Why Did We Ever Do It Like That?

Here is my latest editorial for the March 2014 issue of php[architect] magazine:

php[architect] - March 2014

Why Did We Ever Do It Like That?

Change is hard. I don’t get enough sleep as it is. I don’t have time to mess around learning new things. I need to get this job done because there is more piling up while I’m sitting here contemplating this.

I’m sure I’m not alone in having this run through my head periodically when faced with yet another new technology to “master”. And yet, we push through these moments. Time marches on. And suddenly, we look back at old code and think, “Why did I ever code that way? This new way is so much better!” The strange, memory-intensive way has become the norm, and there’s a new thing lurking right around the corner. This time, embrace it. That’s not to say you shouldn’t think critically of new ideas, weighing the effort to implement and test a new way versus trusting the tried-and-true methods you’ve used in the past. It’s important to make sure you are not implementing something new just to have the new shiny. It needs to be beneficial and worthwhile. However, don’t shy away from something just because it’s new, because it will take effort, because it – for a short while – may set you back a step or two. If you do, you’ll get stuck in your old coding ways until upgrading to modern code becomes impossible. Don’t let yourself become obsolete.

To help you keep up with the newest items in PHP, we have a great set of articles this month. Dirk will introduce you to PHP 5.5’s latest additions while David will make sure you are aware of what old features are disappearing. David will also introduce you to PHP 5.6, which is currently in alpha, but has a lot of great things to look forward to. Matthew is exploring Phavour, and Dirk shows us templating options to extend Laravel. Looking to improve yourself as well as your code? Aaron has some suggestions for being confident, not cocky, and Ole will share his secrets for submitting talks to conferences, so you too can get out there and speak. Don’t forget to check out Eli’s column. He’s hoping to spark a conversation this month. We hope you’ll join.