Tag Archives: learn php

PHP is friendly to learn

PHP was a lot of fun to learn and I really enjoyed it. I did, however, find the logic behind it a little bit redundant. I had to go over the code multiple times to understand the logic. I ended up copying the code from the top into the exercises most of the time and running it in order to see how it comes out and why. The language is also aesthetically ugly and has a slow speed. Most recently, however, there have been many changes to PHP and a tremendous speed gain. Generally speaking, PHP is an easy language to learn and tutorials are very common and often quite good, so I was not sure why I had a hard time with it.

I was curious to learn why software developers used PHP so I started reading more about it. Many developers like it, but others really do not. The language is mostly used on the server side, so it runs on the web server software. The name PHP initially stood for Personal Home Page and then later it changed to Hypertext Preprocessor.

You can do anything with PHP including blogs, scripts to process data, writing desktop applications, etc. The bottom line with this particular language is that PHP is everywhere, so a lot of extremely popular software is written in using it. WordPress is the biggest example that uses PHP. It is low cost and accepted globally, so you can use it in all website development. It also supports a wide range of databases.

It is important to note that it is super easy to change PHP to HTML. You would simply have to convert .html to .php and tweak the inside of the code a little bit to include <?php and ?> in the body. PHP is definitely evolving in many different ways since it is that widely used. It is becoming more Java-like object-oriented language. The most important language to compare PHP to is JavaScript. In modern development, we need a little bit of JavaScript for client-side development.

I want to take some time to explore WordPress and see how PHP is utilized there. I have never worked with WordPress before so this is a great opportunity to put the two together in order to understand the bigger picture. I am going to start using Drupal more often so I want to see how PHP is used there as well.



For this past week’s lesson regarding learning PHP, I was initially expecting to use Codecademy, but was surprised that we were using another website — learnphp.org. I was not sure what to expect, but was happy to learn that PHP was essentially another language similar to HTML. So it started off for me as relatively simple, as most of the lessons do. However, I think that maybe I was getting accustomed to Codecademy and the interactiveness of the lessons. The lessons on learnphp.org were more difficult to understand the actions that I was doing and involved more of an attempt, attempt, look for the solution, try to make a correlation and then move forward approach.

One of the confusing things for me, or at least I know it will be confusing to execute along with other languages, is that PHP does not use carrots to open and close like HTML. Instead, it reminds me more of CSS with the semi-colons as separating elements. With the variables and types section of the lesson, it was nice to see a bit or repetition with the basic elements as a way to reinforce older lessons that were learned earlier in the semester. Specifically, the boolean values as true or false, and the strong formatting as a means to command multiple things at once. Hearing the terms over and over again was helpful because I feel that this is one of those things that you have to do everyday otherwise you forget everything you learned the day before, just like math. The arrays in the lesson plan seem easier than the ones we were learning in previous lessons because there were less of the ambiguous, or at least to me, symbols such as the curly braces, brackets, additional parenthesis, and so on. I do think that I will have to go over the lessons once again to better understand the material like I did with Codecademy before we finished our gallery assignment.