The way I discovered PHP

I was a VB programmer for 3 years. That was almost two years ago. My obsession was on OpenSource softwares.

My first open source software used was SuSE Linux Live Eval 9.1. Then eventually, I installed the SuSE Linux Personal Edition. Because our school uses pretty old computers, SuSE did not perform well. Then I switched to Slackware Linux. It was fast, lightweight and really really hard to install for beginners like me. But because I was one of those script kiddies that time, I have successfully installed Slackware together with Windows XP.

That was with no burning of CD.

Searching for better database, (better than MS Access), I found MySQL. It was another OpenSource software to study. What I just want that time is to create a VB application where it was networked, with several clients supposed to be.

I have hard time integrating it on VB. One of the member of a certain linux forum says that why would I use VB with MySQL? They say, they find it so weird.

Well, it is as weird as I am. Surfing via search engines, I have always noticed the PHP + MySQL + Linux that comes together. I got curious so I take some time to study it.

First, I installed PHP 5.1.6 on a Windows XP and IIS (kindy sucks). I spent almost half day before my “Hello Wolrd” was successful! Next, I tried to install in on Apache. I almost spend a week before I can get it running since what I have installed was the incompatible PHP + Apache combination. I was supposed to use apache 2.0 and not 2.2 that time. Anyways, it run!

Next step was to get MySQL running. It took me another 3 days before I ever done my plain database connection! OMG!

After all those pains, the first application that comes to my mind was to create a message board for the school. A place where students, alumni and teeachers can post messages. I wasn’t trying to create a forum since it would be too complex for what I have. I was a bit disappointed when I found out that there are lots of OpenSource forum softwares out there that I can download for forum purposes.

Using only the printed 60-page tutorial from w3schools (which I printed secretly), I have successfully luanched our message board 1 month after. That was January 2007.

The features includes registration, messages posting, user signatures and image uploads.

Then I got a new job! I was once a college instructor, now I’m a…. how do you call this? Web programmer and IT staff all around? Anyway, I was hired on my second company as IT staff, as was designated as Web Developer for their website, and also as SQL script writer for their reporting needs in SQL Server 2000.

My serious web development project was the development of www.jcspice.com.

I almost get stuck with the project since I can’t focus. Their are so many interventions and interruptions as being all around IT staff. Like making a stylish announcement printed on paper to be posted on our bulletin, or fixing somebody’s PC, or fixing printer and everything.

I finished the project for almost 4 months. The good thing is,  I have a lot of improvements. I have developed the site for the best of my abilities. It was using XHTML, CSS and some copy and paste javascript.

The best thing inside it the CMS. It has the ability to let users add, edit, delete, upload, backup, restore or otherwise manage the content of the site. It has also the ability to be installed on the fly!

I used the phpBB’s database class and its bootstrap file to set the security to its maximum. It also features a secure login mechanism using database + cookies.

After 4 months of the project, no more PHP! I was already busy making SQL scripts as per request by department heads. When our company, an MLM company, finally comes to its lifespan (you know the lifespan of an MLM company, it is only from 2-5 years depending on the financial budget of the owners).

I don’t know if it was blessing in desguise, but because of that I lost my job. However, I’m hired by a Japanese company as Web Developer!

Here, I learned Zend Framework PHP and jQuery just on the process. Actually I’m the first one to use Zend and jQuery here, since my co-team mate was studying cakePHP. But they also liked Zend so much because of its reputation.

There are still a lot to learn. Currently we are developing an application the uses Zend Framework.

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