The first course which I’ve been taking on Lynda.com is PHP With MySQL Essential Training. It’s a 14 hour course that dives into the history, and foundations of PHP, as well as the connectivity of MySQL with PHP, and the uses the two can have when working together.
What Is PHP
PHP is a server-sided web development language, meaning that it is independent of the user’s personal computer and browser. If a user who was browsing a webpage which had PHP coded into it, shutting down the web browser, or turning off the computer would not affect the PHP code, because it’s being run on a server independent from the user’s personal computer.
What Is MySQL
MySQL is one of the world’s most widely used open-source database management systems. A database management system is much like an excel spreadsheet, but instead of dealing with numbers (which is what spreadsheets are great for), a database deals with data. Data is stored information. It could be your account balance in your bank account, the photos you uploaded to Facebook, or the text messages that are stored “in the cloud.”
Connecting The Two
What makes MySQL so useful, is that PHP can read MySQL’s own coding language “mysqli.” Because of this, you can create functions within PHP that correlate to the data found in your database with MySQL. As a simple illustration, when you clicked on this blog post, PHP said to MySQL “someone clicked on insert blogpost name here, MySQL, please give me the data for insert blogpost name here found in this part of your database.” It shoots it back out, and boom. Here you are, reading this blog post.
What I’ve Learned
So far, I’ve learned how to run and practice PHP on my MacBook so I don’t need a server, as well as basic coding techniques that enable me to create a dynamic webpage. The fundamental coding of each technique is relatively easy to learn, but as you start expanding your understanding of these tools you can build yourself a well run basic web application, especially when used in conjunction with one another. This might be starting a custom built blog site, or your own online portfolio with music, video, and photos… the possibilities really are endless.
Programming Is For Anyone
One of the most overlooked skills in North America is computer programming, and yet it’s one of the most needed skills in our world’s growing global infrastructure; only 1 in 10 schools teach computer programming. The demand for faster and smarter applications is increasing, yet there is a lack of computer-savvy people to make that happen.
Like I said earlier, whether you’re a musician, photographer, or budding videographer, taking some courses in programming might be your greatest asset in building a personal online portfolio. And who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy programming!
Check out this video, and you’ll see what I mean.