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Learning Php/mysql Fast
Posted 03 February 2005 - 03:47 AM
PHP and MySQL Web Development Is another well written book, full of practical applications that you can dissect and reassemble. It touches on a range of useful concepts and has something to offer to all.
I just wanted to add also that there is no real 'fast' route in all of this. There is a steep curve and it needs to be scaled. You can't become a brain surgeon overnight, you have to put in the hours and digest all the info, learn basic anatomy, dissect a brain or two, learn what makes it all tick and hold it together.
Once you've learnt about ifs and else and switches and headers and echos and loops and queries and...it really does go on and on and on, there are so many different juicy little bits that just grab ya and pull you in. You'll build your first db and get to output the content and dance round the room saying it works! it works! ( think Frankenstein here hes alive, hes alive!) There will be a few eureka moments, and you'll love those too
One other thing, there will be times when you hit walls and just want to curse and scream and stuff. You'll think that theres something wrong with the silly PHP install, because you've checked and checked and checked your code over and over and there is nothing wrong with it. If you can get a 'code' buddy then that will really help too. I would have certainly saved myself hours of cursing time.
Bottom line, never give up, don't work yourself too hard, read, read, and read some more then read some more again, and above all enjoy it too
Posted 03 February 2005 - 06:44 AM
That feeling never really ends.. At least, it hasn't for me, and I've been doing this for 13 years. And even now, when I write a piece of code, fire it up in the browser, see it work, I still jump out of my chair and make wow-wow noises with my mouth =)
Actually, if you've seen the James Bond movie Goldeneye, I do the Boris Grishenko thing and throw my arms up in the air and say "I am inwincible!!"
Posted 03 February 2005 - 07:07 AM
I totally agree with getting yourself a buddy. I have a few different people on my MSN list that have helped me out here and there.
I try and fix my own problems though, it can be very very frustrating at times but i have stuck at it and now made a few control panels using sessions etc. Learning from my mistakes has give me a good grasp of the whole way how to code and think like code. There are occasions that i have been totally stumped and thats when having an MSN buddy is a great idea.
When something you code works there is no better feeling ( apart from 1 other thing - lol ), it makes you feel that you have created something special.
I have read a few books but have found Creating Interactive Web Services the best. It teaches you from the ground up with very good explanation.
Good luck and happy PHPn.
Posted 03 February 2005 - 09:28 AM
Yeah, just make sure you avoid what happened to him the last time he did that...
Posted 03 February 2005 - 10:10 AM
Well, I try very hard not to do it near liquid nitrogen tanks.
Posted 03 February 2005 - 10:15 AM
Here, here, Rob! At the risk of discouraging a few, I think it's important to remember that "learning" and "fast" probably shouldn't ever be used in the same sentence. It takes as long as it takes, and the best anyone can do is to avoid "slow."
Fortunately, I suspect programming is a bit more like architecture than brain surgery in that we get to "dabble" with useful things while still learning. (I'm assuming -- and fervently hoping -- neophyte brain surgeons are more restricted?)
It usually doesn't take a lot to learn how to build a shed in your back yard. Some will buy a kit they can freely modify, others will start from scratch, but in either case constructing an eight by twelve foot shed is very do-able. In terms of programming, this is comparable to learning syntax and functions and libraries.
What you've learned building sheds might extend up to a decent garage, but it usually doesn't scale much beyond that. To build your own house, the programmer is going to have to delve outside the language and learn about modularity, functional cohesion, coupling, scope, and all the other tools of structured design. Most houses are also going to require a solid understanding of relational database design. Indeed, in my opinion, this is where most applications fall far short, because the DB will usually determine the efficiency of your code. Failure to understand normalization usually results in a monolithic home with extension cords running from room to room because the wiring doesn't quite work as well as hoped. Without structured design, without a solid relational foundation, the builder ends up with a four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath shed where no one wants to live.
Unlike architects, programmers get to build lots and lots of sheds and even garages, only to throw them away as learning experiences. Build one to throw away should become every programmer's mantra, because our first design is never our best. We learn through iteration. Throwing away houses becomes a little more expensive, because they take so long to build. But we do it any way and move on to better houses.
By the time you're ready to build that twenty-story office building, you'll be through with dabbling and, like Rob's brain surgeon, capable of doing some serious damage.
Posted 03 February 2005 - 11:19 AM
Following along with what you mention above, where could all of us non-"classically trained", budding coders go to learn about things like database normalization, functional cohesion, coupling & the other facets of structured design? I personally admit to being a bit of a "hacker" (in the original sense: all your base are safe from me ), and while I have a general concept of most of the topics you mention, my knowledge of the specifics are somewhat lacking...
Without spending four years racking up more student loans, what learning resources would you suggest?
Posted 03 February 2005 - 11:44 AM
Personally, when I think "fast," I mean it in a relative sense ... I'm looking to know which materials are going to get me up to speed with the least pain. For me - because I'm a big picture person - it's the book(s) that explain things in pseudo-english before jumping into the details. When I know where a particular piece fits into the overall puzzle, I comprehend it much quicker. For others, it's going to be something else that makes it click for them.
Yes, I hope everyone realizes that this (or any other complex skill) cannot be learned in depth overnight.
The scale I'm looking at now is a shed with maybe a little tool crib in the corner. Might try out some different kinds of paint as well. A fancy door could be cool, too. And that's enough for me - for now.
Posted 03 February 2005 - 12:49 PM
Posted 03 February 2005 - 05:45 PM
I'll see if I can dig up some resources, Phil. There's a particularly excellent book in my library on Structured Design, but I'm not sure it's still in print. I'll check. My own intro to relational database design was courtesy of Codd and Date and not something I would recommend outside the classroom. There has to be better available, and if not, maybe I'll throw together a few articles. I know I have at least one article I wrote on cohesion, too, though it might be a bit long for most readers (there are seven cohesive levels and covering all of them would be tough in a thousand words or less).
<added>Okay, the book is still in print, in a Second Edition, but like wow, the price for Structured System Design by Meilir Page-Jones has gone up a bit since I bought it some twenty years ago. A student loan might actually be less?
Edited by Ron Carnell, 03 February 2005 - 05:50 PM.
Posted 03 February 2005 - 06:05 PM
Made me smile there Ron, and yes couldn't agree more with the rest of what you said too.
Posted 06 February 2005 - 11:06 PM
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