MySQL and PHP suggestions for beginner?
January 18, 2010 5:52 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for suggestions for inexpensive online or real life courses, books, or web sites that will help a friend learn MySQL and PHP.


I have a friend in Dudley, UK who would like to get ino database development, MySQL in particular. He also would like to know at least the essentials of a scripting language such as PHP in order to be able to create web sites that can interact with any databases he creates.

Thus far he has made progress learning data modeling concepts, but is a bit stuck in implementing them by actually building a database in MySQL (though he does seem to now have a working installation of MySQL on Fedora).

He recently took the "Introduction to Database Design" course from Although he definitely learned from the experience, a class with more feedback would be preferable. I was able to help him some because I am a web developer and pretty solid on data design concepts. But I will be able to help him less as he gets into MySQL because I have almost no experience with that db.

I know there are free resources on the web, but since neither of us is that familiar with MySQL, we don't know which resources are best. And we also think that taking a course or following a lesson plan will help him more initially by giving him a specific path to follow, rather than trying to wade through the tremendous amounts of info online.

We are looking for suggestions for inexpensive online or real life courses, books, or web sites that will help him learn MySQL and then PHP. And more generally, any suggestions you might have for what to focus on, what to watch out for, etc. I also think it might help for him to be able to ask the occasional question of someone who is truly knowledgable in MySQL and/or PHP.

These are the books he has in his possession thus far: Databases Demystified by Andy Opel, PHP6 & MySQL by Larry Ullman, and MySQL pocket reference by George Reese.

Thank you so much for any suggestions!
posted by parrot_person to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
The "Building Dynamic Websites" course from the Harvard Extension School might be helpful. You can "take" it for free online at
posted by dgc at 7:01 AM on January 18, 2010

The Ullman book is a fantastic beginner book and should have prepared him with a good knowledge of the basics. With the knowledge from that and a version of MySQL to play with he should easily be able to work with it by trial and error be able to get a good understanding of more detailed operations. There are also plenty of good forums he could go to that will answer specific questions he may have.
posted by JJ86 at 7:29 AM on January 18, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks. We checked out the Harvard extension videos and were very impressed. He has still to delve into the Ullman book in depth or check out the forums.
posted by parrot_person at 6:24 PM on January 21, 2010

« Older Small biz accountant recommendation for Seattle...   |   Please recommend a Mumbai tailor Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.