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Review Ivo Jansch’s Guide to Enterprise PHP development

January 3rd, 2009
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Essential book information

Title: php|architect’s Guide to Enterprise PHP Development

Author: Ivo Jansch

First edition: June 2008

ISBN: 978-0-9738621-8-8

Publisher: php|architect nanobooks

I consider myself to be a newbie when it comes to profesional PHP web development. Sure I know how to CRUD, procedural-, object oriented development on a limited level, frameworks, functional designs, database designs, technical designs (all on a limited level). So yes, I know something but is my knowledge enough to be able to stand in the world of the real professionals? Therefore I might think and mention some stuff that is not related to enterprise. Please correct me whenever you come across such err.

What the title suggests to me

I think this book will guide me on how to become a PHP developer on an enterprise level.

For some reason I think everything discussed in this book is what every Ibuildings developers knows, but that is just an assumption. This, perhaps romanticized, idea does make me want to become a developer of Ibuildings or any other company that creates applications based on the knowledge shared in this book. I’ll make that a requirement of a company before I apply as a web developer anywhere.

I expect to be introduced to sources, like books or websites, and coding techniques of how to actually code for an enterprise web application. I expect to be able to measure my level of skills compared to professionals by this book.

This book is seen through the eyes of a newbie…!

Oke, enough wandering, lets get on with it…

My life and Ivo’s book

This book took me by the hand and lead me through the different important facets in a software development life cycle. It is interesting to read that only a few things mentioned in this book is taught at my school, like functional and technical designs. This book was a major source of inspiration for me during my current schoolproject. As I could test my knowledge in the group. I realised I was slightly annoying when it came to functional or technical designs as I wish them to be a little more perfect than the others. Ivo’s book confirmed that my desire for a certain perfectionism is nessesary in real life situations for a successful application on large scale. What better situation is there to test this in a dummy environment like school?

After reading this book I partially regret that I have not chosen the subject of software engineering. But the freedom of my current subject is fun as well, I might say that what I learn is business knowledge that might come handy in web based software projects. As we CMD’ers need to look beyond the software. Most of the time we deal with the audience of the application.

Ivo’s book

Chapters that were most interesting to me, simply because most is new to me or Ivo addressed bits that I wish to learn more off:

4. Requirements gathering

5. Planning

6. Architecture

10. Development

11. Quality assurance

12. Optimization (eg. Micro optimizations)

To me, one of the strong things in this book is the part about PHP succes factors and challenges. I have read different articles of people writing about why PHP is a failing language. When you read an article like that, it becomes obvious that these folks are PHP haters. Reading the challenges from a PHP evangelist is nice though. He is honest and doesn’t mask the challenges PHP will be facing.

I so love his part about “Being an Attractive Employer”. Even non technical employers should read this! The outcomes is not only better for the worker, but for the employer as well: win-win.

I like how Ivo addresses the ‘start from scratch’ or reuse components. As a noob I figured all companies wrote major parts of their software themselves. So a new world opened for me. Now I know that it is perfectly ok to reuse other apps that allow me too.

The planning the project proces part in chapter 5 is an eye opener as well. Most of the projects tend to last longer than planned and Ivo points out what the cause is and how you can prevent it.

Just like my current education thought me, Ivo confirms it: the preparation of documenting, determine the architecture, is always important in large scale projects.

And there is so much more that interests me! Just read the book and you’ll be as well.

Concluding thoughts

I wish school would teach me about the things Ivo mentions, like subversion, the architecture of large scale web applications, testcases, unittesting, debugging and source control. Unfortunately this is not yet going to happen, so I have to teach it myself (with the help of the #php_bnl guys at freenode.net).

Guide to Enterprise PHP Development is truly is a guide and nothing more than that, and certainly not less. Codingwise it doesn’t get into much details and I have not been able to measure any of my PHP skills yet. To do so I will have to read books that focus on these things.

This book hightlights the aspect that comes with web development on an enterprise level. Ivo will show you some tools he knows and lets you choose which one to use. I order to really work with the software, you will need to consult the manual of that software as this guide only point at it with a brief note about it.

Dutch Summary

Specially for all Dutch PHPers out there, I wrote this for a phpGG newsletter a few months ago:

“It is not about the code, it is about taking PHP beyond the horizon”

“PHP is ready for the next level”. Wat houdt dat in, en hoe merken wij dat? PHP wordt op steeds grotere schaal toegepast en voor steeds grotere projecten gebruikt. Ivo’s boek gaat niet over het bouwen van huizen met legostenen, of het bouwen en onderhouden van een stenen huisje. Het gaat over het bouwen van skyscrapers, en daar komen verschillende aspecten, die een zeer belangrijke rol spelen, bij kijken. Ivo leert je hoe, en naar welke aspecten je mo et kijken om er voor te zorgen dat deze skyscrapers de test der tijd kunnen doorstaan. Kortom, wat komt er allemaal kijken bij een PHP enterprise? Ivo’s boek kun je zien als een samenvatting van die aspecten. Ivo betrekt je bij alle aspecten die komen kijken bij het opzetten van een enterprise, en verwijst je naar informatie die dieper op de stof ingaan. [Kana Yeh]


Sofar my first book review..  I hope you like it and if now then I definately need more practice  ;)

This exact review is posted on my PHP website as well

Geek Related, PHP, Productreviews , , , , , ,

  1. Cochut Joeri
    January 7th, 2009 at 22:11 | #1

    I wish my former employee had read this book. It would made my life a lot easier.
    nice review!

  2. January 8th, 2009 at 12:34 | #2

    Nice review. Had this book on the shelf since August last year, but after visiting Ivo’s presentation at the Dutch PHP Conference with the same title, I thought the book would be pretty much the same with the same (good, but cliche) metaphors.

    Seems like the book will cover some more topics, so I’ll take it from the shelf next weekend and read it! :-)

  3. January 24th, 2009 at 20:22 | #3

    Thank you guys :) It really is a nice book to have and to read.

  1. January 8th, 2009 at 05:46 | #1
  2. January 8th, 2009 at 12:14 | #2
  3. January 24th, 2009 at 20:26 | #3