PHP: How Smart Do You Need To Be?


How smart, on a scale of 1 to 100, do you have to be to master PHP code, from scratch? I am talking about writing it into your own html code and uploading to your ftp, with no help, after learning how to do it online?


100 is a genius. 1 is comatose on Salvia.


There are a lot of dumb people doing this job and a lot of smart people doing this job. if you stay around long enough you will see examples of both on this forum. There is a place for cheap low quality work done by idiots as there is for high quality work by smart individuals. The profliferation of Wordpress is a perfect example.


So just out of curiosity, is the use of the most popular framework in the world an example of high quality smart work or idiocy?


I believe Wordpress is a Content Management System and does not require any knowledge of PHP

PHP can be used to modify basic functionality and needs quite a high skill level... especially when a third-party theme does not do what you want it to do... as I have recently experienced :frowning:


Wordpress or any CMS has it's place in the system. Personaly I do not like it as it is very bloated, slow and can be very frustrating.

But for a lot of people who want a website it is easy for them to add and change information once it is setup. I am maintaining one at the moment and needed to add an announcement. I did this in about 5 min with a plugin; that would have taken a bit longer on a non CMS site.


Interesting that you don't think of relevant web sites or forums as "help".

"From scratch" as in never programmed in any language before, or proficient in several other programming languages but never used PHP?

Or... 42.


I don't think that is interesting at all. I see these forums more as entertainment than anything else myself. Good source of entertainment questionable otherwise in many cases.


WordPress is not an example of smart engineering. That being said it is smart marketing geared towards people who want quick solutions with little engineering experience.


I guess it depends on your background - I've learned a lot of PHP from being on here, and I've also learnt how much there is that I have no clue about. I just don't think the OP could claim to have received "no help" if they've used online information, in whatever form, to take them from being new with a language, to being able to develop, upload, debug and so on.


I just don't see a whole lot of useful information being passed around much of it is fluff and the blind leading the blind. Which is why I consider this more entertainment than education.


There is certainly useful information on these forums but @ZooKeeper is right in a way. The quality of this PHP forum has decreased a lot in recent years. This used to be a much better source of information years before Discourse, we had the PHP application programming forum and people shared lots of advanced stuff here. Now it's all different.

As to the original question - PHP is intended to be even for people who are not very smart or who are simply not professional programmers. If you are not interested in deep learning of programming but want to get something done, then PHP is best choice! You can also do high quality programming with PHP but you need time for study and practice - much fewer people get there so that's why lot's of PHP code is messy.


I think effort and determination is more important than smarts, specially if they are bad smarts. It takes time and effort to learn the tools...
I also think bringing Wordpress to the equation is like talking about being a pro chef and why not getting your dinner at McDonalds.


I am a programming student.

I am proficient in several other programming languages but never used PHP. I know responsive html5 and css.


That is the best answer to my question. Your written words just gave me a feeling of relief.

It’s what you DON’T see that matters.


So you know that html and css are not programming languages. Just to be clear.
Curious why you mention those in the same line.


Ah yes, the never ending debate as to what programming means. Imagine looking at a web app on your phone. You rotate the phone from portrait to landscape and, presto, the entire screen seems to change. Different layout, different colors, different menus, different functionality. How the heck did that happen?

It's possible that javascript was used. You can do some pretty amazing stuff with javascript and, for the most part, people would agree that javascript is a programming language and writing in javascript involves programming.

But wait a minute. What about responsive css? You need to write some media queries and then do some conditionals but you end up with seemingly identical functionality. Yet somehow some folks seem to think that css is not a programming language and that writing css is not really programming. Go figure.


I was actually thinking about this with regard to css, as it can seem conditional in nature with all the brackets. But as with any grey area, we all have to draw a line somewhere.


To split hairs, I think of HTML and CSS as "designing" not programming. "Code" yes, but not really something that executes. the browser reads the HTML and CSS and is what does the "execution" :gun:


So to the original question;
Writing it into your own html code, uploading to your ftp, with no help, after learning how to do it online.

Several statements there. Using your own scale...
Implanting PHP into HTML: 5.
Uploading to your ftp: 5
Doing it without help: 5
Learning how to do it online: 75

I used to be really good at PHP. I never, ever, consider myself a master in anything, because there is ALWAYS more to learn. If you ever feel you've run out of things to learn, you're not as high on that 1-100 scale as you think you are. And when you learn things, you realize more and more that you've crested the hill you were looking at, to find the mountain range beyond it. Over and over again.

It takes time. It takes effort. It takes learning from mistakes, having the drive to keep trying. The will to go back and look at things you've done in the past, and improve them with things you've learned since then (or in my case, most often scrapping the whole thing and starting over because WTF was i thinking). "Mastering" a language isn't a question of smarts defining your success, but rather the amount of time it will take to reach that level.

Things can help. Having a conceptual knowledge of "programming languages" (let the debate ensue) can help. Understanding how computers work, the basic concepts of computing algorithms, like loops, logic tests, functions and objects will all help. Like trying to learn calculus, it helps if you already know the mechanics of basic mathematics. The basic structure of programming - taking a problem, expressing it into words, and then expressing it in logical steps/pseudocode, have nothing to do with the language you write the final code in. So i'd honestly say it's less about your smarts, and more about your fundamentals.


I thought I was a self-taught student of programming. Now I know that html5 and css are not really programming languages.

If I do go and learn php, it will be my first programming language used for real work.