[nycphp-talk] suggestions for re-training of a junior VB/.net programmer

Mitch Pirtle mitchy at
Tue Jun 29 17:25:11 EDT 2004

inforequest wrote:

> Can you all suggest where to look for inside-6-months training / 
> experience activities, so I can pass along? Perhaps there is a website 
> with local NY/NJ activities like this, or a central listing of local 
> AMP user groups?

Give him an old machine, tell him to fdisk and build an intranet on it.  
Pick the distro, however I'd recommend sticking to one of he 'biggies' 
(fedora, debian).  It needs to have mysql, phpMyAdmin, apache and php on 
it for starters.  If he has serious database background I would strongly 
urge getting him into PostgreSQL, as it will provide an environment that 
may be a better fit for his expectations (and possibly yours, although 
YMMV).  PGAdminIII is a great graphical cross-platform tool as well, he 
should be comfortable with that.

Oh, another cool thing would be that when he gets the machine up and 
running, init to runlevel 3 and make it a server - then he will have to 
work remotely through ssh sessions (and could then take on the linux 
desktop at another time).

The books that I can recommend are:

* PHP Anthology (versions I and II) by Harry Fuecks (SitePoint) for PHP 
programming knowledge, strong emphasis on OO methodologies and patterns
* Essential PHP Tools by our very own David Sklar (Apress) also is an 
excellent book, with strong emphasis on leveraging existing libraries 
like PEAR
* Hardening Apache by Tony Mobily (Apress) for webserver configuration 
and logging, and other important fundamentals that go beyond security
* Running Linux by a cast of thousands (O'Reilly) for installing, 
configuring and managing a linux box
* MySQL:  The Definitive Guide to Using, Programming , and Administering 
MySQL 4 by Paul Dubois (Sams) for dealing with that pesky database
* Mastering phpMyAdmin by Marc Delisle (Packt Publishing) for really 
learning how to configure phpMyAdmin (really!)

Not all of these books are essential, however the Anthology series will 
give him an excellent foundation for transitioning his knowledge to PHP 
technologies.  Mastering phpMyAdmin may be less important, but could be 
the hand-holding quickstart to configuring a PHP application for a 
database - and that may be the hand he needs to cross that bridge, 
depending on his comprehension and learning skills.

Classes will only slow down the learning process, and delay your 
assesment of whether he's picking it up or not.  Give him dirty hands, 
with a bunch of attainable goals and something to gloat over when he is 
done; and he will go after it aggressively, or show you that he's not 
really into the challenge at all.

This is all MHO so take it with a grain of salt.  Could be an 
opportunity to kickstart someone's career (in PHPland, at least) at a 
great advantage to you, or a catastrophic diversion of resources!  I 
wish you the best of luck ;)

-- Mitch

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