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Major blog update!

Apologies in advance, dear RSS reader. I’ve migrated platforms and as a result, you may see a bunch of old posts in your feed. In exchange for this minor inconvenience, I have good news to report on the future of this blog.

An offer of help

From time to time, I see people lamenting how many sites are “stuck” on old versions of PHP. Other times, I see people dealing with poor (shared) hosting environments, manual deploys with FTP, no local testing environment, and so on. Instead of sitting back and shaking my head, I’ve decided to do something about it.

Practice makes you a better developer

We’ve all heard the saying “practice makes perfect,” but how you practice and what you practice are critical to making it an effective practice session. Consider some tips from a recent “Learning how to Learn” newsletter.

Who is responsbile for your learning?

Are you expecting too much from an author, speaker or teacher? Take charge of your own learning instead. Consider some tips from a recent “Learning how to Learn” newsletter.

Learning how to learn: the newsletter

Software developers are, by necessity, lifelong learners. We are constantly facing new challenges, new technologies, new methods of solving problems. But how can we make our learning more efficient? This is a question that I’ve been pondering for at least four years.

A modern approach to PHP development

This year at That Conference, I presented one of the few talks on PHP. The title of the talk was “A modern approach to PHP development.” My goal was to expose both PHP and non-PHP developers to some more recent developments in the PHP ecosystem.

Highlight PHP and HTML in Octopress

In yesterday’s post on Octopress, I briefly mentioned the Pygments lexer documentation. One of the things I found incredibly useful was understanding all the available lexers and which language code would invoke them. For example, let’s say you want to have a code block that highlights both PHP and HTML. How would you do this?

Better PHP highlighting in Octopress

I recently moved my blog from WordPress to Octopress. The experience was painless and I wish I would have done it much earlier. One thing that puzzled me was how Octopress handled PHP syntax highlighting. It seemed that it would only work if every code block started with the opening <?php tag. I found this quite annoying, especially when I only want to show one line of code.

Day one with Go

I have the habit of picking up a new programming language or two each year, not necessarily to master them or even to write production code with them, but just to be exposed to new approaches to familiar problems. For the last few months, two friends of mine have been urging me to try out Go, a relatively new language from Google. Since I had a 17-day vacation planned in Florida, I decided to give Go a try while I had abundant free time.

Pass Puppet command line options with Vagrant

This week, I finally blocked some time to seriously investigate Vagrant and Puppet. The documentation for both tools is decent. Taking the knowledge I gained from reading through the “Quick Start” documents, my next logical step was to spin up my own custom development environment for local usage. I quickly ran into some issues and wanted to enable the “debug” mode of Puppet. Since I’m not calling Puppet directly, it’s not as easy as tacking on a --debug option to the puppet command line. Instead, I need to tell Vagrant to run Puppet in debug mode, using the Vagrantfile. The documentation for Vagrant addresses how to pass command line options, but they don’t show a complete example involving both command line options and the block syntax you normally use to setup the Puppet configuration. Here are two ways that you can use to pass both: