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Free the Geek Podcast:
Episode 20 - Talking About Finding Balance As A Freelancer
Dec 09, 2016 @ 09:26:46

The Free the Geek podcast, hosted by Matthew Setter, has posted their twentieth episode - Talking About Finding Balance As A Freelancer :

In this episode we pick up where we left off in episode 19, with a slight segway. But, instead of starting to look at how to use Twitter, and other social media tools, let’s talk about something more important.

In this episode let’s talk about finding perspective and balance. There’s quite a bit to cover, but I tried to condense it to the essentials. Today, let’s talk about finding a balance between the amount of work you have, the quality of said work, and the amount you get paid for it.

He includes a series of questions you can ask yourself to determine if freelancing is right for you and what you need to expect going in (as far as needs and wants). You can listen to this latest episode either through the in-page audio player or by downloading the mp3 directly. If you enjoy the show be sure to subscribe to their feed and follow them on Twitter to get the latest updates on new shows as they're released.

tagged: freethegeek podcast ep20 freelancing balance questions matthewsetter

Link: http://freethegeek.fm/episode/episode-0020

O'Reilly Web Development Blog:
On becoming a web artisan
Dec 07, 2016 @ 12:20:39

The O'Reilly Web Programming blog recently posted an interview with Matt Stauffer, the author of their recently published Laravel: Up & Running book. In the interview Matt talks about becoming a "web artisan" and offers some advice you could apply to your own development work.

I recently asked Matt Stauffer, Partner and Technical Director at Tighten Co. to discuss his work with the Laravel community, including what makes the PHP framework great for rapid application development and how it interoperates with new and emerging frontend tooling. Matt is also the author of Laravel: Up and Running, which O'Reilly published in November 2016.

Matt answers questions about the Laravel framework (why it's for "web artisans"), using it for prototyping, upcoming features he's excited about and advice he has for those just starting out in web development. Check out the full post for the answers to these and other questions.

tagged: interview mattstauffer oreilly laravel questions

Link: https://www.oreilly.com/ideas/on-becoming-a-web-artisan

Laravel Daily:
Holywar: when to use Laravel vs WordPress?
Feb 18, 2016 @ 11:09:15

On the Laravel Daily site there's an interesting article that shares some opinions on when to use Laravel and when to use WordPress as a base for your applications.

In PHP world there are two big groups of developers – those who work with Content Management Systems (WordPress, Drupal etc.) and those with frameworks (Laravel, Symfony etc.). And rarely people work with both worlds – cause their philosophy is fundamentally different.

But when you get a new project from a client – how to decide whether Laravel is the best choice? Or maybe simple WordPress would be enough and would save time/money? Sometimes it’s not that easy to decide. So here are my tips – questions you need to ask.

In the remainder of the article he suggests four questions to ask yourself to help make the decision one way or another:

  • Content or user actions?
  • Plugins or packages?
  • MVP or serious project?
  • Who will work on the project?

He elaborates on each point with a bit more context and criteria that could help answer the question in your case.

tagged: laravel wordpress usage questions evaluate decision

Link: http://laraveldaily.com/holywar-when-to-use-laravel-vs-wordpress/

Toptal.com:
The Vital Guide to PHP Interviewing
Jan 22, 2016 @ 12:20:27

On the Toptal PHP blog they've posted what they call the "vital guide" to PHP interviewing, a set of questions (and answers) that you could potentially ask a candidate you're looking to interview for that open PHP role in your organization. Obviously, since interviewing is all relative to the organization, this guide is just that - a series of example questions you could ask to determine overall competency.

Ubiquitous…that is definitely one word you could use to describe PHP in relation to the web. It really is everywhere. [...] 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.

[...] Toward that goal, this guide offers a sampling of effective questions to help evaluate the breadth and depth of a candidate’s mastery of PHP.

There's quite a few questions in their guide, touching on a wide range of PHP-related topics both more intermediate and advanced. This includes questions like:

  • "Explain the use and purpose of the global keyword in PHP. Provide an example of a case where its use would be appropriate, as well as one where it would not be."
  • "Describe namespacing in PHP and why it is useful."
  • "Describe the relationship between php://input and $_POST. How would you access the php://input stream?"
  • "Explain the purpose and usage of the __get, __set, __isset, __unset, __call, and __callStatic “magic” methods. When, how, and why (and perhaps why not) should each be used?"
  • "Describe one or more Standard PHP Library (SPL) data structures. Give usage examples."
  • "How does PHP build an array internally?

Each question includes a correct answer (or guidelines to verifying their answer in some of the more open ended questions) so you can ensure the interviewee is competent in the language and its use. Keep in mind, however, that this should not be considered required knowledge for a developer - that's up to what the organization needs and what level they're trying to fill.

tagged: vital interview guide questions answers developer assessment

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

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Best PHP Framework 2015 Survey
Mar 02, 2015 @ 11:14:52

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a request for responses to a survey about which PHP framework you consider to be the best for 2015.

Almost a year and a half ago we published the results of a framework survey on the PHP channel. The survey, while producing fewer entries than our IDE survey still provided us with valuable insight into our audience and the state of individual vs. team developers out there.

With Laravel 5 fresh out of the oven, Phalcon being kickstarted into full-time development, and others reaching a much anticipated maturity, it’s only natural we’re curious about your preferences – have they changed? Do they remain unbudged? Do you wish you could switch so hard you can taste it, but aren’t allowed to by your company? We’re interested in all these points and much more.

The survey will run for a month and there's some prizes involved for the top "resharers" of the survey. You can submit your own votes directly through the post at the bottom. Questions range from which framework you prefer to which you use at your place of employment and why each was chosen. Submit your answers today and help get a better idea of the PHP framework landscape.

tagged: framework 2015 survey questions popularity choice

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/best-php-framework-2015-survey/

Community News:
Do You Know PHP? (Quiz)
Nov 19, 2014 @ 10:53:23

Think you know a lot about PHP? Well, the folks at PHP Weekly and mogosselin have put together a fun little quiz you can use to see just how much you know your favorite language.

Question topics cover things like:

  • Notable people in PHP's past
  • "Meta" about the language itself
  • The future of the language
  • Projects from around the PHP community
  • PHP security topics
  • Plenty of tricky code questions

...and that's all the hints you're going to get. Go over and test out your knowledge and see how you rank against the other developers taking on the challenge!

tagged: quiz fun language history future project questions results

Link: http://markonphp.com/php-quiz-2014/

Ben Ramsey:
Learning a New Codebase
Sep 18, 2014 @ 09:38:51

In a new post to his site Ben Ramsey shares a few suggestions around things to ask and do to learn a new codebase (whether that means in a new job or coming into a new open source project).

A few days ago, my friend Ed Finkler started a new job. Earlier this week, he posted on Twitter: "First days humble us all." Having begun a new job myself, I shared Ed’s sentiment. Last weekend, while at the Madison PHP Conference, we were discussing what developers can do during the interview process to get an idea of the kind of codebase a company has.

He includes a few questions for developers to ask, either during the interview or once hired, about the codebase itself including:

  • what coding standards the company follows
  • how much of the code is covered by tests
  • have the company’s deployment process described

He also recommends learning the codebase by diving in and either writing tests for untested areas or work through bug reports and fix (then test) them.

tagged: learn new codebase tips questions bugfix unittest

Link: http://benramsey.com/blog/2014/09/learning-a-new-codebase/

Developer's Lane:
Top 20 CakePHP Interview Questions and Answers
Jul 04, 2014 @ 13:48:25

The Developer's Lane site has posted a top ten list of questions answered about the CakePHP framework. The idea is that they could be used as a part of an interview to see how well the candidate knows the framework.

Here there are many questions and answers about How CakePHP Framework works? and basic questions related to CakePHP framework functionality.

Questions include:

  • What are are drawbacks of Cakephp?
  • What is the name of Cakephp database configuration file name and its location?
  • What are commonly used components of Cakephp?
  • Why does Cakephp have two vendor folders?
  • Can you remember what is the directory structure when you download Cakephp?

The questions provide a good overview of the framework, but won't tell you if the developer is any good...you still need to figure out that one on your own.

tagged: cakephp framework interview questions developer overview

Link: http://www.developerslane.com/top-20-cakephp-interview-questions-and-answers/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Talk PHP with the Experts: The Transcript
Oct 16, 2013 @ 10:43:07

SitePoint had another "Talk with the Experts" session with two of their own developers, Jude Aakjaer and Michael Sauter. They've posted the full transcript of the session to their PHP blog today. It was a Q&A session between them and the attendees.

Topics discussed included:

  • What beginners should know about PHP
  • Most used frameworks
  • Using WordPress
  • Tools/IDEs the two developers like
  • Packagist/Composer
  • Using 3rd party libraries
  • Naming conventions and namespacing

You can read the full discussion here.

tagged: experts talk transcript questions answers chat

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/talk-php-expertsthe-transcript/

PHPMaster.com:
6 Things to Consider when Choosing a Framework
Apr 08, 2013 @ 11:29:07

PHPMaster.com has posted a list of six things they think you should think about as you're selecting the framework for your next application.

You've decided that it makes sense to use a framework when writing your next new application, and chances are that if you're already familiar with a specific framework, then you'll probably be leaning towards using that one when you start. But are you sure it's really the most appropriate for the task at hand? In the name of due-diligence, here are some of questions that you should ask yourself before settling on a particular framework to make sure you're not programming "against the grain" and also to make sure it will be able to meet your needs now and in the long-term.

He doesn't get into any specifics of any PHP frameworks out there, but suggests general questions to ask even before getting too deep into the technology:

  • What do I need from the framework?
  • Do I expect the framework to help manage consistency?
  • Is good documentation available?
  • Is the framework actively developed, and does it have an active user base?
  • Does the framework work in what I run in production?
  • What business factors are influencing my decision?
Not every application needs to be written using a framework. But if you've decided that yours does, then it's beneficial to compare your needs against the features and benefits of the various framework offerings.
tagged: framework choice advice questions information

Link: http://phpmaster.com/6-things-to-consider-when-choosing-a-framework