Code Academy: PHP

Like a peaceful meadow after a trek through dense jungle, or the eye of a hurricane, PHP was a welcome relief, a lot more intuitive, and pretty fun.

The Basics on PHP

PHP is a server side language, and is the “P” in the LAMP environments that run a good deal of the internet (not general dinner table conversation, I know). As I understand it, PHP allows your site to interact with the server and be more dynamic (e.g. Mobile friendly and responsive sites are made so with PHP).

I was very excited to learn PHP for three main reasons:

  1. WordPress sites are built mostly using HTML, CSS, and PHP. Finally, I’m moving on to the right lanugage!
  2. PHP has many other applications outside of WordPress, especially with SaaS web applications, something else I wanted to explore.
  3. It wasn’t JavaScript!

By the time I had started learning about PHP, I was well into setting up a site for a client that was using the Genesis Framework, and was heavy on the PHP side of things. I had been communication with the developers of the theme, and they were supplying me with some of the PHP code I needed (they were SO helpful). However, I tried to edit a piece of the code by myself toward the end of it all, and…

Crash, broken, locked out of the site!!!

I had been very brash and not set up an FTP connection (actually, I didn’t know I could do that at the time). Thankfully, I had several backups of the site, but lost several hours of work.

Lesson learned.

Estimated hours of learning and practice for PHP: 14

Estimated value of learning from crashing a site, and having to redo three hours of work: priceless.

CodeAcademy offers courses on Python and Ruby and has many other resources like Web Projects and API projects. After 60 days, and finishing the learning I needed, I moved on to other things…

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