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    Hey all,

    So I’ve been a little lost lately and thought I could get some good advice here.

    I have been doing freelance design work for a while and have a strong grasp on HTML, CSS, and jQuery, and have experience using Joomla, but I’m now to the point where I’m a little lost.

    As I have been poking around, I see so many different languages and techniques, and I’m not sure what the best practices are. I know – different tools are used to handle different tasks, but I guess I’m interested in knowing what the standards are these days?

    For example, I was looking into Flat-File CMS’es and when looking through the code it utilized HTML/CSS (got that part), but also PHP for includes, Markdown, and Twig Templating, not to mention it was all tied together with a boilerplate/bootstrap. I semi-understand bootstraps, but the PHP, Markdown, and Twig Templating was over my head.

    tl;dr – I’d love some input on everyone’s suggested “roadmap” to staying current with standard practices.



    Well, just a tiny suggestion: focus on the languages, not the (trendy?) components/tools.

    Don’t learn “Joomla,” learn PHP.
    Don’t learn “Bootstrap,” learn CSS.
    Don’t learn “Twig,” learn PHP.
    Learn Markdown. (it’s awesome. and easy.)
    Don’t learn “jQuery,” learn javascript.

    and so forth. Learn about programming in general.


    Thanks for your response!

    Yeah, I’ve been using to learn PHP/Javascript, but I think I need to go the “old school” route and invest in a nice book that teaches me. I feel like sometimes in the interest of hitting all the points, sites like tend to gloss over the minutia.

    Thanks again




    Just be aware, it’s hard to find “books” that are really good and/or current. Further, the ones that are most popular and have the most “practical” “tutorial” “project” “examples” are usually not in the “worthwhile” category. It’s all quite counter-intuitive.

    Look to the web for learning.

    • great JS video (ignore the stuff about “classes,” javascript doesn’t have classes. it’s all a sham)
    • watch Douglas Crockford videos
    • read about Design Patterns
    • hang out on programming channels on IRC

    when I search ‘Design Patterns,’ a lot of stuff pops up. which aspect of design patterns should I look into?

    Thanks again for all the responses,


    stuff by “the gang of four”

    A lot of examples won’t be PHP but it’s the ideas that are important. phptherightway has a section on design patterns. Also IBM did some pretty good PHP examples a few years back:

    Don’t make Singletons. they are shiny, have lots of tuts, but are counterproductive and will hurt your code.

    Otherwise, it’s all useful stuff. Front Controllers, Factories, Adapters, Proxys, Decorators, Observers… go nuts

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