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PHP Team Development
October 15, 2009
Week: 8 All time: 141
Robert E. Yawn
The simplicity and ease afforded by scripting languages can lull many aspiring (or even accomplished!) programmers into an unintentionally chaotic development cycle.
This is especially true for languages like PHP: build and compile times are a relic of the past, while loose data type restrictions and relaxed syntax contribute to rapid prototyping.
These attributes of PHP have contributed to its explosive usage growth and have caused its use to expand to full-scale Web applications managed by teams of developers.
It is for this environment that the book PHP Team Development, by Samisa Abeysinghe, is targeted. Both programmers and their managers may benefit from this material.
* Agile Development
A core concept of the book is the idea of Agile Development. Samisa introduces the reader to the popular Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern of development, and drives this model forward as an ideal framework for agile development styles.
Rather than delving into any coding, Samisa sticks to the fundamentals of the project as a whole: development cycles, use-case diagrams, and interaction with stakeholders and clients, while continually stressing and emphasizing agile development through diagrams and examples.
In fact, one could argue that the whole book could be used as a foundation for Web development as a whole. All of the concepts and processes within offer value to web development teams that use scripting languages.
* A Toolbox
More than providing an overview into the project process, Samisa provides insight into tools and industry-wide best practices like source control and bug tracking.
Practical advice and guidelines for many common situations in development are to be found, giving a "common sense" approach to a Web development project.
The book even ventures into more unlikely territory like morale in the team environment, hitting the concepts from many different angles.
Many seasoned project managers and developers that have worked on a well-coordinated project in the past may be familiar with much of the content of this book, but the particular focus on agile Web development in PHP makes this a particularly useful read.
If you are interested in improving your development strategy or perhaps even would like to form your own team to tackle a more complex application, this book could be just what you are looking for.
If you are looking to put some more structure in your development process and either are in a team or becoming part of one, this book could prove a valuable resource for a PHP web programmer.
Throughout emphasizing Agile Development as an ideal and covering the entire project development cycle, PHP Team Development provides insight to the Web developer interested in taking his/her team skills to the next level.
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