birmingham.io

Hello Birmingham.io! It's Greg here! (@GregRobson_UK on Twitter)

I was invited to drop an introduction on the forum, so here it is!

I’m a (mostly) back-end developer, who loves working with PHP (no really, I do!). My framework of choice has to be Laravel, although I’ve dabbled with Yii and WordPress as well. I love well-written APIs and have done some TDD as well.

My brain works well with databases, and I work with MySQL and SQL Server.

I’d like to get some serious front-end framework knowledge under my belt, however choosing one is proving tricky as new ones are being released every week! Perhaps if the right project comes along that will give me an incentive to pick one! Do you have a recommendation?

I love agile development and recently became a certified Scrum Master… maybe next year I get the next level up, is that Jedi or Ninja? I can never remember… anyway…

…I’ve started doing a bit of freelancing on the side to keep myself learning and have recently discovered how fun Laravel/Forge/Envoyer and Linode is when deploying websites.

For a bit of history I studied at the University of Birmingham until 2005, then decided that I liked the city and stayed around. I run to keep fit, earlier this year I managed a half marathon in under 1h 40mins. I currently live in Moseley, which is lovely :slight_smile:

Easiest way to get hold of me and see what I’m up to is via Twitter @GregRobson_UK

Welcome to the forum, @GregRobson, we’re very happy to have you here :smile:

I had a conversation with @paul_tibbetts last night about TDD in PHP - I’m an ex-PHP dev myself (having moved over to Ruby), so I’m using rspec for most of my stuff - what do you use in PHP for testing?

I think it depends on what you’re trying to achieve. I’m no fan of Bootstrap myself, but I know it’s very popular (and if used correctly, isn’t too bad). I like Foundation, for the most part, and have just started using Semantic UI for another project - but it’s a bit too soon to pass any real comment.

I’m trying to learn agile, this is something I’d love to hear more about. You might also want to talk with @paulspencerwilliams, who runs Agile Staffs.

I’m looking to move away from the city centre, what is it about Moseley that makes it lovely? (I don’t think I’ve been there)

Hey Greg, I love PHP too! I like using it with MySQL.

Well done on the half marathon.

Welcome to the forum.

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@LimeBlast - regarding TDD, mostly PHPUnit so far, I would like to give some of the others like Atoum and Behat a try just to see what the pros/cons are.

Front-end wise I quite like bootstrap. I’d like to get into the JS frameworks a bit more (I have only tinkered with Backbone/Marionette so far… mainly to fix things): Angular, Vue and Ember appear to be the new kids on the block!

Moseley was recently in the Sunday Times as the best place to live in the UK. It’s a mix of things: nearby parks (Cannon Hill, Highbury), Farmers Market and Craft Market once a month, some good independent coffee shops. There are also a few vegetarian cafes which amplify the “bohemian vibe”. Plus, there are some good pubs :wink:

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Hey Greg,

Welcome to the forums :wave: (it’s always good to see another PHP dev on here)

I’m in the same boat as you are but for what it’s worth the other night I was recommended to go with Ember over Angular and Backbone. (I can’t recall all the reasons as I’d had quite a few ciders at this point)

The company I work for have recently adopted Jira and I think it’s brilliant, however I’m not 100% confident I know agile well enough to be getting the most out of it, how would you recommend getting up to speed on agile?

Hi Paul,

I feel PHP devs are making themselves known more now the language is showing signs of improvement :wink: PHP7 should silence a few of the critics!

As far as I can see it with the front end frameworks based on talking to colleagues and general digging on the web.

  • Backbone - closest to a raw Javascript framework. With Marionette it becomes more useful, but you’re tied to a very structured framework. Marionette does seem to have excellent docs.
  • Angular - popular with business, possibly as it was one of the first to get widespread adoption.
  • Ember - improves on Angular’s weaknesses, perhaps more flexible???
  • Vue.js - not quite a complete framework yet (no router), but seems to have a lot people excited due it’s lightweight structure.

I think I might just end up building a simple app in each one and make a judgement based on that. I’ve just bought some of the highly recommended JS books as I’m not as good on the async programming methods and without it you’re limited in what you can do in the browser!:

I’ll let you know how I get on!

RE: Agile - going on a professional course helped, although if that’s not possible, reading the blogs of the key people in Agile helps. The Scrum Mastery book is also a great help as it the examples are told from real life examples and differentiates between what ‘good teams’ and ‘great teams’ do. I’ve realised there are a lot of small refinements you have to put in place to get really good at it!

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