PHP Foundations


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Anonymous at 05:39 on 18 Apr 2015

Was expecting this to be essentially basic, was not surprised. Instructors were ready to help, and information presented was indeed foundational as it says on the tin. Despite the introductory nature of the content, I learned another set of tools for validation and came away with action items on PDO. A one liner for enabling error display would be meaningful.

Pro: hands on do it yourself approach, breadth of information, instructors' involvement
Con: venue could benefit from better wifi, or bring prepped USB keys, and "PHP will whine at you"

Overall I enjoyed these sessions. Assuming a training day will be added next year, please take the following into account:

*Ambitious - The PHP Foundations class was too ambitious. Every single session involved people at the back pushing the speaker to hurry up. The amount of information they attempted to cover was just too much.
* The amount of time spent covering esoteric history and terminology was too high. We needed more time doing code.
* The code should have been coordinated into a project. Start with forms, advance to forms that store information in a database. Something like that. Instead it was a disjointed series of code exercises with little sense of accomplishment or direction. There was little connection to real-world projects. It was as if the presenters presumed they were speaking to a room full of programmers who were there to just pick up a new language.
* In spite of the fact that this track was supposedly for beginners in PHP, there seemed to be a high level of assumption as to the tech-savviness of the attendees. This contributed to the major slowdown in getting everyone up and running with regards to software.
* Instructions for software were emailed the *day before* the conference, when many were already enroute or at their hotels. This allowed almost no time for preparation.
* The download material put together was missing a lot of things.
* Speaker slideshow documents didn't match what the speaker was presenting live in class
* Code samples were hit and miss

All of This resulted in a lot of confusion. Here is how this played out for me:
* The speaker would walk through code examples
* It was usually unclear if the code being discussed was for educational/sample purposes, or if it was code we needed to be typing out.
* At the end of each section, we were then given an assignment
* The assignment involved a lot of code we had just learned for the first time.
* None of this code was on the screen any more. We were expected to have memorized all possible syntax as if we had a photographic memory.
* This resulted in students having to ask the speaker to rewind their presentations, sometimes for 20-30 pages.
* The one presentation that handled this the best was the one on databases. He had to back up less, but it was still too much info.