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Learning PHP

3:28 am on Dec 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hi everyone,

I have decided at the age to 49 that I would like to switch careers.

I have adult ADD which makes comprehension and retention a bit more difficult.

I would like to learn to code in PHP. And do so to earn a living from it.

I would appreciate some advise on where to start.

Should I go to a local JR college or is there sufficient training facilities on the net?

May I have your advise please?

Thank you,

North Florida

4:49 am on Dec 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This subject come up very often here. How fast you learn to program PHP relies on a few factors, do you have any programming knowledge from other languages? How good is your HTML knowledge? PHP and HTML complement each other. I started to learn PHP at 51, that said I have a heavy background in many other languages so mine is more learning the PHP syntax rather than learning the complete programming structure.

this recent forum should help with the questions your soon to be asking.

[webmasterworld.com ]

Hope this helps and good luck.

6:21 am on Dec 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Dave..

Actually to cover a few questions for any possible future post, I will say the following.

I have always use Frontpage to build websites and have minimal html coding experience.

And no other language knowledge.

Thank you,

11:24 am on Dec 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

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my suggestion is to start with some video tutorials.
For instance, there are some php Tut. from VTC
[vtc.com ].

Almost all 'modern' programming languages and script languages
are object-oriented (OO).

Learning a OO-language like C++ a little bit, might help a lot for understanding the basics for many other languages.
For instance, C++ is very well documented and its easy to get quick some results, you do not have to take Ritalin for that :)

[edited by: eelixduppy at 9:11 pm (utc) on Dec. 6, 2008]
[edit reason] removed URL [/edit]

2:31 pm on Dec 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I suggest you to download php manual and start learning from it. There are tutorials in it and each function has its own example.. you can copy and paste example to see how they are working.. You should first try php manual and then read wrox php professional programming book.
4:17 pm on Dec 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thanks everyone for the advise and the site referrals.

I believe that learning the syntax and tags will not be that great of a challenge.

I think that my problem will be all the other stuff that you must know to effectively produce a good working script.

Like using MSQL DB's and creating mass mailers inside a script. Stuff like that will be the greatest challenge for me.

Thanks and a comment or two on THOSE issues will be of help to me also.


5:41 pm on Dec 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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One other thing you might consider, if you don't have a hosted website or page to test on is to consider setting up an intranet on you home computer, using apache/php/mysql (localhost)...
Would be more convenient, without having to upload pages every single time you make a change in an example. There are tutorials for setup, and some aspects of the setup can be tricky. But, if you're in the learning mode, the information is there, and it gives you some viable experience with aspects of setting up, that you might not consider.


[edited by: eelixduppy at 7:00 pm (utc) on Dec. 7, 2008]
[edit reason] no URLs, please [/edit]

6:53 pm on Dec 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm self-taught on PHP (and I'm by no means an expert), but I love it. I'll share what I've done to get where I am now: sjambok is correct - having a localhost setup is a necessity, in my book. You can get XAMPP (for PC) or MAMP (for Mac) for free. A good text editor with line numbers is also needed - my personal favorites are PSPad (for PC) and Smultron (for Mac) - both are free. (I just did a switch from PC to Mac back in April, so I have experience with both setups!) I have an excellent reference book I picked up at my local Border's bookstore: "PHP For the World Wide Web: second edition" by Larry Ullman - which is great to have around. It was all of $15. And finally, I took some courses at LVS Online - those are like $20 per class (6 week course, if I recall correctly - it's been a while), so definitely well worth the price, and the classes were great.

I'm not providing links because I know how they are about links on this forum :) But if you Google any of those, you'll come up with exactly what you need on it.

11:15 pm on Dec 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I would like to learn to code in PHP. And do so to earn a living from it.

I think there's a big difference between (i) earning a living from something that involves a degree of coding in PHP (eg: websites) and (ii) earning a living from professional coding in PHP.

For me (now 60), writing PHP scripts is mentally satisfying and it does help me along my chosen path, but I'm painfully aware that I have no real talent for it. Talent cannot be learned. So my advice is to find out, as soon as you can, whether you have it or not. If you don't, then you're restricted to category (i) above.

[edited by: Patrick_Taylor at 11:16 pm (utc) on Dec. 7, 2008]


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