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Thread: 5 Tools of PHP Developers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default 5 Tools of PHP Developers

    1: A Framework

    The most important tool any developer can have in their tool box these days is a framework. Letís talk about two different types of frameworks.

    The first type of framework is a Content Management System. These days CMS systems are complex enough to be thought of as specialized frameworks in their own right. You need to know one good enough to get it installed, up and running and extend it to get the job done. If your needs are easily definable and your CMS of choice has extensions available to fit more of the functionality then learning one could pay for itself in only one or two projects.

    PHP has a lot of good CMS projects available and listing them here would simply mean that I would forget one so Iím not going to try. Dig around on Google and youíll find one.

    The second type of framework that PHP programmers need to have in their toolbox is a more generic programming framework. In the PHP world we have a lot of frameworks from which to choose. Most developers chose one of three or four major frameworks.

    2: A Version Control System

    CVS, SVN, Git, or a host of other options both free and commercial will help you keep your code safe. Whether thatís safe from your development serverís hard drive crashing or safe from you next coding binge where you change something at 2AM that you really shouldnít have; keeping your code in a version control system will help. Which system you choose will largely depend on how you or your team work. You need to research the options available and work with your team to make choices like central vs. distributed.

    3: A ERD Tool

    If you are doing serious PHP work then chances are good that you are working with a database. At some point your database structure will grow too large to keep in your head, you will need a tool to keep everything straight; thatís where an Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) tool comes into play. Tools like MySQL Workbench help you visualize your database structure. More expensive tools like ERWin or Embarcaderoís ER/Studio give you more options for importing and exporting models and keeping your database model in sync with your actual database.

    No matter whether working on your personal project or the corporate database, an ERD Tool will help you manage it.

    4: A Debugger

    As with unit testing tools, there are multiple options for you when it comes to debuggers. dbg, Zend_Debug and xdebug all provide professional PHP developers with tools to break down their code and find problems. Debugging tools allow you to step through your code, stop execution and examine the environment at any point. Debuggers are a developerís best friend and every developer should have one installed on their development server. Bonus points if youíve also got FireBug installed. Find you a good debugger and invest the time necessary to use it, it will be time well spent.

    5: A Unit Testing Tool

    Whether you prefer PHPUnit or SimpleTest, Unit testing has proven itís usefulness in the development process. As a professional PHP developer, you should be familiar with the concepts behind Unit Testing and Test Driven Development. You should also be able to identify when unit testing is a good idea and when itís a bad idea.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2011


    thank you lots

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