"Working with Zend Platform" Published

The cover of php|architect's September 08 issue

Another month must be nearly upon us, and with it comes a spanking new issue of php|architect magazine.

I'm pleased to mention that my article all about Zend Platform is featured, along with lots of other goodness.

I found Ivo's introduction to ATK particularly interesting, and it's a tool I'll be pressing into service before long.

I have a couple of ideas for future articles, but they may take a backseat to my studies for the time being.

Posted on Tuesday, the 30th of September, 2008 | permalink | comments (0)

I'm a Student Again

So it turns out that as of now, I'm once again a student, this time with the Open University.

Strictly speaking, the course kicks off this coming Saturday, but since I'll be in the pub from lunchtime onwards that day, and since they sent all the materials through a couple of weeks ago, I felt it might be worth cracking on.

Continue reading I'm a Student Again »

Posted on Monday, the 22nd of September, 2008 | permalink | comments (0)

August '08 Issue of php|architect Magazine Out Now

The cover of php|architect's August 08 issue

I've just spotted that the August issue of php|architect magazine is now available for download, and it's a top quality issue as always, with articles on writing Wordpress plugins and Facebook apps, an introduction to Adobe's Flex, and finally James Cauwelier's case study of scaling out an e-Commerce site to support a million products.

I'm really pleased to have been involved with the technical editing of this issue, and there's a certain swelling of pride in spotting one's name in the editorial credits (alongside Richard Harrison, I note; Richard being the man responsible for putting ElePHPants on the desks of most of London's PHP developers).

Posted on Friday, the 29th of August, 2008 | permalink | comments (0)

Presentations on Slideshare

I've been doing a bit of presenting at work recently, which has meant getting my head around making up slides (using OpenOffice, of course). It all feels a little bit Dilbert, in a way.

Anyway, there's nothing particularly groundbreaking or PlayPhone-specific about these slides, so I've put them up on Slideshare in case anyone fancies a look.

Continue reading Presentations on Slideshare »

Posted on Friday, the 22nd of August, 2008 | permalink | comments (0)

Some Thoughts on Testing Developers

For reasons I can't quite fathom, I've been thinking a lot about testing developers recently. That's testing developers as part of the hiring process, as opposed to developer testing (which I do bang on about rather a lot, to be fair).

I say I can't fathom the reasons, because we're not actively recruiting right now, nor am I looking to be recruited (though if you have your air conditioning switched on you may be in luck).

So anyway, it's fair to say that before you hire a developer, you want to find out if they're any good at developing, right? And therein lies the problem: how on earth do you measure the candidate's skill level?

I've seen, and used, a few approaches myself, so I'll go over a few of them and see what drops out the other end.

Continue reading Some Thoughts on Testing Developers »

Posted on Sunday, the 10th of August, 2008 | permalink | comments (1)

"PHP Tools for Mobile Web Development" Published

The cover of php|architect's July 08 issue

This is just a quick heads up to say that my article, "PHP Tools for Mobile Web Development" has today been published, and is currently gracing the cover of July's php|architect magazine.

Of course, I jinxed things a little by blogging that it would be published in June, but never mind, we got there.

Big thanks must go to Ciaran for giving the initial draft the once over (on a related note, check out Ciaran's post about web development for the iPhone). Thanks also to my occasional colleague Gerard for clueing me in to the fact that the damn thing had been published.

For what it's worth, php|architect is recommended reading even when I'm not in it, so get yourself over there and get subscribed!

Ok...now to crack on with that second article...

Posted on Tuesday, the 29th of July, 2008 | permalink | comments (1)

Mobilising a Website, Part 2: Strategies

In Mobilising a Website, Part 1: The Problem I noted that this site is practically unusable when viewed using the browser on a mobile handset, and that I'd like to do something about that.

This time around, I'd like to size up some of the approaches and strategies that developers can take in order to make an existing website mobile-friendly.

Continue reading Mobilising a Website, Part 2: Strategies »

Posted on Saturday, the 26th of July, 2008 | permalink | comments (1)

Response to "10 Things a Developer Should Never Ignore"

Earlier this week, I stumbled across Bill Stronge's recent 10 Things a Developer Should Never Ignore over on TechRepublic. It's recommended reading, as it's an interesting piece, filled with useful advice for developers, especially those just getting started in their programming career.

Still, a couple of the points jarred with me a little, and there were a couple which I felt could have been taken further. So here's my response to Bill's 10 Things.

Continue reading Response to "10 Things a Developer Should Never Ignore" »

Posted on Saturday, the 12th of July, 2008 | permalink | comments (0)

Benchmarking Zend Download Server

Recently I've started looking into ways that the PHP dev team in which I work can make better use of our Zend Platform installation.

For that reason, the recent Ibuildings/Zend seminar in London on the subject of "Enterprise PHP" was well timed, as it included a pretty detailed run through of a lot of what Platform has to offer.

One feature which really struck me as having the potential to bring performance benefits to one of our systems was the Zend Download Server. Back at the office, I looked into the feature, and ran a few benchmarks. Oddly though, the results don't seem to flatter Zend Download Server.

Continue reading Benchmarking Zend Download Server »

Posted on Saturday, the 12th of July, 2008 | permalink | comments (1)

Fighting Spam and Digitising Books with reCAPTCHA

When I added a comment form to this blog, I wondered how long it would be before I started getting comment spam. Then I wondered if I was flattering myself to think that spam bots would even be interested in my site.

So it's with mixed emotions that I have to admit that right now the number of spam comments I'm receiving is outstripping the number of genuine comments by a ratio of about 10:1.

The time has come to add a CAPTCHA to the comment form.

Continue reading Fighting Spam and Digitising Books with reCAPTCHA »

Posted on Saturday, the 5th of July, 2008 | permalink | comments (0)

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