What two intense weeks of PHP taught me

What two intense weeks of PHP taught meKev LozanoBlockedUnblockFollowFollowingApr 11Not really.

For two weeks I participated on 42 Silicon Valley’s PHP ‘piscine’ (fancy way to say course).

During each day we had to complete a set of exercises ranging in difficulty, topics and length.

From basic HTML and CSS to session handling and OOP in PHP.

Here’s what I learned.

First weekDay 00 was just HTML and CSS, pure and simple.

First couple problems were easy but very time consuming.

I had to build a responsive decent looking periodic table, a dropdown menu and recreate the ugliest website that has ever existed with absolute positioning (here’s the repo for the project!).

Time consuming for sure.

It was great practice to refresh classes, tags and HTML organization.

The worst part was definitely typing the mass, symbol and atomic weight of each element (I later discovered that some other students used API’s and basic scripts to fill that information which is a thousand times better than what I did).

Voila: the ugliest website in the world.

Second and third day were finally PHP.

These days consisted of building basic algorithms to get familiar with syntax and using global variables, everything still from the command line environment.

Finding out if a number is odd, splitting a string into an array, sorting strings, setting cookies, GET and POST methods.

Very interesting for sure as this was my first time dealing with anything web related.

PHP is oddThe last day of the week was the most interesting in my opinion.

For it we had to build fully functional login forms.

That means storing users, hashing passwords, manipulating files, validating.

All of it is simple, the problem was working with serialized arrays as we had not yet learned any database management.

The course was not very style oriented.

The RUSHUsing all the knowledge we got from the first week we had the challenge to build an ecommerce site that had the following features: user and items data management, login validation, order processing (not payment), responsive design and session memory.

All of this in 36 hours and teams of two.

I know I know.

The design is awful but it works!Second weekDuring the next couple of days we dwelled in database management using MySQL.

For this we had to perform 21 tasks in 24 hours.

It was alright, interesting to use but we didn’t get to implement it deeply.

For the last part of the course we learned about OOP (Object Oriented Programming) which was really fun.

Building classes, methods and attributes seemed useful and entreating.

Understanding the privacy or accessibility of every part added a deeper perspective of how many games and apps work.

I want to highlight Day 07 in which we had to use Game of Thrones universe to build classes that when they interacted with each other it made sense.

You should know Daenerys is not really fireproof but ok.

Next we dealt with interfaces, abstract classes, cloning objects, storing them.

Learning how all of this interacts is extremely helpful.

It makes sense.

Its something that you see yourself using in the future (at least the concepts, not necessarily the exact example).

Example of the interaction of Unholyfactory class and IFighter abstract class.

So cool but what did I learn?I learned what exists and how to work with it.

HTML / CSSPHP syntaxPHP in command lineGlobal variables / sessionsMySQLOOPClasses / objectsInterfaces / accessibilityI definitely did not become an expert in PHP but I could say I got fluent in it and I think that’s a good outcome for just two weeks.

To be honest I wasn’t even interested in learning PHP, as everyone I thought I should React, Node, Django, MongoDB or something fancy and don’t get me wrong I still do, but I thought this was a great opportunity to dive deep into something that, although it might not seem ‘hot’, is one important piece in the foundation of the web.

Photo by Kobu Agency on UnsplashKnowing these basic concepts and their implementation is something I consider very helpful for an aspiring web developer.

So if you’re thinking about it, I advise you to take a couple of days to understand it.

Should come in handy later on!I’m Kev Lozano, a student at 42 School in Silicon Valley (a free software engineering school in Fremont, CA).

If you’re interested in my journey to become a professional Software Engineer follow me here!.I’ll be posting about every project I build.


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