.. if i did follow him, my interpretation might differ & not up to standards..
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  21. Sarcky
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    Everyone makes silly mistakes. You can train yourself to avoid them or simply put things in place to correct them for you. If I ever move to another computer my spelling gets a lot worse, because I've tuned this spell-checker to the words I consistently misspell.

    Northie's post is a good example of a design pattern: object inheritance. Talk to him about it, he loves to answer questions.
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  23. Confused badger
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    Originally Posted by paulh1983
    yeah but making silly mistakes is called being a noobie.. I would like to think i know enough to not make silly mistakes over & over again.

    also stuff like this: http://forums.devshed.com/showpost.php?p=2885462&postcount=8 is so advanced etc.. if i did follow him, my interpretation might differ & not up to standards..
    Ah, we all make mistakes!

    Even very basic ones I find myself saying "time to go back to PHP school" ... as long as you find and fix the mistake then you're less likely to make the same one again (although probably will!)

    e.g. "Why am I getting this error?" only to find a missing ; from the end of a line!

    In the "real world", you'll have a development area, a test area and a production area so you develop in a safe environment where it doesn't matter what you break or how long it takes you to fix it / write new code.

    As for the link yeah, that's well a mad example but bear in mind, Northie has been coding for a lot longer than you or I ... if you were to do that you'd start of with the simple things, grasp that and you too will be extending objects classes and so on before you know it!
    "For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function and they would sweep it away"
    - George Orwell, 1984
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    thanks. this is why i have taken up going through each new thread and either try to help the OP or look at other people's answers so I can soak as much knowledge as I can.

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    • badger_fruit agrees : That is a great way to help yourself AND the community, +100 rep!!
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  27. Confused badger
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    If you enjoy doing it and your scripts work, that's usually enough!
    When you work with someone better then you, you'll learn more and more every day and one day, look back at your first OOP attemps and lol ... !
    "For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function and they would sweep it away"
    - George Orwell, 1984
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    Dazed&Confused
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    Originally Posted by mzvasiq
    Thanks for your reply and no it's a definite answer. So i decided I'll work on projects, let's see how that goes.
    Learn by doing. PHP's not something you'll find classes for (I don't think) but even if you could I've found that learning by doing is the best way to ensure the knowledge sticks. You just need to find an engaging way to utilize a language.

    As I mentioned previously I had a good amount of luck on my side. I got my first PC (Tandy 1000) when I was 8 years old. My father and I would sit there, putting type-in programs into BASIC. Just simple things that would play music, do some crude animation, etc. But it engaged me and introduced me to my first programming concepts (and the difference between a colon and semi-colon...)

    At around 16 I got into MUDs; text-based multiplayer games hosted on a server somewhere, usually written in C. I wanted to learn how to change the game so they gave me access and I began to learn C, then C++.

    At 19 I got my first full time job doing technical support. My boss wanted a *nix command-line program to help with department scheduling, knew I'd dabbled in C, so gave me the opportunity to put some time towards building scripts with Perl.

    With that exposure to Perl in a professional capacity I got an entry-level job as a Perl Developer for an online billing company. I think I started at about $35k/year.

    3 years later I moved to a new job and learned PHP for it.

    And now it's been 10 years since that.

    I feel old and I'm only 33...

    Just don't feel discouraged if you're getting started and making "noob" mistakes. We've all been there. And we all revisit that place from time to time. Even with 10 years of PHP experience I still live on php.net, needing constant reminders of exactly what variables a method needs, or in what order.

    If we can help people it's simply because we've been around long enough to fight a lot of different battles, and often learned things the hard way. And anyone can get to that point with enough patience and enough engagement with the language.
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