As someone who started with PHP as a self-described "WordPress hacker", I had a hard time finding the path to becoming a knowledgeable programmer. Having now stumbled a short way up that path, I think we can make it easier for anyone who's interested in finding it. I'll share a brief overview of the tools and concepts I wish I'd known getting started with WordPress, and how PHP can shockingly make you better at anything (as long as it's written in PHP).

Jason Rhodes is a speaker at MidwestPHP on March 2 and 3rd in St Paul, MN. He's a PHP and JavaScript developer at Johns Hopkins University, and he spends his free time working on a PHP library that will teach his 2 year old son to ignore the Star Wars prequels.