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  1. #26
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    If someone is a good programmer, they won't be unemployed for long. All it takes is for you to show some of your skill off on sitepoint, someone to PM you for a quick code fix and before you know it, you're being offered high-payed jobs all the time.

    Maybe we need a poll here, or at least a separate thread. While it is on topic, we're kind of hijacking the thread here.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  2. #27
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    perhaps we can bring this discussion back to the original poster's question:

    Can someone direct me to good learning resources written in plain English?
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
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    "giving out my real stuffs"

  3. #28
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Well, there's nothing better than http://www.w3schools.com/php/ as far as I'm concerned.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  4. #29
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Cups's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    that's right, you got yours for free, but over an extended period of time, by asking hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of questions on public forums

    Upon review it was pretty much on track till this posting appeared.



    Smacked of revenge, but spoke for many.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall View Post
    There aren't really that many teachers around - mainly because PHP is an easy language which can simply be learned from internet resouces.
    In my original post, I used the word TUTOR, not teacher. I don't think many people could afford to hire a full-time teacher - unless they're enrolled in college or a similar institution. By TUTOR, I mean a person who is hired briefly or occasionally. And saying PHP is easy is simply your opinion. There are many people who would agree with you and many others who will tell you it's agonizingly hard.

  6. #31
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    saying PHP is easy is simply your opinion.
    The idea that PHP is a simple language is pretty much a known comparison. I didn't really think this until I learned C# and JAVA - although they aren't very difficult languages it shows how simple PHP really is.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    perhaps we can bring this discussion back to the original poster's question:

    Can someone direct me to good learning resources written in plain English?
    No - and I've been searching for such resources for a few years. Which isn't to say they don't exist; the Internet's a big place. But http://www.w3schools.com/php/ and the SitePoint link someone posted are probably as close as you'll come.

    Hopefully, someone will contribute more good link(s), but don't hold your breath.

  8. #33
    SitePoint Zealot SEO Canada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cups View Post
    Buying and studying the right book in the first place should be a pre-requisite for any professional or hobbyist.

    The fact that some people don't seem to have the propensity to do this amazes even more than the kindness and patience that others on this forum show to those that don't.
    I don't know if you read what I wrote, but I did buy the book. PHP & MySQL for dummies by Janet Valade, 3rd edition.

    Besides that, I'm seriously considering taking a class on php from my school this semester, because it's driving me nuts that I'm having so much difficulty learning it.

    Finally, to whoever pointed out the Hudzilla item, the link is now here: Practical PHP Programming. It's looking like a great resource and perhaps is what I was looking for after all!

  9. #34
    SitePoint Zealot SEO Canada's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r937 View Post
    perhaps we can bring this discussion back to the original poster's question:

    Can someone direct me to good learning resources written in plain English?
    THANKYOU.

  10. #35
    SitePoint Wizard TheRedDevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEO Canada
    Those look good, but still featuring a bunch of jargon. I'm talking about something that starts at the beginning and has no fancy terms like CakePHP, PEAR, regular expressions etc.
    Personally I dont feel a normal php book should contain frameworks (CakePHP, PEAR etc) unless its a book about the specific framework.

    For regular expressions, they might seem dazzeling now. But as logic_earth mentions it will pay off to learn them. If there is a full chapter about it and you feel its confusing, skip it for now, but go back and read a page now and then until you finish the chapter.

    Quote Originally Posted by SEO Canada
    I don't know if you read what I wrote, but I did buy the book. PHP & MySQL for dummies by Janet Valade, 3rd edition.

    Besides that, I'm seriously considering taking a class on php from my school this semester, because it's driving me nuts that I'm having so much difficulty learning it.
    Ive not read that book myself, but personally I dont think the "for dummies" books are that good. Especially not their programming books.

    A book that I would recommend you to take a look at is:

    PHP and MySQL Web Development

    Its currently out in third edition, but according to Amazon it will come out in forth edition in February. Link
    Considering that you will most probably be better off waiting on the new version.

    Ive recommended the book to quite a few people that were starting with PHP and from the response Ive gotten from them it seems to be a great beginner book.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cups
    What works for me now is to go to the biggest bookshop I can find, and leaf through all the books on the subject I am learning 'till I find the one that I best understand, or I can see contains examples which are relevant to me and my situation.

    Choosing the right book(s) is critical.
    Choosing the correct book(s) is indeed critical, and the difference between a good and a badly written one is huge. Especially when considering how easy it is to understand and read.

    Personally I like to check around online for reviews before purchasing a new book. If the reviews are good, and the "brief description" looks good I usally just order it through Amazon. Books are cheap anyway so even if I from time to time get a badly written book it does not really matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cups
    Buying and studying the right book in the first place should be a pre-requisite for any professional or hobbyist.

    The fact that some people don't seem to have the propensity to do this amazes even more than the kindness and patience that others on this forum show to those that don't.
    I agree with you on this, but on the other side it might be difficult for someone not familiar with the technology at hand to find out which book is indeed the best one on the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by r937
    books are by definition leading edge -- no publisher in his right mind will contract an author to write a new book on mysql 4

    where do you think tutors get their "up to date" knowledge from?
    Very true, though books are a two edged sword in this regard.

    A new book will in most cases be up to date, but at the same time its so easy to buy what you believe is a new book just to find out its written four years ago and contain mostly outdated information.

    At least I believe that can be a major issue for people that want to buy a book to learn about the technology/language for the first time. They are just not aware of the rapid development of the technology/language. Of course this depends on the technology/language, not all has the same major changes PHP has had the last years etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall
    The point is that why spend hundreds on a session with a PHP programming tutor, when you could page a dozen or more dollars for a book (which you can still use as a reference after you understand the language).
    Having the possibility to learn from a tutor or at least have one that you can ask various questions to is invaluable, the value you get back is multiple times higher than what you pay for it.

    No matter what you try to learn, if you do it from a book etc you are bound to have questions after a while. If you have the ability to sit down a hour or two with someone who you can ask those questions and keep asking questions until you really understand it will save you from a lot of grief.

    Personally I have no problems shelling out several grand a year for new books and courses. The fact is that I actually earn more by doing that, as my knowledge on those subjects expands.

    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall
    Then again, that also seems a waist of money. I've never even touched a book about PHP, I started from the simplistic W3Schools.com tutorial, and learned more tricks of the trade from Sitepoint itself. Not a bad investment - Learned it for free and I use that knowledge to earn.
    PHP is an extremely easy language to learn, but it is very difficult to master.

    Just look around on the forum and you will see that. There is a few people that is very knowledgeable in various languages and programming processes in general. But the majority only knows how to hack not to code.

    The fact is that you will never learn to code properly by reading online tutorials.

    Over 90% of them is horrible. Introduceing bad coding practise/habits and even worse issues on the security side.

    When you in addition consider how many is outdated, you dont really have too many tutorials that is worth reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall
    Tutors have their own style of programming, and all styles have their flaws. The person learning from them will inherit these.

    Granted, alot of tutorials are biased like this, but the one at w3schools.com acknowledged widely as the best start to PHP you can get - and it doesnt have bias towards a certain programming style.
    Its not really that "widely acknowledged" around here its mostly you that run around recommending it.

    As Ive mentioned in the past, this tutorial has its flaws in bad practise as well as security as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cups
    Just because someone is a good programmer does not mean they are a good teacher.
    That is actually very true, a lot of good programmers just dont have the capability to explain how it works to non technical persons. However this is the same no matter the business type, some people just aint fit to teach.

    Quote Originally Posted by arkinstall
    If someone is a good programmer, they won't be unemployed for long. All it takes is for you to show some of your skill off on sitepoint, someone to PM you for a quick code fix and before you know it, you're being offered high-payed jobs all the time.
    No offence, but I highly dubt most work or positions offered to anyone through SitePoint is that "high paid".

  11. #36
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    Not particularly - those jobs are a few hundred pounds for a bit of code modification.

    But when you've shown your worth, you get recommended to the people higher up. These people contact you, and it all starts from there.
    Jake Arkinstall
    "Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel;
    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona


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