April 2015 Newsletter

Word for the Herd

2015-04 Learn

I have said in several of my talks “If you are a developer, and you’ve not learned something new in the past 3 months, you are fast becoming a paperweight.” Learning is important in our industry, that’s not what I want to talk to you about though. A lot of us are programmers because it is our passion. If this sounds familiar, then I’m talking to you…well, and myself. Make sure that you take the time to learn something else.

I love computers. I have since my first Commodore 64. I was ecstatic when I found out that people will pay me to program them. If I don’t watch myself, I will spend most of my waking moments behind a keyboard and miss out on so much of life.

More than just “take time to smell the roses”, take the time to learn something new. Pickup a new hobby, learn to play an instrument, invest some time in learning something that has absolutely nothing to do with computers.

Learning something new will broaden your point of view. It will expose you to different ways of thinking about things, things like problems you have with computers. Broaden your horizon. Become a better programmer by learning something other than programming.

Until next time,
=C=
Cal Evans
Nerd Herder for the World Wide Herd

The InPHPormation You Need to Know

Current Versions of PHP
(Make sure you are up to date!)


Book Suggestion

Iterating PHP Iterators

Learn to use the power tools built into the PHP language to write better and faster code.

Article Suggestions

5 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT PHP 7

S.O.L.I.D: The First 5 Principles of Object Oriented Design

Xdebug 2.3: Improvements to Tracing

What to Expect When You're Expecting: PHP 7 Part 1

What to Expect When You're Expecting: PHP 7 Part 2

8 Best PHP Tools For Analysing And Parsing Code

How To Be A Good Open Source Community Member

Introduction to Humbug: A Mutation Testing Framework for PHP

Finding bottlenecks in your PHP code

PHP: The entire world is your development team – Beth Tucker Long

Why & When We Need PHP Frameworks?


GET INVOLVED!

Have you checked to see if there is a local PHP user group near you? Visit PHP.UG and see if there is a PHP user group near you. If you find one, get involved!


Conferences

* = Cal will be in attendance and have Nomad PHP stickers and patches.

March 2015 Newsletter

Word for the Herd

Rolling Double 7s

I know that most dice are 6 sided, but these days’, PHP is rolling “double 7s”. PHP 7 is now in feature freeze, and PSR-7 is currently being voted on. The combination of this double 7 will be a paradigm shift for PHP developers.

I’ve been using PHP since PHP version 4. Back then, apps were simple, pages were self contained, you either displayed information, displayed a list, or displayed a form. Forms called themselves so that everything you needed to both display and process a form was in the same file.

Then things changed, APIs came along, JavaScript became the shiny with this new toy ajax, and people started building frameworks…oh so many frameworks. The way we built applications changed. Things got more complex as we had more tools in our toolbox.

Get ready, because things are going to change again. To get a taste, read Matthew Weier O’Phinney’s article on middleware above. You will begin to see that we are yet again, on the cusp of major change.

Change is a good thing. I know some people will continue to develop PHP applications the way they’ve always done it, just like there are developers that still build applications like we used to in PHP 4. That’s the wonderful thing about PHP, it doesn’t care, it doesn’t force you into developing one way or the other. Of course, if you want to stay employable as a PHP developer, you’ll need to pick up the new skills, understand the new tools in the toolbox, you’ll have to keep learning.

So as PHP rolls a double 7, and people all across the community start figuring things out so that they can share it with you, make sure you do your part by staying involved. Our motto of “Make a habit of continuous learning” has never been more important. Let’s learn together as a community.

=C=
Cal Evans
Nerd Herder for the World Wide Herd


Current Versions of PHP

(Make sure you are up to date!)


Book Suggestion


The InPHPormation You Need to Know

On Code Reviews
PHP7: More strict! (but only if you want it to be)
On Magento 2 being “open source” – the post-mortem
Xdebug 2.3: Moar var_dump()
Everything we know about Laravel 5.1
Securely Distributing PHARs: Pitfalls and Solutions
PHP 7 Feature Freeze
Introducing a new error handler for PHP projects
Driving Change
On HTTP, Middleware, and PSR-7
Working with simplytest.me and Drupal.org
MageTalk Episode 26 – Mistake Driven Development


GET INVOLVED!

Have you checked to see if there is a local PHP user group near you? Visit PHP.UG and see if there is a PHP user group near you. If you find one, get involved!


Conferences

* = Cal will be in attendance and have Nomad PHP stickers and patches.


Code Monkey Health Tip

Code Monkey Health

Have you ever been right in the middle of composing the most beautiful code only to lose your train of thought or have a power outage before you have a chance to commit it?

Well, now you know how your brain feels when it runs out of fat. Yes, fat – the F word among health freaks. Since the brain does not store fat, you need to give it a smattering of healthy fats every 3 to 4 hours. The right mix of fats properly timed can enhance your psychomotor speed, cognitive flexibility, memory, and overall cognition.

Polyunsaturated fat (EFAs), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and saturated fat are best for brain health. Choose salmon, walnuts, almonds, pepitas, sunflower seeds and ground flax and you cannot go wrong. Save the butter, cheese, and juicy burgers for meals.

Workplace friendly recipes and tips are available from the Brain Bites section of CodeMonkeyHealth.com.

February 2015 Newsletter

Word for the Herd

Can’t we all just get along?

Several times in the past two month’s I’ve seen drama break out in our community and people say disparaging things about the drama itself. To answer the question simply, no, we can’t. We are humans. Different groups in our community will see things…differently. We are going to disagree. Sometimes, these disagreements will be civil, sometimes they won’t.

The important thing is not that we all get along, or are all nice to each other. The important thing to remember is that we are a community. When the disagreement is over, we need to come back and agree on the things that unite us.

A lot of PHP developers don’t care about things like return types or Scalar Type hints. I’m not here to tell you that you should. There is however, no reason to think that those who do care, and differ on opinions of how or why, are somehow tearing us apart. If you aren’t interested, just ignore the discussion.

If you are part of the discussion, remember that when it’s all over, you need to make the effort to reach out and mend fences. Regardless of which side of that fence you landed.

It the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln as recorded in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, “Be excellent to each other. And… PARTY ON, DUDES!”.

=C=
Cal Evans
Nerd Herder for the World Wide Herd


Current Versions of PHP
(Make sure you are up to date!)


Book Suggestion

Modern PHP: New Features and Good Practices


Article to Read


Conferences

* = Cal will be in attendance and have Nomad PHP stickers and copies of Wisdom of the ElePHPant to give away.

January 2015 Newsletter

Word for the Herd

For the last decade I have been an active member of the PHP community. Some of that time i was paid to be, other times, I did it because…well, because it is good for me. The PHP community has been a serious boost for my career. More than that though, I’ve had the privilege of meeting a lot of great people, many of whom have had a serious impact on my life and my career.

All of us are busy, life gets more complex every year. There is always an excuse to put off getting involved. This month, find a reason to get involved. Whether it is volunteering to mentor someone in #phpmentoring, answering questions for people on stackoverflow.com, or just attending your local User Group meeting, get involved. Invest in yourself by investing in someone else, become an active part of the PHP community.

=C=
Cal Evans
Nerd Herder for the World Wide Herd


Current Versions of PHP
(Make sure you are up to date!)


Book Suggestion

Culture of Respect

Article Suggestions

Interview with John Coggeshall

3 PHP Loops Gotchas

PHP Denial of Service Attack Revisited

The Pitfalls of Code Review (And How To Fix Them)

Basic Usage Of Closures In PHP

Lies, Damned Lies and Code Coverage: Towards Mutation Testing

Implement A "Sounds Like" Search In PHP

Mocking PHP

Getting the job done, really easily – meet Stephan Hochdörfer


GET INVOLVED!

Have you checked to see if there is a local PHP user group near you? Visit PHP.UG and see if there is a PHP user group near you. If you find one, get involved!

Conferences

* = Cal will be in attendance and have Nomad PHP stickers and patches.