So, you’re an up-and-coming PHP developer, you’re spending a lot of time learning new tricks and you’re always on the bleeding edge when it comes to using technologies in your web applications. What’s next? Here are some of the options available for professional development.
1. Read books, write code.
There’s a lot of PHP books out there. So many, in fact, that even if you read one per night you’d take over a year to get through them all. Find specialized PHP books – Packt Publishing and No Starch Press have a few. Read through them, and write some code with them. Next time you update your resume, point out some of these new technologies you’ve used.
2. Attend conferences
They may be terribly formal, long and abstract, but attend as many conferences as you can, especially PHP-specific ones. Here you’ll find a multitude of presentations on new ideas, from technologies to methodologies. If your employer will pay for you to attend, all the better :)
3. Take courses and qualification tests
The state of PHP training today is somewhat dismal. Most training courses are run over the internet, the live ones can require you to be up at ungodly hours, and their effectiveness is limited in general. Still, if you can find a decent PHP training course, give it a go. Also, the Zend Certified Engineer qualification is a general benchmark, so study up and try it when you have the time (a Christmas break, maybe?).
4. Watch the web
Follow these and you’ll be well on the way to becoming a master developer.