Join others learning PHP with PHP Solutions

So far, more than 90 people have signed up to join a self-study group organized by Boston PHP to learn PHP with the help of my book, PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy, 2nd Edition. This is the third time that Boston PHP has run this scheme known as PHP Percolate, which begins again . I understand that nearly 200 have taken part in the previous two seasons. The fact that they’re running it again—and that so many have signed up—indicates that it must be a pretty successful way of learning PHP.

There’s no charge to participate. The only cost is buying a copy of my book. Although I have Amazon affiliate links on my website, I encourage you to buy it through the Boston PHP Store. That way, the organizers get a small commission that helps support the activities of Boston PHP.

The way it works is that you commit to reading one chapter of the book (there are 17) and completing the exercises each week. There’s no classroom instruction, but you can get online support through a dedicated forum for each chapter. Also, if you live in the Boston area (the one in Massachusetts, not the one in Lincolnshire or more than a dozen other places), you can get hands-on help at the PHP Percolate Coffee Club, which is usually held every Saturday morning at a Starbucks. Boston PHP also runs occasional all-day events known as Developer Dorm Room in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where you can get help with PHP problems or just bounce ideas about projects off each other.

Although PHP Percolate is based on my book, this isn’t a wacky marketing idea that has been dreamed up by me or my publisher. It’s an idea that Boston PHP came up with independently. In fact, I didn’t learn about it until quite recently. According to the President of Boston PHP, Michael Bourque, Boston PHP is the largest and most active PHP tech community in the world, with more than 1,900 members. It has a focus on education and adoption of open source technology like PHP. Last year, they were looking for the best possible book to learn PHP, and mine was the one they chose. Naturally, I’m delighted, and I have agreed to help in whatever way I can.

Unfortunately, there’s a small matter of the Atlantic Ocean lying between me and Boston, so I won’t be able to attend the PHP Percolate Coffee Club or Developer Dorm Room in person. But that’s one of the joys of the internet. You don’t need to be there in person to share ideas and cooperate with others. From what I understand, PHP Percolate has also attracted people from other countries to join in. A book and an internet connection is all you need.

Committing to working through 17 chapters in as many weeks is a lot to ask. Work, family, and other obligations get in the way. So, not everybody manages to last the whole course. But since there’s no cost (apart from the book), there’s little to lose. In fact, I see that some of the people who dropped out part of the way through season 2 have signed up again for season 3. As one of them said, “It’s fun!”

So, if you’re looking for a little bit of moral support in your efforts to learn PHP, check out PHP Percolate Season 3 with Boston PHP.

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15 Responses to Join others learning PHP with PHP Solutions

  1. Adam Cassel says:

    David, what a great write-up! We certainly appreciate it, and we have all benefited from your exemplary help on the forums so far, even before the Season officially started!! For all those wondering, you will be hard-pressed to find a more supportive, encouraging, and committed to growth and learning group of folks! Come join us as we work through David’s fantastic book! No pressure, no stress – just lot’s of PHP fun with folks who want to see you succeed! And David’s participation and help is a rare opportunity, so take advantage of it!

  2. Sunday Olaoye says:

    Hi David,
    I got your book on Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8. the book was fantastic and really thought me so many things.
    But I need your help in attaching Comment and Categories to my blog the same way I saw categories on the right column of this site. I’ ve been banging my head with it for past one month. Pls I need urgent assistance in order to move forward or do you have another book that take care of this using Dreamweaver.

  3. David Powers says:

    The simplest way to add comments and categories is to use WordPress. My Dreamweaver CS5 book has a chapter on using WordPress with DW.

  4. Sunday Olaoye says:

    Thanks. I will get this new book.

  5. Bobby Kuhn says:

    Hi David
    I have really enjoyed the book CS5 with PHP Training from the source.
    We have just completed the section on Zend Framework, perfect solution for our needs.
    However, after completing the practice files with MYsql, I moved everthing over to my SQL Server 2008 and configured the table to match the requirements. Then I modifed the library appropriately for SQL. I can use the add new user to the table, but when I go to the login I receive an error “The supplied parameters to Zend_Auth_Adapter_DbTable failed to produce a valid sql statement, please check table and column names for validity. ” If i do not insert a name and password, it correctly tells me the login failed. Any suggestions?

  6. David Powers says:

    I have never used the Zend Framework with MS SQL Server, but judging from the error messages that you’re getting it sounds as though there’s something wrong with the way that the table and column names are being presented. Normally, table and column names should not be enclosed in quotes, but they need to be correctly escaped if they use illegal characters, such as hyphens. What’s mystifying is that you were able to add a new user to the table. That would seem to suggest that the table and column names are OK. Sorry, I don’t have a quick answer for you.

  7. PhPOOp says:

    David, do you plan on updating your book PHP Object Oriented Solutions?

  8. David Powers says:

    I’m sure PHP Object Oriented Solutions will be updated at some time in the future, but there are no current plans to do so.

  9. Sunday Olaoye says:

    Dear David,
    how is work? hope fine. I ‘ve written you before that I read your book Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8 but what should I do to add comments and categories to the blog in my content management. You suggest I should buy Adobe Dreamweaver CS5 trainning from the source but unfortunately the person I asked to buy and send it to me has not come to Nigeria, I reside in Nigeria.
    I’ ve gotten How to add categories to my blog now after reading Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8 several times I also have your book on Dreamweaver CS4. .before the book you recommended gets to my hand pls. can you help by sending me codes on how to add comments to a blog using dreamweaver.? I’ve been struggling with this for over four months now. I don’t really understand All the other books I’ve bn reading like your own; on blog creation. pls and pls help me today I need to move forward. just help add comments to the blog example in Foundation PHP for Dreamweaver 8.
    Thanks for you understanding

  10. Sunday Olaoye says:

    Hi David,
    In Chapter 5 of your book PHP solutions about the contact form and chapter 6 of PHP for Dreamweaver 8. Pls. How can I wrap up the code in this contact form to send the page to a friend. pls an earlier acknowlegment of this mail will be highly commendable.

  11. David Powers says:

    I have just added a simple link-to-friend script in the tutorials section of this site.

  12. Ahmed alharthi says:

    Hello David,
    Can you put a link for this book to download the files ( i mean all php files for all chapters)?
    Thank you.

  13. David Powers says:

    The download files are available from the book’s page on the Apress site. Select the Source Code/Downloads tab to reveal the link. By the way, the location of the files is listed on the book’s updates pages on my site. I suggest you check out that page for any other changes. It could save you some frustration.

  14. Gustav de Damme says:

    Hi David,
    I’ll start by saying PHP Solutions is the deal, i’d read other books, like Robin Nixon’s ‘Learning PHP, MySQL and Javascript-just to name one. I read it from cover to cover twice, got perfectly grounded on the theory, but had little clue as to their application. PHP Solutions got me up and running in no time, and i believe in your style being the best way for any body to learn i don’t care who they are-learning by practice. I will be giving you a five star on amazon soon. Anyway, down to why i am writing; i am on chapter 9: Simple Login and multipage forms and i’m sure this is a very simple problem, but i just haven’t found the solution. Timing out a session. I set a time limit on a session, discard the session variables, destroy both the session cookie and the session itself. Let’s say the time limit is 60 seconds; i found that the session just timed out after 60 seconds irrespective of whether the page was constantly being reloaded or not, rather than because there had been a period of inactivity. This would not be good for a live site as users will be logged out even when they were busy on a page. I’ve looked at the code and developed a head ache, can’t find the answer. I know, i mastered the bigger concepts, but this seemingly little thing puzzles me, and i’m the kind of coder who will not move forward until i cracked a problem. Any help?

  15. Gustav de Damme says:

    Just a follow up on my comment earlier. I found the solution to the problem. I must have accidentally left out two clauses in the conditional statement that destroyed the session if the current time had become greater than the time of the session_start() plus the time limit set. The two clauses were:

    ‘else’ and ‘{‘
    which were supposed to come before the code line to assign the current (time()) to the session_start() time. Without these two clauses, the current time was not being assigned to the session’s start time, therefore letting the session time run till the set time limit (60 seconds), causing the session to be destroyed. That was all my fault, your supplied code was alright. Thought i’d let you know, thanks.