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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru babyboy808's Avatar
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    How to properly learn PHP?

    Hi all,

    I am using PHP only about 6 months now and the way i learn has been called very strange by a few people so can anyone tell me the best way to learn or any advice,

    Firstly i think about learning something new like a jigsaw, bit by bit and in no certain order, whatever i get from books, onlines tuts, or whatever and to be honest, its kind of hard to take everything in so if anyone can help me plz do.

    Cheers,

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard mark_W's Avatar
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    Hmm, Im not sure I get what you mean by your learning methods! lol.

    Well, I tend to hang around here, try and look and what people get help with, read bits of their code, analyze it and what not. That tends to help. Also, people have always said that their is no substitute for actually getting your hands dirty and coding!

    - Mark

  3. #3
    <? echo "Kick me"; ?> petesmc's Avatar
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    Try to implement something difficult. Throw yourself in the deep end. Maybe, try something like automatic thumbnail generation from an image folder, saying them to another folder. Or creating a CMS to store RSS feeds, which you then output, parse and display. Look around for articles, read them from start to finish. You'll learn fast!

    Try Sitepoint.com / devarticles.com / phpbuilder.com (not too good anymore) / phpfreaks.com / once you get good check out phppatterns.com, oh and.. my sig might be helpful.

    Good Luck!
    -Peter

  4. #4
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Start with a book to teach you the basics, then start running online tutorials which are marked with the 'beginner' level....

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot schwim's Avatar
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    From one newb to another, I can only tell you how I started.

    For years, I bought dummy books, and read tuts on the net, but always got bored or over my head and eventually lost interest.

    So I decided to write my own CMS. I started by going to tut/script sites like codewalkers, grabbed some simple scripts(authentication, forum, news automation) and began integrating/enhancing them to suit my needs. I now have a working site script that I enjoy working on every night, and when I get stuck(which is often), I simply post in a forum and usually have an answer within a few minutes.

    Just make sure it's a project you're interested in. I've printed enough "Hello World!"s to make me puke

    thanks,
    json
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving's not for you.

  6. #6
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    I've never been much for reading books other than to find specific information, the way I've learned is through developing software I can have use for myself (as a sysadmin I've programmed a ticket system and a service monitor system) and through that work I've expanded my knowledge to more advanced topics such as OOP and design patterns.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Zealot karnetics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schwim
    From one newb to another, I can only tell you how I started.

    For years, I bought dummy books, and read tuts on the net, but always got bored or over my head and eventually lost interest.

    So I decided to write my own CMS. I started by going to tut/script sites like codewalkers, grabbed some simple scripts(authentication, forum, news automation) and began integrating/enhancing them to suit my needs. I now have a working site script that I enjoy working on every night, and when I get stuck(which is often), I simply post in a forum and usually have an answer within a few minutes.

    Just make sure it's a project you're interested in. I've printed enough "Hello World!"s to make me puke

    thanks,
    json

    I agree with you json... I have been learning php for about 6mths. I started out reading throught the online tutors and other script... I then decide to try doing a couple of cms and email forms and image gallerys. Know I can kick out a php form with valid id fields and checks in about 10mins without looking for help. The other thing it takes is time. I believe there are different levels of a php programmer.

    Levels are:

    1. noboddy - first time seeing php code
    2. rookie - print your first "Hello World" script
    3. beginner - trying to understand php
    4. Trainee - asking question "how, wow, cool, help"
    5. Trainer - giving answers
    6. advanced - writing first full script with others help
    7. Pro - writing a script with no one help
    8. Php programer - first project for over $500.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Enthusiast weekyd's Avatar
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    One newbie to another!

    I didn't have any programming background until I started learning PHP. Not a coder by default but wanted to taste what's it like to learn a new language. I wasn't that keen on it either, so started watching this video tutorial without opening my notepad. Boy oh boy! I was glued to my screen and watched the entire contents and said to myself this is EASY!! lol Got hold of a book and followed it thoroughly. It covered both the theoretical and practical aspects and implementation of PHP.

    There's a good reason why the contents of any book are in order. It goes from Level 1 to advance. Learning the theory from scratch is good but you need to put your knowledge into practice, giving yourself a challenge definitely enhances your skills. Form validation would be an ideal start for any newbie.

    Coming here looking at someone's code certainly helps. This is a great community with full of experts everywhere. I learn new things everyday. Going to different sites and following their tutorials helps a lot too. Paying a regular visit to this forum should be one of your learning methods.

    Anyway, good luck dude!

  9. #9
    SitePoint Enthusiast timtsf's Avatar
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    I am actually newb too, so i am also working on a cms script funnily enough myself. I am looking around for more features to add to it

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Well, I just mainly stick around these forums and read people's explanations..
    If someone was helpful, give them some 'rep'.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Guru babyboy808's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for all your help, I will try and build my own CMS, modular of course with very little security .

  12. #12
    SitePoint Guru themightystephen's Avatar
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    I definitely agree with building a CMS. It has really helped me to think more logically and meant that I could cover lots of common problems and find solutions to them.
    Get your heelys now at flywalk.co.uk - But what are heelys?
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Quote Originally Posted by babyboy808
    Thanks guys for all your help, I will try and build my own CMS, modular of course with very little security .
    I've built my own CMS system u can see it here: http://www.ozcasemodz.com

    It's been through a few different versions

  14. #14
    SitePoint Guru babyboy808's Avatar
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    Very nice Cheeky, I'd say it took some time alright lol

  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Yeah the old site which was visible here: http://www.ozcasemodz.com/reviews.php took me ages and allot of dedication, once i sat at my comp for 13 hours coding, my mates came over to visit and i didnt even know they were there till after they left and my mum told me, thats how into my code i was! And after woods i didnt remember doing most of it...

    I did that one in about 60-80 hours of total coding over about 2 weeks.

    The new site i used alot of the old sites code cleaning it up, took me about 60 hours in total.

    Thanks babyboy

  16. #16
    Pragmatic Programmer halfasleeps's Avatar
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    what about me? im learning too....php will be my second coding language as i know actionscript, the way i try to learn is i think about it as if it were actionscript....most of the time i come pretty close and get an error lol.
    Altoona Design
    Freelance Flex developer for hire.
    ActionScript Programmer with 8 Years Experience.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Yeah basically lots of coding languages are the same, simply different styles off syntax.

    When i code in MSSQL, Delphi etc, i think of PHP, but just use the different Syntax's.

    If you know one programming language, it's not too hard to learn another.

    But from beginners, you just have to stick to it!

  18. #18
    SitePoint Evangelist Rodney H.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schwim
    Just make sure it's a project you're interested in. I've printed enough "Hello World!"s to make me puke
    LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL !!

  19. #19
    I meant that to happen silver trophybronze trophy Raffles's Avatar
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    Cheeky Chino, there's some crazy stuff going on with the GET queries when you change the template colour. Looks like you need to change something in the link. Change the template colour several times and you'll see what I mean.


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