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SitePoint PHP Blog:
Becoming a PHP Professional The Importance of Others
December 03, 2013 @ 09:59:37

The SitePoint PHP blog has a new post in the "Becoming a PHP Professional" series today from Bruno Skvorc. In this latest post he talks about the importance of other people in the process, including both learning (being mentored) and teaching (mentor).

When you work on improving your skills on your own, you'll often find yourself stuck. In fact, the experts frequently find themselves stuck more often than newbies, but it's the speed and skill with which they "unstick" themselves that makes them stand out in the cold, snowy field of identically unimpressive snowflakes.

He talks about having an "invisible friend" or another non-developer to talk to that may provide a different perspective (see rubber ducking). He covers teams and both the good and bad of being a part of them. He also looks at the mentoring/being mentored relationship and some places you can go to get more information about both in the PHP community. Finally, he looks at a tricky topic - ego in development and the inflation that can happen as your skill level grows.

Others around you - either digitally or in real life - can protect you from both inflation and deflation - a good mentor or colleague will tell you when you're steering wrong, and they'll motivate you when you're in a slump. They'll help you avoid the multi-month cooldown periods and the post-burnout lack of interest that eventually occurs.
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Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/becoming-php-professional-importance-others/

Job Posting:
Options Consulting Solutions Seeks PHP Developer Team Lead (Toronto, Canada)
April 26, 2011 @ 17:35:26

Company Options Consulting Solutions (Recruiting Agency)
Location Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Title PHP Developer Team Lead
Summary

My client is a developer of high-traffic, large-scale websites and currently has 5 PHP Developer Team Lead roles available due to aggressive growth. Centrally located in Toronto, competitive salaries, cutting edge technology and a flat structure that allows for growth and development. All in all a great environment. They are more than willing to sponsor/relocate candidates for these positions for the U. S., U.K. and Western Europe.

Summary:
Reporting to the Development Manager, this role is responsible for the development of large scale Internet web sites. We are responsible for evaluation, design, selection and implementation of pragmatic, cost effective technologies, to support our various clients' business models.

Skill Requirements

  • Proven team building and leadership experience in a web development environment
  • Staff training and team development skills and experience
  • Strong written/verbal communication skills
  • Experienced in estimating effort and elapsed time required to complete project deliverables.
  • Skilled in both Object Oriented and Non-Object Oriented Design and programming techniques.
  • Several years of skill in PHP and at least one other object oriented language such as perl or Java.
  • Experience designing with large scale distributed databases.
  • Strong business and technical analytical ability so as to create robust technical design documentation from business requirements documentation.
  • Proven ability to define success criteria to meet and measure quality expectations.

Responsibilities:

  • Motivating and leading a team of 6 to 10 application developers.
  • Provide feedback on business requirements documentation to ensure resolution of any apparent ambiguity or contradictions.
  • Functional Breakdown, Design, Programming, testing and maintaining web site applications to support the business requirements.
  • Perform impact analysis for design modification and obtain signoff from the Architecture Team.
  • Participation in the selection and implementation of third party software to support design where it is practicable.
  • Communicating with several third party billing processors to setup and maintain robust ecommerce billing solutions.
  • Appropriate documentation for each development step - including functional, design, and testing specifications.
  • Developing and documenting workload estimates (ie: Creation of workload breakdown plan to define and track software development efforts)
  • Delivering functionality within these estimated effort and time frames
  • Selection, implementation and/or modification of web development practices and methodologies to support continuous improvement efforts.
  • Provide assistance to junior programmers to generate Low Level Design documentation for new or modified functionality.
  • Conduct Design reviews with Technical Architect, Project Manager and Manager of Software Development for final design approvals.
  • Conduct documentation and code reviews for their team members to ensure standards compliance.
  • Define test methodology and use cases to analyze and verify software programs, forms, reports and interfaces.
  • Communicate issues and status information to Project Management Office concerning system development activities.
  • Liaison with Project Management Office to resolve scheduling conflict and project dependencies.
  • Update system data and prepare conversion requirement as necessary for new implementation and production rollout.
  • Participate in project status review meetings with other Team Leads and the Development Manager

Technical Expectations

  • 5-6+ years of PHP 4/5 design/coding/testing/implementing using Open Source approach
  • 4+ years of Object Orientation design and development experience for large scale distributed web applications
  • Linux, Mac O/SX, MySQL, PHP, Apache/Light HTTP technologies experience
  • Computer Science trained graduate or equivalent work experience

For more information contact Kenneth Cosgrove at kcosgrove@optionspersonnel.com

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Padraic Brady's Blog:
Zend Framework Community Review Team
June 09, 2010 @ 12:10:25

In order to help relieve some of the flood of issues that the Zend Framework project has with contributions, a new team has been/is being formed to work with some of the issues surrounding contributions to the framework. Padraic Brady has a new post to his blog talking about the formation of this team.

For those of you not presently keeping watch on the Contributors mailing list or IRC, a Community Review Team (CR Team) has been established to assist with contributions to the Zend Framework. The role of the team will take a bit of time to settle into and explore. [...] Essentially, the CR Team will have an advisory/liason role as it pertains to the proposing and maintenance of components. You should note that it will have limited decision capability, and Zend will continue to issue final approval for new proposals.

Among the duties of this new group there are things like contacting a maintainer on behalf of a contributor, identify orphaned components, solicit community feedback on proposals and notification to Zend when a proposal is ready. Some of the members of this team have already been set including Rob Allen, Padraic, Shaun Farrell and Ben Scholzen. If you're interested in the team or just want to talk with them about your proposal, you can find at least a few of them hanging out in the #zftalk.dev channel on the Freenode IRC network.

You can also read more about it on Rob Allen's blog today.

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Ibuildings Blog:
Migrating a dev team to an OO team (Part 2)
April 09, 2010 @ 11:41:44

In the second part of his look at migrating procedural teams to being object-oriented (the first part was a while back - six months ago) Dennis-Jan Broerse comes back with ten steps you can follow to be sure it's the right move to make and and to help the transition along.

After reading all the insightful comments on that post I've compiled a list with 10 steps to migrate your development team to an OO development team successfully. [...] With these 10 steps you are able to successfully migrate your team from a procedural team to an effective OO team.

The steps in the process are all important in their own right - things like "Ask yourself why you want to migrate", "Make a plan" and "Make some resources available" are important for starting out but doing the work and handling the aftermath are just as important. He recommends you "Document the lessons learned" and "spread the knowledge" out amongst the team for the best results.

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Ken Guest's Blog:
PHP Team Development by Samisa Abeysinghe (Book Review)
November 17, 2009 @ 15:55:09

Ken Guest is joining several other bloggers in reviewing the "PHP Team Development" book from Packt Publishing (by Samisa Abeysinghe) and coming to the same conclusions as they did.

Split into seven chapters, all equally sprinkled with phrases that are disjointly written and that don't get a point across, and some that make you think the book was written using some speech-to-text software ("Vendor locking" anybody?) , this book which "is for PHP developers who work in teams on complex projects" has given me an aversion to seeing three little words printed alongside each other ("the PHP code").

He mentions some of the huge omissions on things like code sniffing/syntax checking, unit testing, PEAR, etc (and there's a lot missing). He also points out what he sees as one of the largest problems of the book:

The book focuses on what the author thinks and his thoughts on the subject are written in such a manner, that once you put in the immense effort in trying to understand what he is attempting to communicate, that you are left with the impression that there are no alternatives; that X & Y & Z are the true and tested ways of doing things in PHP and there are no two ways about it.

Overall, Ken wouldn't recommend the book to much of anyone and suggests that the money put towards the cost of the book would be better spent on something with much more return.

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packt book review team development


Keith Casey's Blog:
Book Review PHP Team Development
November 17, 2009 @ 11:49:51

Following up on Lorna Mitchell's and Brandon Savage's reviews on the Packt Publishing book "PHP Team Development", Keith Casey has added a few of his own thoughts on the quality and content inside.

Okay, okay, it's just a poor sentence structure and I'm being mean picking at one some little mistake. Except that it's not one little mistake. The book is filled with glaring mistakes like this. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I average 1-2 typos/post so maybe I don't have room to talk. Of course, there is one difference: I don't have an editor. I don't have someone with the sole duty of reviewing my writing and correcting it. Packt Publishing does... well, at least I thought they did.

He goes on to mention a few of the other weak points about the book including its presentation of MVC as a "silver bullet", the recommendation of CVS and the severe lack of PHP-related topics. He sums up his feelings on the book in one sentence:

Overall, I can't recommend this book to anyone. [...] Further, as of this book, I am no longer willing to receive or review books from Packt Publishing [because of it].
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Brandon Savage's Blog:
Book Review PHP Team Development
October 27, 2009 @ 07:58:11

In a recent post Brandon Savage wrote up a review about the Packt Publishing book "PHP Team Development" based on the review copy he'd been sent:

Unfortunately, I was largely disappointed by this book. I join in many of the comments by Lorna Jane in the book's writing, and I would add in that much of the text seemed simple. The author is trying to do too much, as well, in focusing on a number of topics that have sparked volumes in and of themselves (Agile programming, anyone?).

He does note, however, that it could make a good book for those just starting out with a development team with the caveat that some of the technologies and methods (like MVC and Aglie) shouldn't be considered the only way to do things. There's plenty of other methods/development techniques that could fit for any number of companies out there.

As a final note, the book is also a paltry 161 pages long, which is not nearly enough to cover the material that the author is trying to cover in any sort of useful detail, and certainly not worth the $32 price, at least to me.
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book review team development


Lorna Mitchell's Blog:
Book Review PHP Team Development
October 15, 2009 @ 08:40:05

Lorna Mitchell has posted a new review of a new book from Packt Publishing - "PHP Team Development":

Overall I was quite disappointed by the book - although at least half of that was due to the poor written English contained there. [...] That said, for a brand new team of PHP developers with no previous experience of working in a team, there were some useful points in this book.

She mentions some of these core concepts the book covers including the recommendation of source control, templating and object-oriented software. She also points out a rather "different" sort of recommendation the author makes - splitting out the parts of a MVC application into different teams with a merge at the end.

On the whole, a perfectly nice book for beginners but if you are already working in a team then you probably won't get a lot from this experience.
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Robert Stackhouse's Blog:
Becoming a Better Programmer Fighting Your Natural Instincts
June 23, 2009 @ 10:24:56

Want to be a better programmer? Robert Stackhouse suggests fighting your natural instincts:

I was watching a video of the Google I/O conference. In it, one of the speakers said that, "It's our natural instinct to try to be a genius, but we need to try to fight that." [...] In this video, they touched on a whole host of natural tendencies: getting defensive, hiding your code away from the world, trying to exert ownership, and trying to do it all ourselves. All of these actions have very real very negative consequences for the team.

Opening yourself and your code up to review by your peers can sometimes be a scary thing but, in the long run, transparency is necessary for good team-based development. He also recommends bringing up issues to other developers in a more one-on-one setting rather than a group.

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Job Posting:
Software International (Recuriter) Seeks Web Development Team Lead (Toronto, Canada)
October 07, 2008 @ 14:13:16

Company Software International (Recuriter)
Location Toronto, Canada
Title Web Development Team Lead
Summary

Client is responsible for the development of large scale Internet web sites. We are responsible for evaluation, design, selection and implementation of pragmatic, cost effective technologies, to support our various clients' business models.

Skill Requirements

  • Proven team building and leadership experience in a web development environment
  • Staff training , team development skills and experience
  • Strong written/verbal communication skills
  • Experienced in estimating effort and elapsed time required to complete project deliverables.
  • Skilled in both Object Oriented and Non-Object Oriented Design and programming techniques.
  • Several years of skill in PHP and at least one other object oriented language such as perl or Java.
  • Experience designing with large scale distributed databases.
  • Strong business and technical analytical ability so as to create robust technical design documentation from business requirements documentation.
  • Proven ability to define success criteria to meet and measure quality expectations.

Responsibilities:

  • Provide feedback on business requirements documentation to ensure resolution of any apparent ambiguity or contradictions.
  • Functional Breakdown, Design, Programming, testing and maintaining web site applications to support the business requirements.
  • Perform impact analysis for design modification and obtain signoff from the Architecture Team.
  • Participation in the selection and implementation of third party software to support design where it is practicable.
  • Appropriate documentation for each development step - including functional, design, and testing specifications.
  • Developing and documenting workload estimates (ie: Creation of workload breakdown plan to define and track software development efforts)
  • Delivering functionality within these estimated effort and time frames
  • Selection, implementation and/or modification of web development practices and methodologies to support continuous improvement efforts.
  • Provide assistance to junior programmers to generate Low Level Design documentation for new or modified functionality.
  • Conduct Design reviews with Technical Architect, Project Manager and Manager of Software Development for final design approvals.
  • Conduct documentation and code reviews for their team members to ensure standards compliance.
  • Define test methodology and use cases to analyze and verify software programs, forms, reports and interfaces.
  • Communicate issues and status information to Project Management Office concerning system development activities.
  • Liaison with Project Mangement Office to resolve scheduling conflict and project dependencies.
  • Update system data and prepare conversion requirement as necessary for new implementation and production rollout.
  • Participate in project status review meetings with other Team Leads and the Development Manager

Technical Expectations

  • 5-6+ years of PHP 4/5 design/coding/testing/implementing using Open Source approach
  • Supervise and lead a team of 6 - 10 programmers
  • 4+ years of Object Orientation design and development experience for large scale distributed web applications
  • Linux, Mac O/SX, MySQL, PHP, Apache/Light HTTP technologies experience
  • Computer Science trained graduate or equivalent work experience

To apply for this position please send your resume to paul@softwareint.com

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