I was having a discussion with a colleague the other day about the development world, specifically PHP and how new developers may be pigeonholed if their first and continuing experience of PHP is via a framework. Maybe I’m old school, maybe I’m just jaded because of all the painful memories of scaffolding out a mini framework from scratch or maybe I am just jealous that any new developer these days don’t have to endure the pain we all once have at some point.
MVC frameworks such as Laravel, Zend, CakePHP, etc have indeed eased that pain and continue to do so in their pursuit of world domination, however, this discussion did indeed have a prevalent point. If developers join this ever-expanding community via some form of academic course or professional qualification, I have no doubt that they won’t necessarily be subjected to this ‘pigeonholing’ and they will indeed have grasped fundamental concepts such of OOD.
For the other half of the community, there are people who got into development simply as a hobbyist and continue to build upon their skills in their spare time. It is indeed the second type of developer I mention above that I believe our discussion was singling out to a certain extent because of the manner in which they learn to develop software. For example, when a developer doesn’t know something (come on, admit it there’re a lot of things we don’t know!) they find themselves following a similar pattern; Googling the issue and hoping that somebody else has struggled with the same issue in the past and with the exact same solution. Doing so risks that they may find some tip or trick, with a solution that they don’t necessarily understand why they need to do what they have found but that it also doesn’t clearly explain the how or why It ‘just works’.
The example I have in the back of my mind, nagging at me right now is mapping over an array of items to replace respective values, not sure why but perhaps I subconsciously remember trawling through pages and pages of Stack Overflow in an attempt to fix a similar issue in my earlier development days! I guess if any, the point we were originally discussing is that through no fault of their own a developer will naturally tune their abilities to utilise the tricks, tips and caveats of their favourite tools of the trade but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are just a Laravel, Zend, CakePHP, etc developer!
Thanks to Jason Clegg for being our guest writer this week.
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