Dave Shirey is owner of Shirey Consulting Services which provides business and technical project management, EDI set up and support, and various technical services for the mainframe, midrange, and desktop worlds. In addition to PHP Master, he also writes frequently for MC Press and Pro Developer (formerly System iNews). In his free time, he tends to worry vaguely about the future and wonder obsessively how different his life might have been if he had just finished working on that first novel when he got out of college.

David's articles

  1. Continuous Deployment Revisited

    In an earlier article I talked about what Continuous Deployment was and how it fits into the modern programming process. We took a small swipe at how it works, but some people (okay, one person) felt that I could have gone into more detail and they were right. So, here’s a more detailed description of […]

  2. Technical Debt

    The term “technical debt” describes the effects of maintaining poor or rushed code. It views projects with a financial mindset and compares the technical things we do and don’t do with the financial concept of debt. The truth is, no matter what we say about quality, we all practice a flexible attitude towards quality just like we practice a flexible attitude toward debt. When we need to buy something that will make the business more successful but we don’t have enough cash, we go into debt. When the pressure is on and we need to get something done quickly, we cut corners and cross our fingers.

  3. Working with Multibyte Strings

    There will be times when you won’t be able to perform string operations with the standard PHP string functions because characters are encoded in a multibyte encoding scheme, such as UTF-8. But this doesn’t mean you can’t work with such strings! Here’s an introductory look at how to get started with PHP’s mbstring extension.

  4. What’s Continuous Deployment?

    Continuous Deployment requires commitment, an exhaustive set of test scripts, and sophisticated automation software. But for a multi-developer environment where a quick response to user demands is important, Continuous Deployment just might become your new best friend. See what Continuous Deployment is and what you’ll be in for if you decide to take the plunge.

  5. An Introduction to Ctype Functions

    The Ctype extension functions verify whether all of the characters in a given string are of the correct type. This article take a look at the syntax used by the functions, what specific checks exist, and how they’re used to perform validation on strings.

  6. Scrum – An Agile Project’s Best Friend

    Projects are slippery, unruly beasts! In a previous project management article it was mentioned you should use an Agile methodology, particularly Scrum, to help tame them. This article follows up by looking a bit closer at Scrum, hopefully enticing you to start using it to manage your projects if you aren’t already.

  7. PHP Project Management

    There are many ways in which a project can fail. It can fail because deadlines aren’t met, budgets are exceeded, etc. What can you do as a technical project manager to minimize your chances of adding “leader of a failed project” to your resume?

  8. PCI Compliance and the PHP Developer

    PCI is a set of security guidelines drawn up by credit card companies and industry security experts to outline what precautions an application should take when handling credit or debit card information. This article dispels a couple of persistent myths about PCI, takes a 20,000-foot look at what PCI encompasses, and then zeros in on the requirements that are most pertinent to a PHP developer.

  9. PHP and the i, Part 3

    This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series PHP and the i

    Business screens are different from the pages we’re used to developing for a blog or website. The way input fields are organized and the efficiency with which one can go through a page and enter data is very important for business users. This final part of the i series looks at what goes into making usable screens.

  10. PHP and the i, Part 2

    This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series PHP and the i

    The i is a very wonderful machine and there are lot of opportunities for brave PHP programmers who venture into this realm. Here we continue out look at life with the i from a PHP developer’s perspective and focus on what the terrain looks like.