How Can You Become a Successful PHP Developer?
There are several programming languages out there and PHP is one of the most popular. As a result of its wide use and application, becoming good at PHP will bring tremendous benefits for you. So, if you desire to become a successful PHP developer, read till the end.
In this article, you’ll learn 10 things you can do to become a successful PHP developer. Before we go on to look at these things, let’s briefly discuss who a PHP developer is.
Who Is A PHP Developer?
Simply put, a PHP developer is a professional who uses the dynamic scripting language called PHP to develop programs, applications, and websites. A PHP developer is sometimes referred to by a more generic title like “web developer”, “programmer” or “software developer”. However, you need to understand that a person referred to as a PHP developer is one who specializes in software development using the PHP language.
10 Things To Do To Become A Successful PHP Developer
The tips below if applied will help you become a successful PHP developer.
1. Use PHP core functions and classes
If what you attempt to do is something common, there are chances that a PHP function or class exists that allows you to do that thing with ease. You can take advantage of these inbuilt core functions and classes instead of creating new ones. Before you proceed to create your functions, it is important for you to first check out the PHP manual. For example, you can use the trim () function instead of creating a new function to remove white spaces at the beginning and end of a string.
2. Create a configuration file
Creating a configuration file is another tip that will help you become a successful PHP developer. There’s no need for you to have your database connection setting scattered all around when you can just create a master file that contains its settings and then have it included in your PHP scripts. If there’s any need for you to make changes to any detail, you will be able to do it in just a single file instead of multiple files. Creating a configuration file is also useful in a situation where you need to use other functions and constants across multiple scripts. The use of a configuration file will make your code to be more modular and easier to maintain.
3. Always sanitize data that goes into your database
To get rid of the problem that comes with SQL injections, you need to sanitize your database inputs. The first thing to do is to get yourself equipped with knowledge of SQL injections and what their attack can do. There is a PHP function that can help you overcome the problem posed by SQL injections attack. This function (mysql_real_escape_string) will ensure that your data is sanitized and will keep your database and app protected from cross-site scripting attacks.
4. Leave error reporting on in development stage
At the development stage of your application, you need to turn on error_reporting and display_errors. When you do this, you’ll be able to view run-time errors that will help you identify the source of errors. When you know where errors are coming from, you can fix them easily. Run-time configurations can be set up in your server’s php.ini file. After you are done building out your application, you can go ahead to turn off error_reporting and display_errors.
5. Don’t over-comment your code
Documenting your codes properly through comments in your scripts is a good practice, but it becomes wrong when you over-do it. You don’t need to comment on every single line of code you write; comment only on those parts of your source code that are complicated so that you can easily revisit them.
6. Keep favorite code snippets handy
Throughout your PHP development career, you’ll be coding similar things and so, it is a good practice for you to keep code snippets handy which helps in saving time too. There are lots of apps you can use to keep and sync your code snippet collection. They include snippely, code collector, and snipplr (web-based). These apps will make it easy for you to access your snippets no matter where you are.
7. Save your time with a good source editor
Another tip that can help you become a successful PHP developer is the use of a good editor. You’ll spend most of your time on your editor and so, it is important that you use one that can save you time. Look out for syntax highlighting in the editor you use. Other things you should look out for in an editor includes built-in debugging tools, code navigation, and code hinting. If you get an editor that has all of these features, you’ll be able to save massive amounts of time. A good source IDE/source code editor for PHP is phpDesigner.
8. Use a PHP framework
Using a PHP framework will help your productivity and efficiency. When you use a framework, you will be forced to use a web development pattern that may be better than what you are presently using. A PHP framework gives you a standardized platform for building your web applications. It is also useful if you want to share your code with someone later on or if you have to work together with another person.
9. Code and keep coding
You cannot become a successful PHP developer by reading alone or watching someone else code. To be successful, you must code. The more and more you code, the better and more successful you’ll become as a developer.
10. Connect with other PHP developers
Another very important tip that can help you become a successful PHP developer is for you to connect with other PHP developers. If you decide to work in isolation, you may not go too far. There are developers out there that may know something you presently don’t. So, you must find ways of connecting with these developers and learning from them. One way you can connect with other PHP developers is to join a PHP community like PHPDeveloper. Join this community and others you can find and interact with members. You’ll be surprised by how much you don’t know when you begin interacting with other PHP developers. For the things you already know, you may be exposed to better ways of doing them.
While the tips above may not be all it is for you to become a successful PHP developer, they are surely a good starting point. If you can apply them, you can be sure of becoming a successful PHP developer.