PHP Podcast Picks

There are a surprising number of PHP and web development podcasts available to us, which is a great sign of the language’s popularity and passionate developers. Podcasts are nice because they allow us to keep current and learn while on the go. My preference is listening to them while doing chores, turning otherwise boring time into a chance to improve my technical knowledge. Over the last year I’ve listened to several podcasts specifically about PHP and web development, and here are the ones I’ve been following: Continue reading “PHP Podcast Picks”

Bite Sized Code Refactoring – Redundant DB Connections

I maintain and work on a number of legacy code applications. One of them has earned itself some refactoring. So I’ll try to share some of the changes I’ve been making to improve it. Today, a problem that’s bothered me for a while: the DB class connects to the database even if no queries are being used.

I should be thankful that this legacy app doesn’t have a bunch of mysqli_* calls all over the place. Back when I wrote it I at least had the presence of mind to wrap SQL functions in an abstraction class. So this change was quite easy to make.

Continue reading “Bite Sized Code Refactoring – Redundant DB Connections”

How To Learn: Composer

Our How-To-Learns are concise articles with information about how to learn various tools, techniques, skills, etc. These articles won’t teach you directly, instead they’ll make it easier to find authoritative, up-to-date, and relevant information to master the topic.


For the past several years…. ok, maybe a decade… I’ve been happily growing my personal, private collection of reusable PHP classes, plugins, libraries, modules, themes and even frameworks and a CMS. All coded by me, from scratch. Imagine my excitement – and more than a little embarrassment – when I discovered Packagist and the amazing tool of Composer which pulls the libraries published on Packagist into your project with a snap. It’s beautiful. And it’s become the industry standard along with the autoloading library it comes with. How can we learn Composer? Continue reading “How To Learn: Composer”

A Year Of Catchup

Things I didn't know I didn't know.While this blog is new, my original post about my predicament is actually about a year old. So for the last year I’ve been thinking about the best way to modernize and what topics I specifically want to learn about. I ended up with a bit of an oh-crap! moment as the more I started learning the more I realized there is to learn. And for me, still very much a full-time parent… how little time there is to do it. Continue reading “A Year Of Catchup”

On Being a Developer Dinosaur (oh no!)

Did someone forget to mention that this industry changes fast? Really fast!? I must have missed that…

Something happens to your skills when you work for years on one core type of project, with one main toolset. You get really good, and lightening fast at doing that one thing. However, your skills in the greater scope of your industry start to get out of date. Continue reading “On Being a Developer Dinosaur (oh no!)”