Gaining Traction with PHP

Finally learned enough about PHP programming that my studies are gaining traction. 'Traction' is defined as the ability to connect new information to things previously learned .. instead of filing away the discrete bits for another day (like I've been doing). New practice-examples have been incorporating many of the principles I previously learned.

PHP Satisfying feeling .. like I've begun moving forward, making real progress. The pieces of my PHP puzzle are starting to fit together.

Up to this point, it felt as if my studies were based on little more than blind faith .. cuz I couldn't see how things I was learning about the language would work for me. That picture is now beginning to take shape.

I'm even starting to ask decent questions .. much more sophisticated questions than I used to ask. (The ability to ask good questions should not be underestimated.)

Plus I play-around with the code, seeing what happens if I try different things. This is one of my favorite parts of learning.

One of the reasons I began to learn PHP was cuz I wanted to be able to customize the new MODx Revolution Content Management System (CMS, currently at RC1, released just today), which is written in PHP.

But it appears that learning PHP does not necessarily translate into mastery with a PHP-based CMS. Learning a CMS, some say, is like learning a whole new language. (Hard to believe, no?)

For example, I just received an email from E-dawg [ .. who turned 26 today. I told him 26 was a good age cuz that's how old Einstein was when he published his papers in Special Relativity and mass-energy equivalency, known as E=mc². ] He has always said that learning PHP is easy. But today he said:

••• today's entry continues here below •••

"Finally figured out the drupal code, kinda. Ugg, so hard. Maybe not the easiest CMS to work with."

E-dawg is/was trying to code rating- & map-info into a Drupal-based website that contains a listing of organic restaurants in Los Angeles. Like MODx, Drupal is a CMS written in PHP.

UPDATE: E-dawg said no one on the Drupal forums could figure out how to do what he needed done (.. using the Views module). He finally had to pay someone $200 to show him how. [ Told ya Drupal was complicated. ]

Anyway, the best way to learn a programming language, I've found, is simply to spend time in the code .. with either a text editor or an IDE open. Just like the best way to learn a foreign language (such as French) is to SPEND TIME in that country (France).

Crazy Chicken PiratesIn other news (on the dad-front), I picked up the Bug from day-care this week. After some yummy lunch, we laid down on the bed where I read him a story.

Snuggled up there, with his head resting on my chest and my arm around him, he said, "I've been waiting for this, dad."

Ten minutes later, he was fast asleep. I'm still glowing over that comment. Kids are so honest.

And you should see him play Crazy Chicken Pirates. Seems like just a few months ago he could hardly use the mouse. Now .. amazing. Blasting them crazy chicken pirates like there's no tomorrow. Growing up a little too fast, if ya ask me.

PS - yesterday was the first day of spring .. the vernal eqinox (@ 10:32 AM California time) .. the moment the sun crossed the equator and entered the northern hemiphere. (Where'd I put that sunscreen?) Let's the games begin. Fun in the sun.

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on March 21, 2010 3:21 AM.

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