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How did YOU learn PHP? (And recommendations please!) (vBTEAM please take part2!)

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  • How did YOU learn PHP? (And recommendations please!) (vBTEAM please take part2!)

    Just wondered how you guys learnt PHP and whether you have any recommendations for others who want to be as good as you (vBTEAM please participate in this thread!!)

    I'm sure many of us would be grateful if you could let us know:

    Your current level of 'expertise' (in your own words )

    How long since you started to learn PHP

    HOW you learnt PHP

    Whether you knew any other languages/programming beforehand, if so which?

    And finally... what would you recommend to someone who wants to learn PHP (assuming the student knows a little HTML but has no experience in any other programming language), plus any other tips.

    Thank you in advance!

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    Personally, I have PHP an MYSQL Web Development which is great (!) but someone wants to buy me a book so thought I'd get another PHP one what do you recommend for me (perhaps something that acts more as a reference?) (Would still like to hear your answers to the above! )
    What's Special About Ruby on Rails?

  • #2
    I googled PHP Tutorials and got most of it there and I just picked up the language.

    Now I go to php.net for reference

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    • #3
      I learned a little from tizag.com, but most from php.net. I am very good in PHP right now, but I'm a little ahead of most people because I already am using 5- and 5.1-only features of the PHP core.

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      • #4
        I originally learnt Perl back in 1998 and then PHP after my friend Derek prompted me to do so so that I could write modifications for this new thing called vBulletin 2.0 beta.

        Since I started learning that I've also picked up C and its derivatives, Java and C#.

        The book i used was Core PHP 2nd Edition by Leon Atkinson though I now think its on the 3rd or 4th Edition which covers PHP 5.
        Scott MacVicar

        My Blog | Twitter

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        • #5
          I started programming way back in the day with C, then C++. I started learning PHP as v3 was coming into existance from a friend of mine.

          8 or 9 books later, hundreds of scripts, and a lot of tutorials and mannual reading, and I'd say I'm fairly proficent in PHP

          As for learning PHP, I'd suggest getting either a "PHP 5 for Dummies" book if you know absolutly nothing about it, or a "Learn PHP 5 in 24 Hours" book if you know the basics.

          Advanced coders: If your looking for a decent book on PHP5 OOP and design patterns, grab a copy of "PHP 5 Objects, Patterns, and Practice" by Matt Zandstra - by far the best book I've found for showing how Design Patterns can be effecticly used. Particularly for programmer who don't have a Java background.

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          • #6
            I learned from Faruk & Scott, Kier, and through trial & error. I also had to just give it a go. Usually I learn from trying to find and understand bugs and attempt to fix them.

            To be honest, I feel I still don't know anything that I should.

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            • #7
              I sacrificed my soul to the PHP gods and in return they gave me knowledge.
              Dean Clatworthy - Web Developer/Designer

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Alan @ CIT
                I started programming way back in the day with C, then C++. I started learning PHP as v3 was coming into existance from a friend of mine.

                8 or 9 books later, hundreds of scripts, and a lot of tutorials and mannual reading, and I'd say I'm fairly proficent in PHP

                As for learning PHP, I'd suggest getting either a "PHP 5 for Dummies" book if you know absolutly nothing about it, or a "Learn PHP 5 in 24 Hours" book if you know the basics.

                Advanced coders: If your looking for a decent book on PHP5 OOP and design patterns, grab a copy of "PHP 5 Objects, Patterns, and Practice" by Matt Zandstra - by far the best book I've found for showing how Design Patterns can be effecticly used. Particularly for programmer who don't have a Java background.
                If a PHP book is written by Janel Valade, don't get it. Trust me.
                I also suggest you rather go to php.net or google tutorials than to buy PHP for dummies.

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                • #9
                  Sitepoint has an excellent starter book "php and mysql development for websites" or something.
                  Plan, Do, Check, Act!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I started out in 1991 writing Windows API programs using Borland C++ / OWL (Object Windows Library - an abstraction layer). In 1995 I moved to an all Microsoft IDE (mostly used Visual Basic), became Microsoft certified, then dumped them in 2000. I picked up PHP fairly easily. I miss the 'friend' keyword, default object properties/functions and namespaces, but other than that, PHP runs circles around anything else.

                    I never went to school for any of this so even though the syntax and usage was easy to learn, the more esoteric things, like system analysis, process flowcharting and such were a pain, and I'm still not the best at it. I learned the most by doing. I've never been a 'book' person. 'Show me' is my motto.

                    My recommendation: join http://sitepoint.com/forums and ask anything and everything you can think of AFTER you've searched for it.
                    House of Night Forums - An online House of Night roleplaying community,

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                    • #11
                      I learned Pascal and C++ at university, then learned the basics of PHP from vB Lite when it was available, and then from vBulletin version 1. Subsequent knowledge has come from innumerable resources.

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                      • #12
                        Thank you all for replying (and everyone else please keep them coming!)

                        Just to add, for people interested in learning - If you are going to go down the book route, get yourself down your local book shop and spend some time with the books that you have seen 'recommended' as writing styles differ and ideally you want to find one that matches your reading style. I did this last week when I had some time to kill and was superised that a few of the books that some people said were good, were not and some that some people said were not so good actually were! Basically you will get fans of all books and likewise, there will be people who don't like the same book! Therefore its a good thing to get a book that you feel comfortable with, because you'll be more likely to finsih it
                        What's Special About Ruby on Rails?

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                        • #13
                          First learned Basic on the Commodore 64 :0

                          Then Pascal and C at College back in 93 or so. Moved onto Borland C++ Builder for awhile. Picked up PHP strictly from vBulletin and the php website. If you know any structured language similar to C then the syntax will come easily. The difficult part is learning to follow a smart paradigm in your code so that you are not constantly needing to redesign your work. You can pick it up froms book but much of it is theory and is learned on the cuff.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Scott MacVicar
                            The book i used was Core PHP 2nd Edition by Leon Atkinson though I now think its on the 3rd or 4th Edition which covers PHP 5.
                            The book of champions.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Freddie Bingham
                              The difficult part is learning to follow a smart paradigm in your code so that you are not constantly needing to redesign your work. You can pick it up froms book but much of it is theory and is learned on the cuff.
                              Im facing that problem, I am almost constantly rewriting the core of my "gem" project.
                              Is there a way to identify if what you are doing is defined as "constantly redesigning" or "improving" your code?
                              I would consider myself as still in learning, as I have just recently (in the recent redesign of my work, actually ) learnt how class() can be used to cache arrays (like vBulletin does with its datastore).
                              Im worried that this issue will linger on to when (or rather, if) I get a job where Im on the clock, which would negatively effect both me and my employer.
                              So the bottom line is, could you (or anyone else who has experience with this) please elaborate?

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