PHP is a very versatile programming language. At the moment, it’s the most widely used back-end web development language. It’s very easy to get started with. However, due to competition, it’s very important to keep building on your knowledge.
Apply the advice below so you can get to the next level as a coder. When you master these concepts, you will be able to find better jobs. You will be able to take on more complex projects as well. Most importantly, you will enjoy your work much more.
The other benefit is, you’ll be able to see programming concepts in a new context. This will open your eyes to new ways you can solve problems with PHP. Start with something challenging, such as Angular JS. This will boost your abilities as a well-rounded programmer.
2. Master Object-Oriented Programming ( OOP )
Object-Oriented Programming is also known as OOP. It is a way to organize your code using a concept known as objects ( or classes ). Objects, on the other hand, are reusable blocks of code put together for one specific purpose.
The most important thing about OOP is that it reduces waste in your coding. You can also speed up your work by simply copying and pasting existing classes.
There is some resistance among developers when it comes to OOP. That’s partly because PHP was seen as a procedural language in the past. Yet, OOP has become a requirement for large-scale projects. The good news is that PHP makes it easy to get started with OOP.
This has been aided by the advancements in PHP 7. Also, when you start using advanced concepts such as Unit Testing, OOP will be an essential part of your toolset.
3. Learn a PHP framework
Speed is crucial when working with clients. There is a lot of competition on all fronts when it comes to web development. If you learn to work with a good framework, you could cut down development time by hours, if not days and weeks!
Laravel is the most popular PHP framework today. It has a large international community. This means it’s easy to find help if you get stuck. You’ll also come across many jobs that require knowledge of Laravel.
Zend Framework 2 (ZF2) is a slightly more advanced framework. Once you have a good grasp of Laravel, you may want to move on to ZF2. This will give you more opportunities to work on enterprise level projects.
4. Write your own MVC framework
MVC stands for “model-view-controller”. It is the staple of Object Oriented Programming. The biggest benefit is that this concept makes it easier to maintain your code. Plus, you will find it much more comfortable when trying to find errors.
Writing an MVC project will allow you to grasp PHP frameworks on a deeper level. This will put you above other programmers who don’t have the ability to modify existing code. At the same time, this exercise will help you practice using PHP design patterns.
5. Learn PHP Design patterns
Design patterns help you to organize your code. They are proven ways to put code together. When you’re solving coding problems it’s useful to see if there is an existing pattern. That will make the process faster.
The factory pattern, dependency injection, and the singleton are some of the most common patterns. They’re also the building blocks of many PHP coding frameworks. If you learn them, you will gain an instant advantage when looking for work as a back-end developer.
6. Read PHP code on GitHub
Reading PHP code will bring new ideas to your attention. The best way to do this is to look for GitHub projects created by top developers. You may find it hard in the beginning. But, you will become a better coder as a result.
You don’t have to spend too much time on this exercise. Five to ten minutes a day is more than enough. The most important thing is to expand your comfort zone. Research anything you don’t understand. You’ll be surprised by how quickly this will improve your PHP coding skills.
7. Contribute to open source projects
Open source projects are a great way to learn. You may already be familiar with projects such as WordPress. Laravel is an open source framework as well.
By becoming a contributor, you’ll get to meet other developers. You will gain experience into how PHP works on a larger scale. If you are persistent, this may also result in employment opportunities.
8. Write about what you’ve learned
Teaching exposes holes in your knowledge. Even if you’re just starting out, you’ll benefit by sharing what you’ve learned. Remember, there’s always someone who wants to learn what you already know!
By writing about your experience you’ll help others who are in a similar position. Your blog could also attract potential employers. Many companies are desperate for developers who are focused on expanding their abilities. In fact, you could get a job that offers training as part of the package.
As you can see, these tips cover a wide range of programming skills. Each tip is a journey of its own. This means you’ll never get bored as you apply them.
As a PHP programmer, you’re part of a community. This community is very open and encouraging. So don’t worry if you get stuck. All you need to do is, type your challenge into your favorite search engine. You will find links to discussion sites full of other developers ready to help you out. Just focus on building up your skills – starting today!