Category: News & Opinion

PHPBot – Can a PHP Bot Help You Look up Documentation Faster?

I came across PHPBot the other day (not to be confused with Botman or Fondbot) – a “chatbot” which helps you look up PHP manual entries and generates example code for them. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I don’t believe in chatbots being chatbots – as someone who’s built some ...

Duolingo for PHP – How Much PHP Can Apps like Mimo Teach?

Mimo is an app which claims to teach coding “on the go”. As a long time Duolingo user, I could relate to this approach – particularly as I was becoming increasingly interested in achieving some degree of basic Swift literacy in the coming weeks. In an attempt to objectively assess the app’s abi...

What Are the Workflows of Prominent PHP Community Members?

Workflow refers to both the process and the tools that are used in this process. Almost every developer comes up with a process of creating and finalizing the project deliverables. This process is implemented through a set of tools that the developer comes up with through trial and error. Once a workflow has been perfe...

What Are the New Features in Laravel 5.5?

Laravel 5.5 will require PHP 7.0+. For the features this modern PHP version brings, please see our recap. Laravel 5.5 will also be the next LTS (Long Term Support) release. This means bugfixes for two years and three years of security updates. That was also the case with Laravel 5.1, but its two-year window of bug fix...

Why Is a String Called a String?

Why is a string called a string? Have you ever given this some thought? We never use such a word in contexts other than programming for a set of letters sticking together, and yet – in programming it’s as pervasive as the word “variable”. Why is that, and where does it come from? To find out, we...

The Theory of Constraints in PHP

I had been reading The Phoenix Project, a great novel about IT (you read that right), which presents day to day IT and devops problems at a large Amazon-like company in a way which makes mortals understand the complexities and chaos of 21st century technology. Without giving away any spoilers, at one point in the book ...

Poka Yoke – Saving Projects with Hyper-Defensive Programming

When working in a medium to large team on the same codebase, it can sometimes become hard to understand each other’s code and how to use it. Various solutions exist to help with this. For example, you can agree to follow a set of coding standards to make the code more readable for each other, or use a framework t...

There’s a Gender Extension for PHP

Unlike in our “mainstream” paid course about exploring PHP, I like to explore the weird and forgotten areas of the language. Recently, I ventured into a section of the PHP manual which lists extensions that are used to help with Human Language and Character Encoding. I had never looked at them as a whole &...

The Balance between Visual and Technical Debt in PHP

Laracasts recently published a very interesting non-Laravel video about something called visual debt. It’s only 3 minutes long, so please, take the time to watch it before reading further. Done? Okay, spoilers below. In the video, Jeff starts out with with a bit of verbose event-based code with some listeners, ...

Jumping from PHP to Go: Blasphemy, Bravado or Common Sense?

Earlier this year, I made an arguably bad business decision. I decided to rewrite the Laravel application powering Boxzilla in Go. No regrets though. Just a few weeks later I was deploying the Go application. Building it was the most fun I had in months, I learned a ton, and the end result is a huge improvement over...