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SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Speed Up Your App's API Consumption
April 11, 2014 @ 10:51:23

The SitePoint PHP blog has some advice posted today from Jacek Barecki about how you can speed up your use of other APIs with a few performance increasing tips.

In the process of creating a PHP application you may come to a point when keeping it isolated from remote resources or services may become a barrier in its development. To move along with the project you may employ different API services to fetch remote data, connect with user accounts on other websites or transform resources shared by your application. [...] But using APIs in an incorrect way can quickly lead to performance issues and lengthen the execution time of your script. If you're looking for a way to avoid it, consider implementing some of the solutions described in the article.

He recommends four things you can think about doing to help make the most effective use of these services:

  • Make multiple requests at a time
  • Separate API calls from the app main flow
  • Build a smart cache engine
  • Master the API documentation
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api performance recommendation tips usage

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/speed-apps-api-consumption/

Erika Heidi Reinaldo:
Advices and resources for PHP novices
September 11, 2013 @ 09:59:01

Erika Heidi Reinaldo has made a post over on her Coderwall page with a few helpful hints for the budding PHP developers out there about things to investigate and learn to help further their knowledge of the language.

This post is a collection of things that I consider important for people who are starting with PHP, based on my experiences with this language through the years. PHP has considerable evolved in the last years, thanks mainly to the community efforts. [...] As a downside for the language evolution, as things change, tutorials and practices might get deprecated. So we have a lack of good updated tutorials for beginners.

She includes some great things for new developers to look into including a recommendation to "learn the language, not a framework" and exploring git and Github as a collaborative workspace to both share your own work and explore the work of others for helpful hints. She also makes a recommendation that can help more than most developer think - get involved (contribute to projects or meet with other developers, online or at something like a user group).

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advice resource beginner developer language recommendation

Link: https://coderwall.com/p/0ictea

Lorna Mitchell:
PSR-What?
July 16, 2013 @ 11:19:10

For those out there that might have heard comments made about the PSRs (PHP Standards Recommendations) but aren't quite sure what they're about, Lorna Mitchell has posted an introduction to the three currently approved standards.

There's been some cool things happening in the PHP world over the last few years, but with the least helpful names ever ... yes, those PSR-somethings which all do totally different things (apart from two of them which are the same). They're actually all superb things, and done for a good reason, so I thought I'd try to translate them into normal speak.

She goes through each of the three, explaining what they are and how they could affect your applications:

  • PSR-0 is for autoloading
  • PSR-1 and PSR-2 are for Coding Standards
  • PSR-3 is for Logging

There's no code included in the post showing how they'd be implemented but there are links back to the standards themselves.

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psr standards recommendation autoloading codestandard logging

Link: http://www.lornajane.net/posts/2013/psr-what

NetTuts.com:
PSR-Huh?
January 18, 2013 @ 09:14:59

On NetTuts.com today they've posted a good primer for those that may have heard about the PSR standards that have been introduced to PHP but aren't quire sure what they are (or what they mean to you as a developer).

If you're an avid PHP developer, it's quite likely that you've come across the abbreviation, PSR, which stands for "PHP Standards Recommendation." At the time of this writing, there are four of them: PSR-0 to PSR-3. Let's take a look at what these are, and why you should care (and participate).

They start with a brief history of the standards, the PHP-FIG (Framework Interoperability Group) and where the idea for the PSRs came from. Then the article gets into the details of each:

  • PSR-0: Autoloader Standard
  • PSR-1: Basic Coding Standard
  • PSR-2: Coding Style Guide
  • PSR-3: Logger Interface

They also do a good job mentioning some of the criticism that's come with the standards and what sort of future there is including the creation of a standard for a HTTP messaging package.

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psr standard recommendation coding history future


Matt Frost:
Using Comments
October 16, 2012 @ 09:27:43

Matt Frost has posted a few of this thoughts about effective code commenting and how it can help make your application easier to follow and maintain in the long run.

Code comments are strange things; they can be invaluable or they can make the code they're describing more confusing. They can be necessary, unnecessary, explanatory or muddled and some times they're neither; they just are. [...] Code comments have their place, don't get me wrong; but I don't usually come across good comments.

He talks some about the two cases for comments - when to use them (and do it effectively) and when not to use them (yes, there's a time for this too). He notes that, sometimes, if you feel like you need to comment excessively on your code, you might be doing it wrong - that there's a simpler, more understandable way.

The goal should always be to add value to a codebase, whether than be in the form of code, comments or documentation. Bad comments are just as bad as poorly written code and good comments can take poorly written code and make it more easily understandable.
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Lorna Mitchell's Blog:
Tips on Writing an API for a Smartphone App
May 04, 2012 @ 10:13:01

Lorna Mitchell has a recent post to her blog with some handy tips for building an API for a smartphone app and some key points to focus on.

Yesterday, I saw this tweet: "@lornajane @nabeels tips on starting to write an API to interact with Smartphone App?" I have lots of advice for Olly (whom I know personally) but there's no way it will fit into a tweet! So here it is, in rather longer form :)

She touches on five different things to help you on the road to success:

  • Be consistent
  • Fail really really excellently
  • Keep it tidy
  • Recommendations for using JSON, a RPC format and understanding HTTP
  • Some tools to help you in your development (debugging)
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smartphone application api recommendation


Brandon Savage's Blog:
Rocking Your Job Interview
March 21, 2012 @ 11:12:48

Brandon Savage has a new post to his blog with a few tips about doing well ("rocking") in your next job interview.

One of the things about the PHP field is that developers are highly sought after, and good developers are prized. While anyone can slap "PHP Developer" on their resume, most companies have gotten good at weeding out the pretenders from the real deal. This means that for a highly qualified developer, interviewing should be an easy step towards receiving an offer.

He's broken it up into a few different main points:

  • Know your technical details thoroughly.
  • Know the role of the person interviewing you.
  • Be able to turn technical answers into non-technical answers, and vice versa.
  • Learn how to be personable.
  • Ask thought-provoking questions.

Each point comes with some thoughts on how to accomplish it and even points to two resources to help you on your way.

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Volker Dusch's Blog:
The UNIT in unit testing
March 15, 2012 @ 08:24:03

Volker Dusch has a new post reminding us about what the "unit" part of "unit testing" means - small chunks of testable parts in an application.

What does the word UNIT in unit testing stand for? Think of an answer and read on! So? Did you say "A method! Because we test methods!"? If so let me offer another perspective.

He suggests that, rather than about just the methods in the class, it's more about testing the "observable behaviors" of the class. That is, anything that you could publicly use the class for and have something happen. He gives examples of this shift in focus - calling setValue and evaluating the result versus just calling the class property itself (then calling the method). He also includes a bit about testing behaviors - what happens when my script does [this] and how does that effect the overall class.

When your tests fail but the class "still works" and you need to "fix the tests" the your tests are worth a lot less as they don't really give you that cozy safety net that they should provide you with.
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unit unittesting opinion recommendation behavior method testable


Kevin Schroeder's Blog:
What programming rules should you ALWAYS follow?
November 09, 2011 @ 09:20:37

In a quick new post today Kevin Schroeder asks his readers for feedback on what programming rules you should always follow in your development practices.

Earlier today, more for my own interest, I asked the question on Twitter "What programming rules should you ALWAYS follow, regardless of the scenario you're working in?" In other words, are there programming rules that you ALWAYS should follow. It doesn't matter if it's a script to copy a bunch of files for a one time migration or if you're building the next Facebook (DON'T try to build the next Facebook. You will fail miserably. Build something else). In other words, what was the purist of programming rules.

Responses he received ranged from the simple to slightly more complex including:

  • Always comment your code
  • Test your code
  • Use source control
  • "Think. Think again. Then write code"
  • Use a good debugger to help track down problems
  • Make effective use of logging/output
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programming rules opinion recommendation twitter


Stefan Koopmanschap's Blog:
About your job opening...
October 05, 2011 @ 09:09:09

If you're currently looking for developers to fit the needs of your company but just can't seem to find a good fit, Stefan Koopmanschap has a good suggestion you might want to follow to be more effective in your search.

The PHP job market is booming. Lots of companies are looking for (good) developers, but these are hard to find. Lots of developers are looking for a (good) job, but these are equally hard to find. Wait, that sounds strange... but it's true.

He points out that he's seen several companies put other technologies besides their core technology in their ads (shame on them). He suggests that companies think about what tech you really work with and stick with that on the resume - don't try to pull in people with hype and buzzwords.

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