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Toptal.com:
The Insider's Guide to PHP Interviewing
June 26, 2014 @ 10:43:39

The TopTal.com site has posted some suggestions on things to ask when interviewing PHP developers, especially those shooting for a senior level role.

Ubiquitous…that is definitely one word you could use to describe PHP in relation to the web. It really is everywhere. [...] What makes PHP so popular and widely-used? While there's no single answer to this question, PHP's ease of use is certainly a significant contributing factor. [...] But therein lies much of the challenge of finding highly-skilled PHP developers. PHP's relatively low barrier-to-entry and 20 year history means that PHP developers have become practically as ubiquitous as the technology itself. Yet while many can legitimately claim to "know" PHP, those who are true experts in the language are capable of producing software that is much more scalable, functional, robust, and maintainable.

There's a wide range of questions included in their list, each one with a brief description and the "right" answers a knowledgable candidate might give. This includes questions about:

  • Defining and using closures
  • What "global" is and when to use it
  • Describing the PHP superglobals
  • The use of "static"

There's also a section for the even more advanced development positions out there with questions about PHP's internals (the actual C code) as well as the differences between some built-in object types.

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Link: http://www.toptal.com/php#hiring-guide

Scott Mattocks:
L is for Logging (LUCID)
September 24, 2012 @ 09:23:57

Scott Mattocks has started off his series about the LUCID development methodology (one he recently proposed) with the first article covering "L" for Logging.

Communication is the only way you can tell if an application is feeling well or is about to fall apart. If your application can't talk to you, you have no way of helping it to feel better. The L in LUCID is for logging. Logs are how applications speak. They capture information that allows us to pick up on those little signs and act early enough to make sure the application doesn't come down with the flu. If you don't have good logging throughout your system, the best you can do is react to your application falling over. A silent application is an application destined to cause midnight surprises for you and your operations team.

He talks about the difference between "just logging" and "correct logging" as well as a recommendation for the different levels: trace, debug, info, warn and error.

Letting you know that something went wrong is really only half of a log messages job. The other responsibilities of a log message are to allow you to accurately reproduce the conditions under which the event occurred, and to allow you to fix any data inconsistencies.
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Jamie Wong's Blog:
Effective bugfixing techniques for PHP
December 06, 2006 @ 13:46:56

In his travels as a PHP developer, Jamie Wong has gathered some helpful debugging tips that are shared in this latest post to his blog.

Here are some bugfixing rules and tips I've learned working all these years with PHP. I emphasize mostly on fixing bugs than preventing them, which is another subject worth of its own article. I've moved to Rails, but I wanted to finish this post as a farewell and thanks to every article and documentation that was useful to me. Hope this is useful to you too.

Topics covered include:

  • Assume nothing
  • Turn Error Reporting to show all errors
  • Read the error message
  • Understand the bug
  • "Scooby-Bug, where are you?"
  • Get as much information as possible
Each has some explanation below it and, in some places, a bit of code to clarify the point.

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Laura Thomson's Blog:
My new role at OmniTI
November 09, 2006 @ 07:01:41

Many congratulations go out to Laura Thomson for her promotion over at OmniTI (a company that employs several of the prominent members of the PHP community, including Chris Shiflett, George Schlossnagle, and Theo Schlossnagle).

As George put it in his email: "I am very excited to announce that Laura Thomson has been promoted to the position of Principal. " My role will include focusing on securing new business and improving the quality and effectiveness of service delivery.

Congratulations, Laura! Best of luck in this new position!

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