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General Questions /

General questions about getting started with SilverStripe that don't fit in any of the categories above.

Moderators: martimiz, Sean, biapar, Willr, Ingo, swaiba, simon_w

How to become a killer PHP / JS / SilverStripe developer?


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JonoM

Community Member, 103 Posts

18 October 2011 at 2:40pm

Hello,

I mostly have experience as a front-end (HTML/CSS) web designer and graphic designer. I've been able to do some cool stuff with SilverStripe and PHP but want to take it to the next level.

Having not studied programming formally, I was wondering if any of the 'proper' SS developers out there have any tips on self-guided learning resources - books, websites etc. and any particular programming methodologies, concepts or patterns to look out for that will help turn me in to an SS guru?

I know there are tons of learning resources out there but that is part of the problem - I'm hoping the SS community can guide me a bit on knowing what is relevant (I don't want to accidentally learn how to do things 'the old way')

I love SilverStripe and want to know how to really take advantage of everything it has to offer. Any tips on creating a self-instructed learning course for myself will be much appreciated.

Thanks,
JonoM

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Sticks

Community Member, 31 Posts

18 October 2011 at 3:21pm

Edited: 18/10/2011 3:22pm

Hi Jono,

I'm a web development student myself (in Melbourne) so I'm looking forward to seeing how people respond to this. I'm a big fan of the Envato group and Nettuts have a nice set of [url=http://net.tutsplus.com/sessions/the-best-way-to-learn/]posts[/url] on how to learn [url=http://net.tutsplus.com/tutorials/php/the-best-way-to-learn-php/]PHP[/url] and [url=http://net.tutsplus.com/tutorials/javascript-ajax/the-best-way-to-learn-javascript/]Javascript[/url] which I'll be looking into over the next few months. A few of the books mentioned there are going on my Christmas list for sure.

P.S. Love your portfolio. Very inspiring work.

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dendeffe

Community Member, 135 Posts

18 October 2011 at 8:53pm

On the PHP-part: I'm also a designer that has started do do more development with SilverStripe. I often notice that there are a few rough spots in my PHP spots.

To make it a bit extra interesting for myself, I have decided to go and study for PHP certification (http://www.zend.com/services/certification/php-5-certification/). This gives me an extra goal to fill up my knowledge gaps.

This is a study guide I'm using, which I quite like: http://www.amazon.com/architects-Zend-Certification-Study-Guide/dp/0973862149

For improving your SS knowledge: the two books are pretty good. Also check out everything on ssbits.com and leftandmain.com

And these sites:

http://www.balbus.tk/bits/
http://www.balbuss.com/
http://deadlytechnology.com/silverstripe/
http://www.reddit.com/r/silverstripe
http://www.electrictoolbox.com/silverstripe/

And, build, build, build! Try to make a module from scratch. Dig into the core files to see how everything works.
If you get stuck, ask for advice on the forum or the ever helpful IRC channel.

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martimiz

Forum Moderator, 1132 Posts

18 October 2011 at 10:07pm

Hi,

For my 2 cents worth: although you definitely need the PHP knowledge to develop with SilverStripe, you don't have to be an absolute ace. The Sapphire framework will do a lot of the hard low-level work for you.

I found that basic knowledge about design patterns is a great help, as SilverStripe does a hughe effort to stick to them as much as PHP will allow. Following the tutorials initially tought me how to do things, knowing about design patterns helped me understand why.

'Head First Design Patterns' (although mostly Java oriented) might be a good start. I liked it, as it is very open and hands-on, with a bit of humor.

- http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596007126.do

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Invader_Zim

Community Member, 141 Posts

18 October 2011 at 10:22pm

Hi,

as an addition to the great advices above, i'd recommend to make [url]https://github.com/[/url] a second home.
It's a great resource and easy to browse the code, comments and issues of different projects to learn how "they" did things.

Cheers,
Christian

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swaiba

Forum Moderator, 1808 Posts

18 October 2011 at 11:06pm

Head First Design Patterns
+1

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JonoM

Community Member, 103 Posts

19 October 2011 at 10:57am

Thanks everyone for all the great tips and resources already! Lots of stuff to check out. Martimiz and Swaiba - I notice 'Head First Design Patterns' is a few years old now (2004) but I take it the patterns inside are still very relevant? Cheers

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martimiz

Forum Moderator, 1132 Posts

19 October 2011 at 10:14pm

I'm no ace on this, but afaik the concept of design patterns has been around for a long time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design_pattern_%28computer_science%29).

Maybe/Possibly/probably new patterns have been added lately, but the patterns SilverStripe implements can all be found in earlier books just the same. It's just that I think a book like this, that eases you in gently, should be enough to understand SilverStripe that bit better...

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