Developing in PHP isn’t a textbook science. There’s skill to it, and that skill comes from experience. Now, you could try your hand at every single PHP development challenge out there, or you could learn from the experiences of others, widely published on the web in blogs and developer portals. Here are seven websites you should visit frequently to become a better PHP developer.
1. Zend Developer Zone
Zend’s Developer Zone frequently publishes articles and tutorials on just about every area of PHP. Some of the recent items up there include the value of web services, various PHP conferences (and unconferences) coming up, and my favorite, “Designing Klingon Warships Using Behaviour Driven Development”.
2. PHP Architect C7Y
C7Y is the community website of php architect, another PHP company similar to Zend. C7Y features articles on PHP development, interesting forum discussions and news from the PHP world, among other things.
PHPDeveloper is about what’s happening in the PHP world. If something important comes up, chances are it’ll soon be up on phpdeveloper.org. Interesting posts on major PHP blogs, job openings, releases of open source projects and new tutorials all make it to phpdeveloper.org, making it an invaluable resource.
Digg’s programming section regularly features major articles of interest to web developers. Along with the software section, Digg has everything from a video on using the Greasemonkey extension to Firefox, to powerful CSS techniques, practical uses of the Firefox Web Developer toolbar and the lateast Adobe AIR release as it happens. Definitely worth keeping an eye on. Reddit’s programming section also has some gems.
No matter what you’re attempting to do in PHP, chances are it’s been done before. PHPClasses.org is the most comprehensive repository of user-submitted php classes, to handle everything from communicating via the MSN Messenger protocol to parsing configuration files, send SMS messages to reading apache log files. This can save you hours of development, and you can learn something new from innovative approaches other people have taken.
6. Planet PHP
Planet PHP is a blog planet, aggregating posts from well over 100 major PHP blogs. If something big is happening in the PHP world, chances are it’ll turn up on Planet PHP. This is fairly high traffic, however, so it’s easiest to grab the feed in your feed reader – see below.
7. Bonus: Google Reader to keep track of it all
Of course, you can’t keep track of all of these sites yourself. Load up your favorite RSS/atom feed reader – we prefer Google Reader, but there are many others – and add these feeds:
You can then load up Google Reader (or your feed reader of choice) every morning and find the latest PHP news, tips and tricks, patterns and approaches, invaluable for becoming a better PHP developer.