Chapter #3 – Design the working environment

This is the third chapter of the big “Become a PHP developer guide” brand i started here few days ago.

Read Chapter #2 already? If not, go now, people…

One more thing before i start : Please read the Migration to PHP 5.6 guide before you continue (If you haven’t read it yet). Again, it is important for us to create and maintain a good working environment.

Welcome to the third lesson on “Built to success – PHP developer“.

We already created the environment and we can start developing PHP with ease, but there are some holes in our intel, people, and some holes are bigger than one can carry to the success we strive to.

The developers are separated into 2 parts :

  1. The IT and enterprise developer – Mostly a corporate programmer, building tools and software based on his/her company’s framework.
  2. The “Freelance” developer – This developer learns the new frameworks and build sites and software with his/her own experience, building sets of rules to make his/her life easier.

These 2 worlds can not meet. If you decide to create web sites and software, you must learn, each day test and read new material regarding your specialities and start expanding knowledge to know all about your passion.

This guide is much more than building environment guide, it meant to give you the infrastructure to your new position as a freelance, not in the “Work from home” point of view, but as a free independent software developer, that can create good and fast products with the best and up to date tools and frameworks out there.

For that i decided to write 2 more chapters for this guide, because, as i said earlier, you will end up with more holes than success, and this is what we need to prevent.

Back to the start

I don’t know your experience and resume, so i will act as this is your first lesson on earth, and i want you to learn/remember the basics.

After building an environment, you will need to create a project and run it several times until you get the main idea how the environment works. Just read chapter #2 again to refresh the steps when creating a new project.

Points to consider when developing web apps

You can refresh your memory with PHP tutorials and jQuery tutorials and get the hang of developing in this great, no extra work needed, environment.

Make a new project called “tests” and open folder for each tutorial you do, so you will have some code you know and you can cut and paste later on.


If there is something i learned in my years of developing, code is a recursive function, you will always use the same infrastructure once you found the best one for you.

So, take the time to write reusable scripts, think object-oriented and do not let your self a slack, just write all you need in a separated project and go back to it when needed.

I now have over 300 reusable classes (Many of them i give away here), and i use all of them on a daily basis!

Reusable code gives you more than just spare time, but it gives you the ability to index all your knowledge, shape it as you see fit, bring better performance and let you distribute your work with high availability support.

If you already working with PHP framework (I will talk more about frameworks in the last chapter, with the surprising issue : “Frameworks”), learn about writing widgets or modules (depend on which framework you use). it is the best reusable code i know.

 Lets sum it all up

So, we learned a lot so far and we need to connect the dots so far.

You created a working environment on your computer and started a localhost web server, MySQL database and a private cloud folder on Dropbox to hold your projects.

You made your web server DocumentRoot point to the Dropbox folder (If you haven’t read the first 2 chapters, this is the time to go back and read them) so you now can create multiple work environments with the same resources on several computers. This will make your life easier and more flexible. Trust me, this is gold idea!

You also installed a good and helpful IDE to develop with and managed some more tricks i talked about in here.

You read and learned and developed a reusable snippets/widgets/scripts/classes for future use and you are ready to create your apps by millions (Or first one to start with).

Only one thing is missing… You did’nt choose a framework to go along with your apps…

Wait for it, it December 31st, the frameworks chapter will be uploaded next year :).

For the time being, here some posts on other blogs i loved reading, just for the knowledge in it :


This is it for now.

I just want to say to ya all Marry Christmas for the christians here, good Eid al-Adha for the muslims (I know the holiday from my muslim friends, but i never know if i should say “happy” before it) and Happy Hanukkah to the jews.

See you next year…



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  1. Pingback: Become a PHP developer – Guide | PHP Raxan and Ajax

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