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#1 eraldos  Icon User is offline

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how to become better at php?

Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:36 PM

What would be the best way to 'master' PHP? By 'mastering' PHP I mean that you are able to create any application that you want. I'm not saying you should know all the functions and everything you need, but if you want to do something, how do you find what you need to create that specific system...
I've been programming with PHP for a few months, but I'm finding it hard to create things that I want. What do you guys recommend I should do? Any good books I should read or something?

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#2 Dormilich  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to become better at php?

Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:39 PM

I would recommend to learn about "application design" in general. PHP is just a tool to make your idea work and all the strategies you need for an application generally apply to whatever programming language is used (with some modification due to the language, of course).
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#3 eraldos  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to become better at php?

Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:46 PM

I think that could be the problem... Do you know any good resources where I could learn about application design?
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#4 Dormilich  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to become better at php?

Posted 03 February 2013 - 01:47 PM

not out of the blue, but I can recommend to read about Design Patterns (see also the so-called "Gang of Four")
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#5 Cbeppe  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to become better at php?

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:09 PM

Make a project. It's the only way I've managed to learn programming languages and sticking to them. One of the first things I did in PHP was to make a browser based multiplayer game based on Travian. Of course it will be ugly and hard if you're not experienced, but having your own project will motivate you and make you stick with it.

You'll also learn as you go along. When you think of a new feature that you want to add, think about what you will need (PHP, JS, MySQL) and make a plan. Then start coding. When you get stuck or if you don't know how to do something, come here and ask. You'll also find that when you post your code here with a problem, a lot of people will show you things you can change to comply with best practices, even if these aren't the elements causing problems. A lot of the time, you'll also learn of shorter ways to do things as well.

When you're first learning, you might write 100 lines of code to accomplish something that can be done in a single function that you didn't know about. But the fact that you thought logically about how to solve the problem and then wrote your own version of the function will give you a much better understanding of how PHP and programming works in general. As a bonus, it won't feel like you're torturing yourself by taking a detour just to learn, because everything you do will be "exploration" and the motivation will come by introducing new features.

PHP is one of the most satisfying languages to work with in my opinion. I say this because it's both powerful and "down to earth". By that I mean that it allows you to focus on getting things done rather than manage memory, pointers, and very strict variable types like C or C++. This is my opinion though, and it may not be correct, and you may not agree, but I think you chose the right language to start out with.

Good Luck!
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#6 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: how to become better at php?

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:20 PM

Getting Better at Programming PHP. :)
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