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  1. #1
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    What are you using to learn PHP?

    Are you currently learning how program in PHP? If so, what learning materials are you using (books, tutorials, friends, etc.?) Or, if you're already a PHP master, what advice would you have for someone who is just starting to pick up the language?

    I'm using:

    PHP Crash Course: Learn PHP in 14 easy lectures by Robin Nixon
    This book is designed for beginners to the language and programming in general. I would say that it's an 'OK' book... I bought the Kindle version and it's full of formatting and coding errors. Other than that, the concepts are well explained and easy to follow along.

    lynda.com
    I have a subscription to lynda.com and I'm using their beginner PHP course to supplement the Crash Course book. The instructor is great and it's a video tutorial, which makes following along with coding examples really easy. The only problem is that the course is from 2007. Still, I can always consult the language manual at php.net to check whether specific information from the course is still relevant.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Cups's Avatar
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    Are you completely new to programming, else, what other languages have you learned?

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict bronze trophy vectorialpx's Avatar
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    In my opinion, no one may be considered "master", because programming is a relative thing.
    If you know the language that will not make you a "master programmer"... you will just know a language.
    Programming is learned by experience and, trust me, you can never reach the top level. (just my opinion)

    Now, as an advice: the best way to learn programming is to start doing things.
    After you took a look over the manual (to understand the language and it's posibilities) just
    pic a theme (a project) and try to make it by yourself. Some examples: a blog, a forum, an online store
    Trying to do things will raise questions, you'll search and gain experience. That's a real lesson!

    Reading should be just a "first step", to understand "what can PHP do", get in touch with the web-area,
    understand HTTP and what is Apache (or a web-server) and how it works.

    So, just start doing things and get a target.
    When you get stuck, come here, present your problem and we'll find an answer.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Guru bronze trophy TomB's Avatar
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    Books are fine, but I always found the best way to learn was by doing. I never followed a book or a course when I was starting out. I set myself projects and built them. I had to look up how to do specific parts (and books would be useful for code examples) but I found I learned quite quickly just by doing. Also, seeing results is very satisfying!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomB View Post
    Books are fine, but I always found the best way to learn was by doing. I never followed a book or a course when I was starting out. I set myself projects and built them. I had to look up how to do specific parts (and books would be useful for code examples) but I found I learned quite quickly just by doing. Also, seeing results is very satisfying!
    Yeah, I agree with this.

    When I was first starting out though, I did find it quite useful to have a book that took me through stages. Nowadays I tend to learn by doing and by messing about with frameworks and checking out other peoples libraries on places like Github etc.

    It's useful to keep up to date with certain web dev blogs too. I find http://nettuts.com is a good one.

  6. #6
    Keeper of the SFL StarLion's Avatar
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    As a programmer before i started PHP, I never really read a book on the subject.
    What did I use to learn PHP? PHP.
    Take some code that works, see how it does what it does, and keep the PHP "Manual" as a reference guide for functions I was unfamiliar with.

    Now, If i wasnt a programmer to begin with, this would be a poor approach. (which, incidentally, is why Cups asked you the question he did)
    Never grow up. The instant you do, you lose all ability to imagine great things, for fear of reality crashing in.

  7. #7
    I solve practical problems. bronze trophy
    Michael Morris's Avatar
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    I got started by studying vbulletin 3.0's code and hacking it -- a lot. Not the best way, but it worked.

  8. #8
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    I would like to suggest the best online tutorial site is w3schools.Its easy to learn basics of web development..After learning basically u should implement some innovative things, while doing the projects work with basic ideas,then only you can able to find out some good results in coding...

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist Fergal's Avatar
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    I've been learning from the video tutorial series at The New Boston. Personally I find them very helpful and they are free. I also have a copy of "Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL and Apache" that I dip into when I need additional info in a particular area.
    Fergal Crawley (Previous Username: Proudirish.com)
    Business Advice Forum - Webmaster and Business Forum
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  10. #10
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    Don't use w3schools. They post erroneous code and are not associated with the w3c, as their name would imply. Check out this site, w3fools.com

  11. #11
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    No, I'm not entirely new to programming. I know the basics of JavaScript but I'm not sure how similar the two are, other than JS is client-side and PHP is server-side.

  12. #12
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    I couldn't agree more... I find that I learn the most when I start a project and then only look at resources/learning materials when I get stuck. And the Sitepoint forums have been very helpful as well.

  13. #13
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    I suggest you to go to an institute because to learn online you need to dedicated enough.


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