Thursday, 13 August 2009

My Self Managed Learning Plan (SMLP)
PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor &
MySQL: My Structured Query Language

After looking at many available languages to study for my SMLP I have decided to choose a language I feel that will benefit me as a developer and increase my chances of employment in the future.

I also prefer, as a personal choice, the use of public domain GNU technologies. I feel that our society is stemming away from commercial products and turning to the Open Source market and will more so as people become familiar with the options available to them.

A long term plan of mine is to travel again and using software I can use on any machine, without having to purchase a license each and every time, would prove beneficial to me if I could ever attain that goal.

PHP is also cross platform and is not limited to one operating system which is also beneficial in the market place as installing/using the software will not require any major rewrites/training. Other languages, although rather an amalgamation of languages, such as ASP have draw backs, in that they need to be used with defined platforms such as Microsoft Internet Information Sever (ISS). This limits its availability to Win32 based servers.[1]

PHP is also extremely versatile and can communicate with many other languages such as MySQL, ASP, Ruby and Python. It can also be used as a stand-alone product and an inline command based program.

Aside from these facts, PHP is probably one of the easier languages to pick up and because it has many similarities to C, Java and Perl[2] it will let me skim the surfaces of other languages such as XML, JavaScript and JQuery.

The language enables developers to create more interactive pages that in turn create a more user friendly experience through interactivity. It can also make use of WordPress which is rapidly becoming a standard for up and coming web developers. The possibilities with PHP are limited only by ones mind.

While searching for employment that covered PHP I was happy to see the range of pay average out to around £20k - £30k which, if I perfectly honest, is the fundamental reason I came on the course; to do a job I like and get paid well for it. Although I fully understand that, like any job, you have to start at the foot of a mountain and build up experience through practice.

To recap on why I feel PHP would be suitable for inclusion in my SMLP I have summarised them as follows:

  • Quite fast to pick up the basics;
  • Branches out into other languages;
  • The language is part of the GNU and is cross platform;
  • Lets developers create more dynamic web pages;
  • Can be used, along with MySQL, to access databases;
  • Employment for PHP programmers/developers is in high demand;

N.B: Through further discussion I have found that I will find it beneficial to study MySQL as a side-line to PHP for my SMLP. This will open up more avenues of interest and employability in the future as I will be able to create and access databases.

This will enable me to get into the social networking side of PHP through use of forums and shout boxes which are becoming a major part of the internet as shown in advertisements for the current job market.

Word count: 550

[1] [2009-08-13 14:12]
[2] [2009-08-13 13:57]

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