8 Tips To Become A Great PHP Programmer
There are various programming languages, and PHP is consistently ranked among the best of them. Popular sites such as Facebook and Wikipedia use PHP programming language. Due to its wide usage and application, you will enjoy many benefits if you become a skilled PHP programmer. But who is a PHP developer?
A PHP developer is a skilled professional who uses the dynamic scripting language known as PHP to develop applications, programs, and websites. Sometimes, a PHP developer is also referred to as a programmer, web developer, or software developer. In order words, a person who specializes in using the PHP language to develop software is known as a PHP developer.
8 Things You Can Do To Become A Great PHP Programmer
If you dream to be a great PHP programmer, the 8 tips given below will help you achieve that dream.
1. Use PHP core functions and classes
There are multiple PHP classes and functions, which will allow you to do what you require to do with ease, especially if it’s something that happens to be common action. Rather than creating new ones, use these inbuilt core functions and classes. Always ensure to check the PHP manual before proceeding to create new functions. For instance, you can make use of the trim “()” function rather than creating a new function when you want to remove white spaces before and after a string.
2. Create a configuration file
If you want to be a great PHP programmer, you need to practice the habit of creating a configuration file. You should create one master file that contains its setting rather than having your database connection in snippets, scattered everywhere. You can have this master file included in your script. If changes are required, later on, the details can be changed in one file instead of multiple files. Having to deal with multiple files is time-consuming. It even raises the probability of making errors. In situations where you need to use other functions and constants, having a configuration file makes your work very easy. With the use of a configuration file, you get to make your code more standard and easier to maintain.
3. Sanitize data that goes into your database at all times
This is one essential tip that you need to be aware of. You may come across problems with SQL injections. The only solution to these problems is for you to sanitize your database inputs. It will help to avoid further issues that may arise as a result of the SQL injection. Understanding SQL injection and the effect that it has on your codes is an extremely crucial place to start your PHP learning. You will find a PHP function that can help overcome the threat posed by an attack from SQL injection. To make sure that all your data is sanitized, make use of the function “(mysql_real_escape_string)”. This will help in keeping your database and apps protected and secured from cross-site scripting attacks.
4. Leave error reporting on in development stage
Turn on error_reporting and display_errors in the early stage of developing your application. By doing this, you get to see run-time errors easily. This will help you to quickly identify the source of error so you can fix it on time. The run-time configurations can be set up in your server’s PHP.ini file base. You can then proceed to turn off both error_reporting and display_errors when you are done building your application.
5. Don’t over-comment your code
In PHP programming, it is a good practice to properly document your codes through comments. Commenting should be done within the scripts. However, it is not a good practice to have an excessive number of comments on a single script. You don’t have to comment on every single line of code. Only put comments on the complicated part of your source code; this will help you recollect additional details when you revisit them. If you are passionate about being great at PHP programming, this is one important tip you need to always follow.
6. Make use of a good source editor to save you time
The source editor is one place that you will spend most of your time as a PHP programmer. Getting a good, reliable, and efficient editor is very important; it will help you save time. An editor that highlights syntax is one you should choose to use. Also, look for an editor that has features such as code navigation, built-in debugging tools, and code hinting. You save a lot of time if you get an editor that offers all of these features. PHPDesigner is one good IDE/source code editor you can make use of.
7. Keep favorite code snippets handy
It is a good practice to always keep code snippets. They come in handy since your codes all through your PHP development career will be quite similar. With this habit, you get to save yourself a lot of time. You will find several apps that can help you save and sync your code snippet collection for you. Some of these apps include Snipplr (web-based), Code Collector, and Snippely. With any of these apps, you can access your snippets right away from anywhere.
8. Use a PHP framework
To enhance your efficiency and productivity, use the PHP framework. Using a framework will force you to use a web development pattern. It may even be better than the one you are currently using. It also comes in handy if you want to work with someone else or share your codes later on. With the PHP framework, you get a standardized platform for developing your web applications.
While there are many more things you can do to become a technically skilled PHP programmer, following the points detailed above will surely set you on the right path. Also, it is crucial to connect with other PHP developers. By connecting with the PHP community, you get to learn better ways to do things and improve your skills as a developer.