Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I learned PHP, MySQL and AJAX over the last weekend! I am finally 100% productive.

Since last friday, I am focusing intensively on learning PHP, MySQL and Ajax. So far, I only knew HTML4, HTML5, CSS and Javascript. I felt like it was the time for me to upgrade my knowledge. To be honnest, I feared those technologies because they looked complicated, and because you can hardly know only one of these; in practice, they are much less powerful when used seperately rather than when mixed together. That means that I had to learn 3 new scripting languages, which seems to be quite a tedious task. But I can ensure you that any developer comfortable with Javascript can learn those lighting-fast when armed with the right tutorials.

While Javascript is for client-side and where PHP is for server-side, the scripting languages structures, syntax and rules of Javascript are in fact very similar to those of PHP. Furthermore, Ajax is in fact nothing more than asynchroneous Javascript + XML (hence why they called that "AJAX"), which is also very similar to Javascript except functions are more specialized in providing SQL-retrieved data without the need to refresh the whole page (PHP first, then Javascript, then Ajax. Ajax can call some other PHP file and functions, and return the result as plain text or HTML to a part of the HTML page (e.g.: populating a div with some PHP-processed content using innerHTML Javascript function).

To all web developers still waiting or fearing to make the move, I can tell you that learning all those 3 scripting languages will without any doubt make your life a lot easier in the near future. It really worths to make the jump! In my case, 3 days were sufficient to feel comfortable in practice with all 3 languages. But I must admit that my knowledge and practice of HTML, CSS and Javascript were already very, very strong; this helps a lot (in fact, they are almost mandatory as one doesn't go without the other in all cases).

I will keep you tuned about my future discoveries, problems and projects regarding those languages.

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