I ran into this post on skills for the 21st century librarian over at librarian.net. One of the items they mention is a knowledge of PHP and MySQL. While I’m not a fan of PHP (C style languages confound the Java programmer in me), I think it would be useful for folks to take this is step further and learn how to implement frameworks like Symfony, CakePHP, or PHPonTrax. I myself (a ColdFusion user) like Model-Glue:Unity that actually writes most of the boring, repetitive code needed to implement a web application. One of the biggest issues you’ll face once you’ve gotten the basics of any programming language is code maintenance. Using frameworks like these, while they may have a bit longer learning curve, really do pay off in the long run since they force you to code in a specific way and be consistent in team development environments.
I’ve seen a lot of books on PHP, and I figured this would be a good one for my four-month-old to get her started…PHP and MySQL for Babies.