Monday, October 29, 2007

Volunteer website development tasks for New Dream; learning PHP/MySQL skills

I've started a small volunteer web development project for the Center for a New American Dream. I came up with the idea for it myself, and while it's not particularly glamorous, it's small, manageable for a newbie, and will provide them with value. Lest I get overly fixated on the non-glamorousness of it, I will catalog the skills I've learned so far, for my own benefit and encouragement:
  • What is XAMPP, why it is useful, and how to set it up
  • Basics of Subversion source control system; how to set up a repository
  • A little bit of the SQL flavor specific to MySQL
  • Basics of phpMyAdmin
  • Some tools to use for debugging PHP, and how to set them up (Eclipse PDT, Zend debugger)
  • All the little idiosyncracies and wonky stuff related to the above tools that they never mention in the documentation, so you have to troubleshoot it yourself or figure it out or ask someone who knows. That is such a huge part of the software engineering profession :)

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