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/Dev/Hell Podcast:
Episode 41 Let Me Wet My Beak
March 12, 2014 @ 13:14:27

The /Dev/Hell podcast, hosted by Chris Hartjes and Ed Finkler, has posted its latest episode - Episode 41: Let Me Wet My Beak. In this new episode they're joined by guest David Rogers.

This week we're joined by David Rogers, aka @al_the_x, to hear how he's teaching PHP in college courses for brand-new programers. We also talk about what possessed Ed to develop his own unit testing framework.

You can check out this episode either through the in-page player or by downloading the mp3 of the show. Also, be sure to subscribe to their feed if you like what you hear.

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Link: http://devhell.info/post/2014-03-10/let-me-wet-my-beak/

Engine Yard Blog:
PHP Mentoring and the Importance of the Software Apprenticeship
January 17, 2013 @ 09:51:29

On the Engine Yard blog there's a new post written up by Elizabeth Smith talking some about the mentoring of PHP developers and how being both a mentor and a mentee is a good thing for you and your development life.

Some believe programming is a science, with well-defined rules that if properly followed always give you the same outcome. Some believe programming is engineering, practical application of some kind of pure science such as math. I personally feel programming is a craft. That word often makes people blink a few times, especially those steeped in logic. Craftsmanship means applying specialized knowledge with skill in a practical manner.

She goes on to apply more of the ideas of "craftsmanship" to development work. She notes that she is where she is today because of the people that took the time to mentor her and guide her towards being a better developer. She talks about the networking options mentoring can provide as well as the official PHP Mentoring project that she helped to found.

At the end of the day, I don't work because I have to, I work because I want to, because I need to improve the technology that people use every day. The tools and techniques used today won't be the ones used 20 years from now, so I don't believe in holy wars over languages, operating systems, or coding standards.
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Reddit.com:
I'm interested in teaching others PHP. Is anyone interested?
July 27, 2012 @ 09:21:49

If you've been doing PHP for a while and feel the need to get out there and help others learn the language (and the whole ecosystem around it) but don't know where to start, check out this thread over on Reddit with some helpful resources and suggestions.

I'm interested in teaching PHP and programming concepts to people. I've been told that I teach people in a way that is easier to grasp than what's conventional and I would like to get other peoples opinions on how to produce code and perspectives when you're not native to PHP specifically.

In the comments there's mentions of things like:

  • the PHP Mentoring project
  • ProTalk.me for sharing your videos
  • What kinds of topics people are looking for
  • and responses from people that would like to learn more about the language themselves
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Lineke Kerckhoffs-Willems' Blog:
ProTalk update December 2011
December 15, 2011 @ 08:43:23

Lineke Kerckhoffs-Willems has a new post to her blog today with an update about their in-progress site that wants to share tech knowledge through video, ProTalk:

A lot has happened since my October post announcing ProTalk, the secret project I am working on with my friend, Kim Rowan. So much in fact that now seems the ideal time to update you on our progress! Now, down to business! Since announcing the project in early October we have achieved the [several] project milestones.

The milestones include hosting by Combell (who also host Joind.in), a new domain, a commitment from Ibuildings for a design/logo/wireframe set and a new twitter account.

ProTalk is a "community resource aiming to provide a central point of access to video and audio content with a PHP focus." For more information and to sign up for details when they launch, check out their new site.

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Greg Wilson's Blog:
If You''e Going to Teach an Undergrad Intro to Software Engineering...
June 13, 2011 @ 11:56:43

Greg Wilson has an interesting new post with some of the recommendations he made to a friend about recommended reading for a software engineering teacher so they could be one step ahead of their students.

I got mail yesterday from a former student of a friend of mine who has just been told that he has to teach an "Intro to Software Engineering" class this fall to a bunch of third-year undergraduates. He's not an SE guy-his background is operating systems-so he asked me what he should read to get one step ahead of his future students. As regular readers will know, I don't think much of most traditional software engineering books: I've never seen most of what's in them in the real world, and most of what I've needed to know hasn't been in them.

Included in his books of recommended reading are things like:

Take a look at the full post for the rest of his list and a bit about why he chose each.

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php|architect:
Stop Telling People to Optimize, and Start Teaching Them to Program
July 09, 2009 @ 13:43:23

Following some of the "backlash" of Google posting their "performance tips" for PHP developers, Marco Tabini has written up a post with a suggestion of his own - stop teaching developers how to optimize their code and teach them how to code it better from the start.

In principle, I have nothing against micro-optimizations; I just think they're a waste of time - perhaps even more so because they take the focus away from the simple fact that it's a rare performance problem that is cause by the language: the problem, almost inevitably, resides either with the developer, or with an external system.

He explains that it's no so much about dropping them all together as it is starting from the beginning and teaching best practices and good use of standards and proper development practices. That's what we should be promoting, not things that might shave milliseconds off the total execution time.

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Bryan's Blog:
5 (More) Ways to be a Better PHP Developer
February 14, 2008 @ 12:53:00

Following up on this article from Akash Mehta, Bryan has posted five more suggestions he has to help make you a better PHP developer.

I thought all of Akash's suggestions were good but a little broad and seemed to involve a lot of reading. And while any budding developer will jump at the chance to expand their burgeoning technical library, I thought there were a couple of items we could add to his list.

The recommendations that made his list are

  • Start a project that other people (developers and end users) will use.
  • Learn another language.
  • Teach someone PHP.
  • Ask for suggestions not solutions.
  • Use what you read.

I'm particularly a fan of the third one (teaching) - not only does it spread PHP out even more through the masses, but it can really test you on your knowledge (some of those "how do I.." questions can get a bit complex, even from beginners).

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Ben Ramsey's Blog:
How To Teach PHP
October 13, 2006 @ 11:15:41

Based on some perspectives he gained at this year's PHP Appalachia event and at a Triangle-PHP meeting (talking with David Rasch, Ben Ramsey shares his thoughts on how to teach PHP, more specifically to those with some programming background, but not necessarily a lot of experience.

He (David) suggested that the format for teaching PHP needs to change and that these books need to start not by teaching PHP from the Web but by introducing newbies to PHP concepts by creating command-line applications. The idea being to introduce them early on to OOP and best practices, rather than trying to get them started fast with a simple "Hello, World" Web site.

For Ben, the idea was agreeable, but he wasn't sure on whether or not such an approach would take off with the current book market. He does agree with David, though, that things need to change.

As far as David, his thoughts can be best summed up with this post on his blog, talking about a way to learn PHP without some of the drudge they pass along with the lessons in some of the "Learn PHP Now!" kinds of books. He even includes a table of contents for such a book.

So, which is the better of the two? Well, book publishers still think the second (the give examples and teach practices too) is the proven formula for a good PHP book, but maybe a company out there could benefit from Ben and David's suggestion of a no-nonsense, clean, easy book that fosters an approach supporting the basics, not someone's opinion of good code.

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Marcus Whitney's Blog:
Microsoft Teaches PHP, JSP and ColdFusion With "Cross Training"
February 28, 2006 @ 06:35:11

According to this post on Marcus Whitney's blog, it seems that Microsoft has been listening to the various other web development communities (PHP, Ruby on Rails, etc) and has started an initiaitive to inform developers about the integration of their favorite language with .NET rather than assaulting them with more ".NET is the way of the future" marketing.

Windows is making a strong play for the server market with their "Cross Training for Developers" program. And look at the co-sponsors: O'Reilly and Dr. Dobbs. Not too shabby.

Oh, and if you dig around on the site you will see tutorials on PHP, Java and Coldfusion. You will also see that if you sign up for three of their webcasts you will get a free copy of Visual Studio 2005, a free book and some other stuff that they don't tell you about. What better way to fend off the IBM/Eclipse onslaught than start giving away Studio. Whoever said Microsoft wasn't getting smarter with age was wrong.

It's an interesting tactic, and it'll be interesting to see how it turns out. So far, from what Marcus has said, it seems like a half-hearted effort - but that might just be because it's just getting the ball rolling.

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