Ducks in a Row

Here is my latest editorial for the August 2013 issue of php[architect] magazine:


php[architect] - August 2013

Ducks in a Row

“Don’t reinvent the wheel.” “Don’t waste time; use existing libraries.” I can’t even count how many times I have heard this advice in various forms, but reusing code means relying on external resources, and external resources add their own brand of complexity. It’s not easy to keep track of what is required at which point or where all of the install files can be found. Luckily for us, there are tools that can help.

Composer is a great resource for managing dependencies. Maarten will walk you through getting started with Composer and show you how PhpStorm can make integrating Composer with your next project seamless and easy. Once you are comfortable with Composer, check out Chris’s article which will take you through some of the more advanced Composer features and help you really start taking full advantage of Composer. Managing your dependencies is just the first step, though. Don’t forget testing! Be sure to take a look at Matt’s article on mocking dependencies for testing. Looking for more ways to simplify things? Jeremy has some recommendations for using Vagrant to make your development environment streamlined, consistent, and easy to replicate.

If you have been watching the Google Developer Blog, you may have heard that you can now use PHP on Google App Engine. To get people started, Google’s Developer Blog featured a guest post from Keith Casey on setting up a PHP Twilio app on Google App Engine. It’s a great intro, but we wanted more, so we have the in-depth article for you this month. Check it out and see what Google App Engine can bring to the table.

If you enjoyed the intro to Stripe last month in the Education Station column, you’ll love this month’s dive into some of the more advanced features. I especially enjoyed the section on billing recurring subscriptions – very handy!

Planning a new project? I’m sure you’ve heard the old adage, “cheap, good, fast – pick two”, but Eli has some thoughts on why you can only pick one. Be sure to read through it before quoting your next project.