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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot Icoste's Avatar
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    How long did it take you to learn PHP?

    Hi Guys,

    Im trying to learn PHP from video tutorials and a very large book. Just wondering how long it took YOU to learn it?

    Weeks, months, years even?

    Any thoughts?

    Cheers.

    mike

  2. #2
    . shoooo... silver trophy logic_earth's Avatar
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    I'm still learning...but I've been doing PHP for at least 8 years give or take.
    Logic without the fatal effects.
    All code snippets are licensed under WTFPL.


  3. #3
    SitePoint Zealot Icoste's Avatar
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    Oh i see, so how long after you started learning could you do your first quality job?

  4. #4
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    A few weeks. But I had a good 6 years of experience in Perl before that. Once you learn one language, the rest are easy, but just different, type of thing.

    Please know, actually learning a programming language is quite easy. Using that knowledge to solve common problems efficiently is the tough part, and that's what separates good developers from the bad ones. It's not whether or not they know a language. It's whether or not they can solve problems, and solve them quickly, efficiently, and creatively.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot Icoste's Avatar
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    Yeah I see what you are saying, i expect that only experience can bring problem solving? Unless your not the problem solving type of person I guess.

    Im hoping to be able to be a quality programmer within a few months, I have had a little bit of experience editing etc with PHP for the past 2 years, but never really sat down and learnt it properly.

    Is there a lot of work out there? Or is it hard to find? Overcrowded market etc.?

    Your thoughts are appreciated.

    cheers,

    mike

  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict
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    Learning always. But it's quite easy to program with PHP if you have programmed before with some other language especially C++,perl, etc.

  7. #7
    Non-Member DelvarWorld's Avatar
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    The main point isn't learning PHP, it's learning to program. Once you understand programming concepts, like OOP for example, then you can apply them to any language. These are the base skills you should strive to use, because with them you can pick up almost any language and apply them, including PHP, JavaScript, AcionScript, what have you. When learning a language what you should really be doing is learning the syntax and applying it to what you already know about programming. You should know what a function is and how to use it, so to write a PHP function all you should need to look up is the sytnax for function decleration and you can use it how you wish. If PHP is your first language I would suggest you keep this in mind and don't associate everything you learn with PHP, but with higher programming concepts. Once you do that, you can begin to master the language, which is learning its quirks and special functions that make coding easier.

    Also, from working in the industry, I can tell you it takes horrifyingly little experience to code a website in PHP if you're freelancing. If you can make the site look decent for a client then they won't care how the back end works, as long as it works. But I've taken over projects from "professional" web firms which are very, very poorly coded. The client of course would never know this because they don't see the code, and it's saddening as to what some developers charge for "professional" work.

  8. #8
    SitePoint Zealot Icoste's Avatar
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    So when you say it still works, what could be the difference between good programming and bad programming if it still works?

    Will it be a problem with speed and doing things that dont need to be done, doing things the long way round. that sort of thing? Or just making it more complicated than it needs to be?

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    lcoste wrote
    So when you say it still works, what could be the difference between good programming and bad programming if it still works?
    maintainability,security, extendability, efficiency,functionality and readability. Those would probably be the main things to consider. I'm sure given more time I could come up with more. DelvarWorld gave some excellent advice. Once you learn the concepts the syntax is snap. With that said, I would recommend you forget about php and jump into a java book for a couple of months.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast ArtDeco's Avatar
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    "maintainability,security, extendability, efficiency, functionality and readability"
    I believe those are in order, but I might put dependability at the front of the list. Amazing how much code works only on the developers machine, website, or host and breaks when you move it.
    I believe in free speech, free markets, and free software.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    ignore this post

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy
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    Online free intro to java if your interested.

    http://math.hws.edu/javanotes/index.html

  13. #13
    SitePoint Guru
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    I've been dabbling in PHP for 7 years, and been a full time PHP programmer for 5. I look at a project I did a few months ago and think its utter rubbish. And that's what I enjoy most about coding -- I'm constantly learning, and my quality of work is constantly improving.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Member
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    you can learn basic programming tips of PHP with in one month and to learn whole PHP I think no time boundation for it.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Cups's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFTimmy View Post
    I've been dabbling in PHP for 7 years, and been a full time PHP programmer for 5. I look at a project I did a few months ago and think its utter rubbish. And that's what I enjoy most about coding -- I'm constantly learning, and my quality of work is constantly improving.
    Haha, +1 on that sentiment!

    My dissatisfaction lead time is actually dropping from months to weeks ... I have almost arrived back at that point of "analysis paralysis" I experienced about 3 months after starting to learn OOP.

    The instant I started to write something, I knew it was wrong - yah!

  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Stormrider's Avatar
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    The only way to learn it properly is to use it, make mistakes, learn from mistakes, make it better next time etc...

  17. #17
    SitePoint Addict einSTein's Avatar
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    i think http://www.w3schools.com will be very easy and quick in learning you the basics of PHP

  18. #18
    Twitter: @AnthonySterling silver trophy AnthonySterling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cups View Post
    Haha, +1 on that sentiment!

    My dissatisfaction lead time is actually dropping from months to weeks ... I have almost arrived back at that point of "analysis paralysis" I experienced about 3 months after starting to learn OOP.

    The instant I started to write something, I knew it was wrong - yah!
    Ha, I thought that was just my anal retentiveness that made me do that.

    It good to hear I'm not alone in this mysterious void of knowing how to do something, yet never doing it.

    As soon as I type "class ..." I think "Hmm, maybe I should rethink this, I know I can do it better." a typical Ouroboros!
    @AnthonySterling: I'm a PHP developer, a consultant for oopnorth.com and the organiser of @phpne, a PHP User Group covering the North-East of England.

  19. #19
    rajug.replace('Raju Gautam'); bronze trophy Raju Gautam's Avatar
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    For me.. actually it took only one day to see the syntax of PHP.. after all I am still learning constantly new things in PHP.
    Mistakes are proof that you are trying.....
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    PSD to HTML - SlicingArt.com | Personal Blog | ZCE - PHP 5

  20. #20
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Cups's Avatar
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    I was talking about how long it takes how to learn OOP properly.

    Whenever I see these posts, or "explain OOP to me" posts, I am reminded of this great post by Lastcraft which includes this class line.

    "A paradigm takes two years to learn. In the meantime you will suffer."

    'cause I am approaching year 3, and I still don't feel I have the paradigm cracked, but do understand why I am doing things differently.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Enthusiast graphical_force's Avatar
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    Yeah, I am constantly learning new ways to program and with any language I always feel when I am writing that there is a much better way to do it. Sometimes it helps to get on good forums for the language that you are working with and posting code to get advice and it may help you see other ways that may be far superior by getting in a dialog with others.

  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Cups's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by graphical_force View Post
    Yeah, I am constantly learning new ways to program and with any language I always feel when I am writing that there is a much better way to do it. Sometimes it helps to get on good forums for the language that you are working with and posting code to get advice and it may help you see other ways that may be far superior by getting in a dialog with others.
    No, I can do one better than that, go onto forums like this and try and help other people, then wait for some guru to be all over your code like a rash.

    Then, boy, you really learn fast.

    When I was learning it never dawned on me to visit a forum, sad really.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Enthusiast graphical_force's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cups View Post
    No, I can do one better than that, go onto forums like this and try and help other people, then wait for some guru to be all over your code like a rash.

    Then, boy, you really learn fast.

    When I was learning it never dawned on me to visit a forum, sad really.
    Agreed!

    The down side to that is that some guru's will talk over your head and at a level that maybe just a little far out of your reach. I had this experience with Java recently. Thank god I had a good mix of people to reply and one had a background in education. He spoke to me at a level that I could understand and that really helped me learn more.


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