Victor's Blog about PHP, Zend Framework & Cake PHP

This blog is about PHP in general. It tackles various topics related to the language itself especially at the OOP level, discusses various topics related to Zend Framework and shares my experience with Cake PHP. I believe that mastering technology is heavily based on one's ability to discuss its details and share knowledge with others. Technology is a wide wild world after all!

Learning PHP for Beginners

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victor | 11 February, 2017 13:52

So you are a student who just finished learning the basics of programming and you are so interested about learning PHP. Your friends told you how cool PHP is and I am pretty sure they showed you a bit of their work. You are curious as to how to learn it quickly to be able to start doing the same.

Well here is the deal to get this done :)

In this post, I will tackle the best way to learning PHP as a student. When I use the term student, I refer to a person who is still learning, has 1-2 free hours per day and willing to spend them learning new stuff. I also refer to a person who has enough curiosity and is willing to master technology rather than just get things done from a practical perspective.

PHP Milestones

The first step in learning PHP is to learn the Web Environment that PHP lives in. I assume you already know HTML, CSS and a bit of JavaScript (optional).
I also assume that you know about SQL and you know how to use MySQL.

If so, the below is the roadmap to how to get to master PHP within 3 months:

  1. The first step is to learn PHP the right way. For this reason, there is an online book called PHP The Right Way (and yes it does exactly what its title states). This will take around 6 weeks and should be more than enough in terms of widening your PHP vision and get you in touch with all the different aspects of the PHP programming realm.
  2. The next step is to start practicing with MVC Frameworks. My favourite frameworks are CakePHP and Laravel (for full-stack) and SLIM and LUMEN (for lite frameworks). You can learn these frameworks simply by visiting their websites and viewing their online documentation and/or tutorials. Tutorials are more than enough if you just want to get to know things and understand what can be done. Yet, API documentation will be surely needed if you wish to get to master one of them for commercial purposes.
  3. Once the above is finished, it is time to move more in-depth with other tools that are optional, yet highly recommended for today's online applications. This is where Redis, Memcache, NodeJS and ElasticSearch become handy.
    • Redis and Memcache are caching engines and are highly used to boost application performance. Redis can be easily integrated into PHP using PHP-Redis and Memcache can be easily integrated through PECL.
    • NodeJS is controversial in many ways. Yet, it is, with no doubt, a solid entity for instant messaging, push notifications and other real-time based requirements.
    • ElasticSearch is becoming the standard for full text indexing and searching. Many other similar engines exist with more features. Yet, ElasticSearch is setting itself as the standard tool due to its ease of integration within applications and frameworks.

I hope the above gets you started with things. I will be adding more stuff within this post every once in a while if needed.



Re: Phalcon PHP

Victor | 20/02/2017, 15:49


Phalcon is still at its early stage of expansion. It has a very promising future due to its architecture in terms of performance.

Yet, at the same time, it still has to stand the test of security and stability before being adapted by a wider audience.

Phalcon PHP

Mario Beaino | 20/02/2017, 08:48

What about Phalcon framework? What do you think about it?
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