Monday, January 19, 2009

A little light reading...

I have not been a very good reader. Seemed to struggle with it most of my life and to this day if I read anything longer than an error message I tend to lose interest. The most recent book I read, cover to cover, was Eric Clapton’s auto-biography. It is packed to the gills with action and adventure and I could not put it down! OK, so there was no James Bond type action. But there was a LOT of adventure and name dropping. I highly recommend if for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the British invasion and the influence of R&B on musicians of the 60’s and 70’s music scene. Clapton covers a lot of ground and I look forward to a movie sometime soon. I read the book while at my computer and when I came upon a name or song I did not recognize I used the web to research it. Amazing how the web continues to integrate into our lives!

But, that is not why I am writing this piece. I am writing today to extol the virtues of the PHP Architect magazine. I just got my January edition and in the spirit of the changing of the Presidential guard it too is choke full of change! If you are an experienced PHP’er or just kicking the tires you will no doubt gain benefit from the content in this publication. Not too much advertising and a delivery model that supports both paper and PDF makes it especially enjoyable to the folks on both sides of the environmental fence!

First, the proprietor of the magazine, Marco Tabini, has tapped some really strong folks to help him put the publication together. This is very representative of what I love most about PHP: the passion of the community! This sense of community is exhibited by the new Editor in Chief Elizabeth Tucker Long and her first Community Corner article about how it takes a village to make a programmer. She does a great job of describing her own growth from a development silo to her emergence as a pillar of the PHP community.

The January edition takes a strong focus on Zend Framework and how it can simplify the PHP environment. There is some very good content regarding components like Adobe Flex, Zend Search Lucene, and an Intro to Zend_Cache! I know there has been a ton of interest in the IBM i community about Zend Framework so this might be a great place to get some familiarity.

There is a nice piece that discusses the pro’s and con’s of the certification process. I for one have always been a big fan of the cert process as a means of education. I remember the first time I took the RPG certification test with IBM and how much I learned from that experience. It made me a better RPG programmer and that is what helped me sell myself as an independent consultant and RPG programmer. This comes in handy for me as I pursue my own Zend Certification.

There is plenty for Enterprise customers too with an article from Ivo Jansch about requirements analysis and another bit on security using CAPTCHA. I know that there are folks in the IBM i community discussing CAPTCHA as it was a major topic in the threads a few weeks back.

I do not get one thin dime from Marco for writing this. I am just a big believer in communication whether it is from SystemiNetwork, PHP architect or the PHP Community. Learning PHP is important and there are many out there ready willing and able to help. Now it’s your turn to go and get it!

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