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Freek Van der Herten:
Things I learned from reading Laravel: Up and running
Aug 09, 2016 @ 09:34:01

In this new post to his site Freek Van der Herten shares some of the things he learned from reading the book "Laravel: Up and Running", helping you to get a Laravel application up, running and understood easily.

Matt Stauffer is currently putting the final touches on his new book called Laravel: Up And Running. It aims to be a good guide for newcomers to the framework. But even if you’ve got some experience with Laravel, it should be worth your time to read it. Even Matt himself picked up a lot of cool stuff while writing it.

During my holiday I read an advance copy of the book containing all chapters expect the ones that touch on Laravel 5.3 specific functionality. I can say that it is very well written and it complements the official documentation well. Here are some of the things I’ve learned from reading this book.

His list of "lessons learned" includes topics like:

  • Sending a download response
  • Sharing a variable with all Blade views
  • Using closure based commands
  • Eager load the number of related records

Each one comes with a bit of code, mostly just one line (as that's all it takes) but it's interesting to see some of these handy tips and tricks to make it easier to work with the Laravel framework in your applications.

tagged: laravel upandrunning book mattstauffer prerelease lessonslearned tips

Link: https://murze.be/2016/08/things-learned-reading-laravel-running/

FreeCodeCamp.com:
Bill Sourer - Finding Time to Become a Better Developer
Jun 30, 2016 @ 10:35:48

On the FreeCodeCamp Medium blog Bill Sourer shares some tips you can use to find time to become a better developer in the fast-based, sometimes crazy world of software development.

There’s no time for anything. At least that’s how it feels doesn’t it? No time to learn all the things you think you need to learn to stay ahead of the curve. No time to go back and refactor that ugly piece of code. It works (sort of) and there’s a deadline approaching. No time to write unit tests for everything. No time to write documentation or comments for the next guy who gets stuck maintaining what you wrote. No time to think. No time to breathe. No time!

Well… if you take the time to read this article, I promise you’ll find yourself with more time for what’s important.

He breaks it down into five main tips (here's a tl;dr for those in a rush):

  • You don’t need to learn every new thing in order to stay relevant.
  • Writing good code takes less time than writing bad code, BUT it doesn’t feel that way.
  • Working 24/7 does NOT make you a hero. Managing expectations does.
  • Not all time spent “improving” code has the same ROI.
  • Scheduled down time makes you more productive.

Each item on the list has a paragraph or three explaining it in a bit more detail. There's also some other interesting ideas and thoughts in the comments of the post from other readers.

tagged: better developer time management suggestion tips top5

Link: https://medium.freecodecamp.com/finding-time-to-become-a-better-developer-eebc154881b2#.6ojvwlad0

Ben Ramsey:
7 Tips for php[tek]
May 23, 2016 @ 09:42:29

Ben Ramsey has a post to his site sharing a few tips for those attending the php[tek] conference this year (though most of them could apply to just about any technology-related conference out there.

This week, I’m attending php[tek]. This is my seventh php[tek], and the first I’ve attended not as a speaker. It’s one of my favorite conferences, and I didn’t want to miss its first year in a new city: St. Louis. As we gear up for the eleventh php[tek] conference, I thought I’d list my seven tips for getting the most out of your php[tek] experience.

His suggestions cover things to help you get the most enjoyment from the conference, and not just from the sessions:

  • Hang out in the evenings, after the conference sessions.
  • After the conference events, follow folks to the bar.
  • Take advantage of the “hallway track,” and don’t forget the regular sessions.
  • Attend the morning keynote sessions.
  • Join the conference IRC backchannel: #phptek on Freenode.
  • Use the official hashtag: #phptek
  • Take lots of pictures and upload them to Flickr.

Each of the suggestions comes with a bit of description and photos from previous years. If you're attending this year's conference, I'd definitely recommend talking a look over the full post and getting prepared for a great week of learning and community at this year's conference.

tagged: phptek tek16 conference opinion tips enjoyment community

Link: https://benramsey.com/blog/2016/05/phptek-tips/

Magium Blog:
3 Best Practices for Selenium Testing when Constructing Your Page
Feb 17, 2016 @ 09:55:26

In a new post to the Magium site Kevin Schroeder shares three helpful tips you can use for the Selenium testing of your application based on some of his recent development on the project.

Having spent now about two months building out Magium there are a couple of things that are worth sharing as I’ve been working through several different versions of Magento. These practices (best practices?) may or may not be “officialized” by the Overlords of the Internet but what I have found is that I have the most trouble when these practices are not executed.

The basic premise behind each of these is that the quickest path to the most specific element is best.

His three tips avoid things like long XPath expressions to locate single items and favor consistency and simplicity:

  • Wrap ALL text in an HTML element – leave no orphaned text
  • If an element has function, identify it.
  • Group data using classes and IDs

He ends the post with a reminder that a well-structured page not only helps with testing but is also a good goal to strive for related to maintainability.

tagged: selenium testing magento tips top3 structure

Link: http://magiumlib.com/blog/3-best-practices-for-selenium-testing-when-constructing-your-page/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
9 Development Workflow Upgrades You Should Know About
Feb 04, 2016 @ 11:39:10

On the SitePoint PHP blog editor Bruno Skvorc shares 9 development workflow upgrades that can help to make you a more efficient (and informed) developer. This is a list of handy tools and changes you can make to current software to help make you more productive.

Every once in a while I run into a tool or plugin so useful I can’t not add it to my arsenal. I usually shout out tweets and try to spread the word that way, but this time I believe I’ve got such a neat (and somewhat random) collection of productivity boosting entries, they deserve a collective article.

Included in his list of helpful tools and tips are things like:

  • git-fresh
  • [Composer changelogs](Composer changelogs)
  • Changing PhpStorm's configuration for faster rendering
  • Parallel downloads [with Composer](Composer parallel downloads)

There's also something he's called the "comfort collection" that can help you and your body feel less of the pains usually associated with long hours in front of the keyboard.

tagged: workflow upgrades development tools configuration tips comfort

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/9-development-workflow-upgrades-you-should-know-about/

Mark Scherer:
Developing CakePHP 3+ Plugins, it’s fun!
Feb 01, 2016 @ 12:08:04

Mark Scherer has a post to his site looking at developing CakePHP 3+ plugins, showing how it's much easier than it used to be with previous versions of the framework.

he days of CakePHP 2 plugins and how difficult it was to actually develop plugins are over. Back in the days (OK, I still have to do it once in a while), there was even an app required to test a plugin. Since you didn’t want to have a boilerplate app for each plugin, you usually worked in your actual app. So you had cross contamination from that messing up your tests and stuff. Really annoying.

[...] While most of the concrete examples are about plugin development for CakePHP 3, the main ideas apply to all library code you write. And if you are a developer for other frameworks, the same principles apply, only the concrete implementation might differ.

He starts with the "real story" behind his development of a plugin - a need to integrate hashid support into a CakePHP v3-based application. He uses his own library as an example (here on GitHub) and shares his thought and development process in its creation. He then shares a few helpful tips for the would-be plugin authors out there:

  • Thinking about what should be in core vs a plugin.
  • Try to follow coding and package principles.
  • Following the six package principles including common reuse, common closure and package coupling practices.
tagged: cakephp3 framework plugin example principles tips hashid

Link: http://www.dereuromark.de/2016/01/29/developing-cakephp-3-plugins-its-fun/

Michael Cullum:
CFP Tips Roundup (#12DaysOfCfpTips)
Jan 28, 2016 @ 09:02:42

At the end of 2015 (and beginning of 2016) Michael Cullum put together a series of tweets with suggestions to help potential conference/event speakers out there in submitting to Call for Papers. He's gathered them together and posted them to his site to make them easier to find all in one place.

On the 25th December I started a series of tweets under the hashtag #12DaysOfCfpTips. For those who are unaware, I’m one of the organisers for the PHP South Coast Conference (P.S. Blind bird tickets are up wink), and within the organising team I’m responsible for the Call for Papers and everything speaker-related in general and getting better submissions are both in the best interest of a conference organiser and the submitter.

A few people had asked me to post them up somewhere more permanent and perhaps expand on them beyond 140 characters a little so here we are with a roundup. The tweets are in chronological order.

His list includes suggestions about providing "extra" information on your submissions, looking at the suggested talk topics and mentioning any previous speaking experience. There's also links to each tweet so you can see any conversation that might have happened around them (often including some additional advice as well).

tagged: callforpapers cfp tips 12daysofcfptips michaelcullum

Link: http://www.michaelcullum.com/cfp-tips-roundup/

SitePoint PHP Blog:
More Tips for Defensive Programming in PHP
Jan 25, 2016 @ 12:07:48

The SitePoint PHP blog has posted a tutorial continuing on from some previous advice with even more defensive programming practices you can use in your PHP applications.

Many people argue against defensive programming, but this is often because of the types of methods they have seen espoused by some as defensive programming. Defensive programming should not be viewed as a way to avoid test driven development or as a way to simply compensate for failures and move on. [...] What are these methods, if not ways to anticipate that your program may fail, and either prevent those, or else ways in which to handle those failures appropriately?

They go on to talk about the ideas of "failing fast" when errors happen in your application with an extra suggestion added on - "fail loud" too. The tutorial then looks at four different places where more defensive programming techniques can be applied (and how):

  • Input validation
  • Preventing Accidental Assignment in Comparisons
  • Dealing with Try/Catch and Exceptions
  • Transactions

They end with a recommendation that, while you should fail fast and loud when issues come up, be sure it's not to the determent of the overall user experience or sharing messages with users that may just confuse them.

tagged: tutorial series defensive programming tips failfast input validation assignment trycatch transaction

Link: http://www.sitepoint.com/more-tips-for-defensive-programming-in-php/

Freek Van der Herten:
Some Laravel Homestead tips
Jan 18, 2016 @ 12:27:30

Freek Van der Herten has a post to his site sharing some Laravel Homestead tips you can use to optimize and customize your current Homestead installation.

Homestead is a pre-packaged Vagrant box that includes a good development environment. It was made and is maintained by Taylor Otwell, the creator of Laravel. In this post I’d like to share some tips regarding this box.

His list of tips includes:

  • Map all sites at once
  • Use a bash function to work with a globally installed homestead
  • Map your dotfiles directory

Each tip comes with a bit of code/configuration changes to make to be able to use the functionality and configure the instance correctly.

tagged: laravel homestead tips configuration command example

Link: https://murze.be/2016/01/some-laravel-homestead-tips/

Michael Cullum:
#12DaysOfCfpTips - Call for Papers Tips in Tweets
Dec 30, 2015 @ 10:29:06

If you're ending this year and thinking about making "speak at a conference" one of your New Year's resolutions, you should check out the series of Tweets from Michael Cullum with some helpful tips on submitting your talk ideas to Calls for Papers. His #12DaysofCfpTips can help guide you in the right direction and make it more likely you could be accepted.

So far (as of the time of this post) there's only two in the list:

  • "Mention previous speaking experience in your speaker 'extra information' box (including UGs and Conferences)"
  • Always get someone to read over your abstracts. helpmeabstract.com is a great place to get feedback

Keep an eye on the hashtag with more great tips and hints to help you optimize your submissions and profile for that next open Call for Papers!

tagged: callforpapers cfp tips tweets michaelcullum

Link: https://twitter.com/hashtag/12DaysOfCfpTips