Non-Basic Web Programming Resources / Workshop
July 21, 2015 9:07 AM   Subscribe

I need recommendations for resources (esp. a workshop) to help improve my code, organization, and process. I work in JavaScript and PHP (Drupal). I'm not a rank amateur, but have no formal training and operate on my own. I'm essentially a junior Dec without a senior, and I expect my work is about as ugly as you're probably thinking. I need help beyond the CodeCademy / Treehouse type stuff - they're far too basic.

Anything from software project management, to architecture, all the way down to code style would be welcome.

A friend recommended the books Code Complete and Clean Code, which I am working through. I would like pointers to more web-specific resources. 

I have some gift/sponsorship funding for a programming workshop of my choice. Is there anything that fits the bill online or in the Seattle area?
posted by SirNovember to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Ahem, "junior Dec" should be "junior dev", of course.
posted by SirNovember at 9:51 AM on July 21, 2015

The book PHP Objects, Patterns, and Practice by Matt Zandstra is pitched at PHP developers in roughly your situation, and it's pretty good.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:21 AM on July 21, 2015

I'd look at Laracasts. Lots of free stuff to look at before subscribing. He spends a lot of time discussing best practices.
posted by backwards guitar at 10:52 AM on July 21, 2015

One thing you can do is look at tools to *tell* you about the quality of your code. For your JavaScript code you can use jslint or jshint. In PHP land you can turn on all warnings including STRICT ones. It doesn't assure you're writing efficient code so much as enforcing proper usage that's future-proof.

In the end does your code work, and does it scale? If you hammer these Drupal instances with traffic, how well do they do? You could look at load testing your work, preferably in a staging environment. If it works, ultimately, you're doing a good job.

Another thing to consider: if there's repetitive work, are you doing what you can to automate it? Are you responsible about backups? If (heaven forfend!) you could no longer work, could another professional step in and understand the work you do? Continuity is important.

In terms of the work you want to be doing to improve the things you're responsible for, look at providing tooling for yourself - think - dashboard. How healthy is (are) the site(s) you're managing? Uptime? What do the server error logs show? How are load times? YSlow measurements.

"We are paid to write programs that work well and are free of error" -- Douglas Crockford
And good on you for wanting to grow! I'll be curious to read what others say on this thread.
posted by artlung at 11:06 AM on July 21, 2015

PluralSight or
posted by blue_beetle at 11:17 AM on July 21, 2015

Code Review Stack Exchange.
posted by xbonesgt at 12:52 PM on July 21, 2015

Have you looked into Drupal mentors at all?

Aside from the core contrib mentoring program, I've seen mentoring info on profile pages. So, for example, webchick shows a couple dozen people as her mentors, and there's also a link showing that 142 people list her as a mentor.

You might even be able to find a solid Drupal contributor to do a little paid code review with you, if that would be of interest.
posted by kristi at 10:19 AM on July 23, 2015

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