PHP is a language particularly suitable for someone at the start of a career. Due to the low entry threshold and specifics of the language, many developers begin their professional path there, but then get lost and do not learn to code properly.
Like all languages, PHP encompasses both strong and weak points. While there are many discussions of PHP’s weak sides, such as memory leaks, scalability and speed, the bigger issue that can be identified from experience is an implicit one.
A bit of advice for newbie developers is that learning to code properly is more important than learning the syntax. You should concentrate on general programming practice as much, if not more, than learning PHP itself. Here are some of these important practical elements that you will not understand in the beginning, but should nonetheless learn to master:
When developing, it is extremely rare that one will code using pure PHP. Generally, you would be using one of the following approaches:
By understanding how to develop in PHP, one should be able to develop in either of the above-mentioned options. Nevertheless, there is a certain learning curve for each of these approaches, meaning efficiency in one technology stack does not automatically mean efficiency in another. Take your time. Do not rush to learn them all at once. Choose one that fits the way you think. Usually developers would specialize in only 1 or 2 of them.
In terms of literature, there is a lot of reading out there for general programming, algorithms, patterns, etc., and much has been recommended in a previous series of DOU articles for other technologies. The following PHP specific sites for starters are recommended:
Incidentally, the documentation was needed from the official php.net to pass the PHP Certification.