[nycphp-talk] how did you learn php?

David Krings ramons at
Sun Aug 26 22:32:26 EDT 2007

Anthony wrote:
> Hey, i'm kinda new around here and just tinkering around with php. My 
> question to you guys is how did you learn? by reading or by taking apart 
> scripts and adding your own style or what? I'm very curious.

I set out to accomplish a project and then try things out. It helps if 
you know the basics of HTML as that is what you need to display things 
(assuming you use a web browser, which is the easiest way). It also 
helps if you know some of the really basic programming terms, such as 
variable, string, if...then (else if even what I consider a bit more 
advanced), loops, etc.

I look through the command list on and often find something that 
fits. My first project was collecting form data and writing it to a text 
file. Then I set out to create a self-replicating script to create pages 
to view pictures dynamically. Then I started looking at using MySQL. 
Then I created an MP3 archiving and playing app, then I tried creating a 
CRM system (which turned out to be to tought for me at the time). Now 
I'm working on an even better picture and video archiving and viewing app.

Pick something that you have a use and interest in. Then figure out what 
this gizmo is supposed to do. Then figure out how to implement each 
feature. Write many comments into your script, that helps me to 
understand what I did and plan what I need to do.

Of course, you can get a book from the library and read that. You can go 
to and get a first primer. And then 
just keep on digging and searching the web and driving PHP experts crazy 
on mailing lists with all your questions.

Oh, and bring some time and patience, it won't happen overnight and also 
not by next week, but I am sure that by next week you can do things you 
never ever thought you could do. That is the magic of PHP.

Good luck!


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