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Henrik Warne:
Lessons Learned in Software Development
April 29, 2015 @ 12:52:04

In this recent post to his site Henrik Warne has shared a list of advice around software development and some good practices he's picked up along the way.

Here is my list of heuristics and rules of thumb for software development that I have found useful over the years.

His list includes several points related to a few main categories:

  • Development
  • Troubleshooting
  • Cooperation (personal, not code)
  • Other Miscellaneous Tips

Each main topic has a few sub-topics and each of those includes a brief description (with twenty-two tips in the list overall). There's some great advice in the list as well as some good contributions in the comments, so be sure to read through those too.

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lessons learned software development advice tips development troubleshooting cooperation

Link: http://henrikwarne.com/2015/04/16/lessons-learned-in-software-development/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
First Look at Platform.sh - a Development and Deployment SaaS
March 23, 2015 @ 11:24:36

In this latest post to the SitePoint PHP blog Chris Ward takes a "first look" at the Platform.sh development and deployment service.

Not so long ago, many of us were satisfied handling deployment of our projects by uploading files via FTP to a web server. [...] The old methods for deploying became unstable, unreliable and (generally) untrusted. [...] So was born a new wave of tools, services and workflows designed to simplify the process of deploying complex web applications, along with a plethora of accompanying commercial services. Generally, they offer an integrated toolset for version control, hosting, performance and security at a competitive price. Platform.sh is a newer player on the market, built by the team at Commerce Guys, who are better known for their Drupal eCommerce solutions.

He talks about some of the requirements for using the service (including Drush, the Drupal command line tool) and how to get started with a new project. He shows how to get the codebase with their CLI tool, pushing SQL data up to the instance, and starting in on some development work. He shows how to configure the modules you want to use and adding some additional content to the data. He also covers some of the other features of Platform.sh including: performance and profiling tools and integration with Redis, Solr and the EntityCache/AuthCache tools.

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platformsh drupal deployment development platform saas introduction

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/first-look-platform-sh-development-deployment-saas/

Jani Hartikainen:
What's the difference between Unit Testing, TDD and BDD?
March 02, 2015 @ 09:16:28

On his site today Jani Hartikainen has a new post helping to demystify some potential confusion around unit testing, test-driven development and behavior-driven development. He's talking about them in the context of Javascript in this case, but the fundamentals transfer to just about any other language, including PHP.

When you're just getting started with automating your JavaScript testing, there's a lot of questions. You'll probably see people talk about unit testing, TDD or Test-Driven Development, and BDD or Behavior-Driven Development. But which one of them is the best approach? Can you use all of them? I've talked to a number of JavaScript developers, and there seems to be some confusion about all this. So, let's take a look at Unit testing, TDD and BDD, and fix some of the common misconceptions about them out there.

For each he provides an overview of this basic concepts and a bit of sample code showing it in action. For TDD (test-driven development) there's not really a way to show it specifically in code as it's more of a practice. Instead he gives a "checklist" to follow when practicing it.

Unit Testing gives you the what. Test-Driven Development gives you the when. Behavior Driven-Development gives you the how. Although you can use each individually, you should combine them for best results as they complement each other very nicely.
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bdd unittest tdd testdrive behaviordriven development introduction

Link: http://codeutopia.net/blog/2015/03/01/unit-testing-tdd-and-bdd/

Laravel News:
Homestead Now With Blackfire Support
February 27, 2015 @ 10:05:47

As is mentioned in this new post to the Laravel News site, the Homestead development environment now comes with support for the Blackfire.io profiler.

Blackfire Profiler by SensioLabs automatically gathers data about your code's execution, such as RAM, CPU time, and disk I/O. Homestead makes it a breeze to use this profiler for your own applications. All of the proper packages have already been installed on your Homestead box, you simply need to set a Blackfire ID and token in your Homestead.yaml file

With the configuration set up, the only installation the user needs to make is setting up the companion extension (Chrome) for your browser.

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blackfire support laravel homestead development environment performance

Link: https://laravel-news.com/2015/02/homestead-now-with-blackfire-support/

AWS Development Blog:
DynamoDB JSON and Array Marshaling for PHP
February 04, 2015 @ 10:51:30

In the latest post to the AWS PHP Development blog Jeremy Lindblom looks at a new feature of their PHP SDK that allows for more flexibility (and easier handling) when using DynamoDB for document storage in storing more complex data.

Back in October of 2014, Amazon DynamoDB added support for new data types, including the map (M) and list (L) types. These new types, along with some API updates, make it possible to store more complex, multilevel data, and use DynamoDB for document storage.

He talks about a new class thats been added to help work with the DynamoDB storage, the DynamoDb Marshaler (in version >= 2.2.7) that handles the push and pull of the JSON document data directly from the storage, reducing the need to perform the operation manually. He includes code examples of its use and JSON examples of what results are returned on a get request. He also shows how to use it with a native PHP array, translating it with help from the Marshaler and the "marshalItem" method.

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aws development sdk amazon dynamodb json storage marshaler

Link: http://blogs.aws.amazon.com/php/post/Tx3QE1CEXG8QG1Z/DynamoDB-JSON-and-Array-Marshaling-for-PHP

Three Devs & A Maybe Podcast:
Episode #56 The SOLID Podcast
January 29, 2015 @ 12:20:03

In the latest show from the Three Devs & A Maybe podcast hosts Michael Budd, Fraser Hart, Lewis Cains and Edd Mann talk about a wide range of topics with a focus on the SOLID development principles.

This week we have a three developer podcast with discussion on a host of topics. We kick off with how Fraser has enjoyed building his first bonus slot game, written entirely in JavaScript and HTML5. Preprocessors are a huge part of the JavaScript ecosystem at this time, with so many to choose from we discuss a couple of the more popular ones. This leads on to Photoshop discussion, ReactJS, the cool features present in ES6 and how you can use them today with transpilers. Following this we move on to the SOLID principles, the overuse of inheritance, technical debt and the concept of Over-DRY vs. Software Value. This then takes us on to a strange 'rubber duck' example Edd conjured up to help try and explain the Liskov substitution and Interface segregation principles. Finally, we discuss Edd's media server setup and how he has got it to a staged that he is finally happy with it.

Other topics include things like:

You can listen to the latest show either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 of the episode. Also, be sure to subscribe to their feed of you enjoy the show!

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threedevsandamaybe podcast ep56 solid development principles

Link: http://threedevsandamaybe.com/the-solid-podcast/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Basic TDD in Your New PHP Package
January 28, 2015 @ 12:27:17

The SitePoint PHP blog continues their "How to Build Your Own PHP Package" series with their latest post (part two of the series) covering the use of test-driven development while working on the package code.

In part 1, we set up our development environment, baked in some rules as inherited from The League, and created two sample but useless classes - Diffbot and DiffbotException. In this part, we'll get started with Test Driven Development.

He starts by briefly introducing PHPUnit, a PHP-based unit testing tool, and how to use it to generate the HTML version of the code coverage report. He helps you define a good phpunit.xml configuration file and how to execute a first sample test (code provided) from inside PHPStorm. From there he adds one some more complex testing of exception handling and checking the class types. With this foundation, he moves into the test-driven development (TDD) practices. TDD means writing the tests before writing the code to make those tests pass. He gives an example of this and shows how test abstract classes too. He then comes back around and writes the code to satisfy the test.

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tdd package bestpractice unittest testdriven development tutorial

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/basic-tdd-new-php-package/

JetBrains Blog:
Laravel Development using PhpStorm
January 21, 2015 @ 09:03:16

The JetBrains blog has posted about an update to their popular PHPStorm IDE tool. In this new post they talk about the next level of integration they've introduced for those developing Laravel-based applications.

Last summer, we introduced support for Blade, the template language used by Laravel. Support for artisan, the command line tool for Laravel developers, is baked into PhpStorm as well. Using the Laravel plugin and the Laravel IDE helper, we can further extend PhpStorm's support for Laravel applications.

They walk you through each of these two new updates, showing what kind of features they enable and some screenshots of the interface in use. For more information and to check out other features in this new plugin/helper setup, see this documentation page.

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development phpstorm laravel plugin helper integrate

Link: http://blog.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/2015/01/laravel-development-using-phpstorm/

VG Tech Blog:
How I Set Up My Local PHP Dev Environment on Mac OSX Yosemite in Three Easy Steps
January 16, 2015 @ 11:43:51

On the VG Tech blog today Erland Wiencke has posted a quick guide to the "three easy steps" he uses to set up a PHP development environment on OSX.

When I first started writing this post, I considered giving it a title such as "How to set up local PHP development with dynamically configured mass virtual hosting on Apache 2.4″, "Quick and easy prototyping using Liip PHP, Dnsmasq or Proxy Auto Configuration" or even "The Ultimate Guide to Rapid Development on OSX 10.10″. I did not.

In my daily job as a Development Manager, I don't get to code very much, but when I do, I want to have a setup that allows me to quickly create development projects and prototypes in the ~/Sites folder and have them show up as vhosts automagically, without having to edit any configuration file(s).

His three steps do require a few prerequisites including Homebrew, but that's easy enough to set up. Here's his process:

  • Step 1 - installing (my preferred version of) PHP
  • Step 2 - enable hosting under ~/Sites
  • Step 3 - add a local DNS server

He also includes a "Step 3a" that shows how to test the installation via a simple response from each of the domains.

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development environment osx yosemite local tutorial setup configure

Link: http://tech.vg.no/2015/01/15/how-i-set-up-my-local-php-development-environment-on-mac-osx-yosemite-in-three-easy-steps/

AirPair.com:
Best Practices for Modern PHP Development
December 05, 2014 @ 09:50:22

On the AirPair site today they've posted an article from developer Brian Fenton covering several things he sees as the best practices for modern PHP development, a listing of several tool, practices and suggestions to improve your skills as a PHP developer and bring them to the next level.

He breaks it down into five main sections (each with their own subsections):

  • Setup and configuration
  • Use Composer
  • Follow good design principles
  • Object calisthenics
  • Unit testing

Some of the points made under each of these sections include suggestions about using sensible defaults, installing and using Composer, the SOLID design principles and unit testing tools. Check out the full post for more great suggestions and techniques to improve your skills.

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bestpractices modern development tips list composer objectcalisthenics unittest

Link: https://www.airpair.com/php/posts/best-practices-for-modern-php-development


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