Beth Tucker Long

Beth Tucker Long head shot

Beth Tucker Long is a PHP developer and co-organizer of Madison PHP. Beth is a firm believer in promoting community and mentoring. She runs Treeline Design, a web development company, and Exploricon, a gaming convention, along with her husband, Chris. You can find her on her blog and on Twitter

twitter: @e3BethT

Web site:


Definitely Not My First php[tek]

By Beth Tucker Long

by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Deep Diving PHP Security, April 2024

The Changing Face of Networking

By Beth Tucker Long

by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Deep Diving PHP Security, April 2024

This Month, We Celebrate GAAD

By Beth Tucker Long

The sixteenth of this month is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). This happens every year on the 16th of May…er…wait. It’s not May yet. So why am I bringing this up now? by Beth Tucker Long

Published in World Community, March 2024

Dear Past Me, What were you thinking?

By Beth Tucker Long

by Beth Tucker Long

Published in The PHP Gambit: Winning Strategies in Code, February 2024

Confident Uncertainty

By Beth Tucker Long

You have to be an expert. You have to know everything. If you admit you don’t know something, they will know you are a fraud. You will lose all credibility, and you will never work again.—Imposter Syndrome, taken from “Untrue Daily Affirmations We All Keep Saying” by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Bad Bug Bounties, January 2024

Sunsetting User Groups

By Beth Tucker Long

Are you still a member of a user group? If so, is your user group still actively meeting? Many of these groups no longer regularly meet, if they meet at all. Why have these groups faded over the years? by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Generating Efficient PHP, December 2023

Gratefully Looking Back

By Beth Tucker Long

by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Command Line Picasso, November 2023

The Heart of the Code

By Beth Tucker Long

by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Software Archeology, October 2023

It’s Time to Reinvent the Wheel

By Beth Tucker Long

by Beth Tucker Long

Published in The Spectrum of PHP, September 2023

Have you tried turning it off and…being bored?

By Beth Tucker Long

*When work gets hectic, we push harder at a frantic pace. We work overtime to get everything done. We plow through patches and tickets, slowly chipping away at the mountain of work before us. We know what needs to be done, but what if there’s a better way?*
by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Packing Up PHP, August 2023

finally{}: Living on the Edge

By Beth Tucker Long

There is a special group out there full of brave thrill-seekers.
Adventurous people who venture beyond the security of the stable and
stand on the forefront of uncharted waters. They hunt out dangers and
ensure the safety of all of us. Their ranks are open, and you can be one
of them. by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Be Barrier Free, July 2023

finally{}: Do We Deserve to Be Here?

By Beth Tucker Long

For more years than anyone cares to count, programmers have made
jokes at PHP’s expense, shuddered when someone mentions being a PHP
programmer, or written long rants about how PHP isn’t a real option for
professionals. How has this affected us? by Beth Tucker

Published in Evolving PHP, June 2023

finally{}: CatAIstrophe

By Beth Tucker Long

You would be hard-pressed to find a news source that is not
overflowing with dire warnings and speculations about recent
advancements in AI. I have even gotten messages from people wondering if
I know what career I will do next, seeing as AI is eliminating my job.
Is “Judgment Day” coming? by Beth Tucker Long

Published in HTTP Burritos, May 2023

finally{}: Stop Waiting

By Beth Tucker Long

What’s on your ‘Someday’ list? What do you keep putting off, waiting
for the right time? Dust off that list. Someday has arrived….Stop
Waiting! by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Getting TEKnical, April 2023

finally{}: Nothing Lasts Longer

By Beth Tucker Long

The system needs a new feature, but we will need to do a lot of refactoring or rewriting to get it done. Someone proposes a quick workaround to get it working while we wait to get the rest of the proper work done. “What? We can’t do that”, someone responds. “We have to do this the right way.” by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Box of PHP, March 2023

finally{}: Making the Cut

By Beth Tucker Long

Between a major shortage of programmers, rampant burnout, and a workforce disrupted by the pandemic, employment in the tech industry is in turmoil. At the same time, our hiring practices continue on as if nothing has changed. Why are we letting this happen? by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Knowledge Crunching, February 2023

finally{}: Self-worth

By Beth Tucker Long

As the new year dawns, the snow is flying (at least where I am), and so are the resolutions. I can’t even count how many emails I have gotten from companies about how they can help me stick to “my resolution” to lose weight, exercise more, read more books, learn a new language…the list goes on and on. by Beth Tucker Long

Published in PHP is Standing Tall, January 2023

finally{}: Who Controls Your Content?

By Beth Tucker Long

We are becoming a world increasingly reliant upon “free” services – free document sharing, free email, free video meetings, and free chat programs. The list goes on and on. Would your organization survive if these free services disappeared? Do you truly understand the risks you are taking? by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Owning The Web, December 2022

finally{}: Our Responsibility in Learned Helplessness

By Beth Tucker Long

Security and clean data are a must in our industry. We go to great lengths to ensure that the data we bring in is not malicious but also, and perhaps even more importantly, is the right data we want. Are we training users to be helpless in our quest to create applications and systems to get exactly what we want from users? by Beth Tucker Long

Published in The Value of the AST, November 2022

finally{}: Beware: Tek is Disruptive

By Beth Tucker Long

In between where we start and how we end up, lies the journey. It’s usually filled with uncertainty along the way; however, we’re often grateful for the path we took in the end. by Beth Tucker Long

Published in The State of PHP, October 2022

finally{}: Everyone’s Eyes and Ears

By Beth Tucker Long

If we want our projects to reach a multitude of people, we need to realize what a multitude of people need from what we build. by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Making Code, September 2022

finally{}: The Dangerous Safety of Comfort

By Beth Tucker Long

Muscle memory is our absolutely amazing ability to train our bodies to do things without us needing to think through each movement/action individually. This is super helpful in many ways. by Beth Tucker Long

Published in PHP Blueprint, August 2022

finally{}: Blind

By Beth Tucker Long

It has been a while since I’ve worked on in-person conferences, but with events starting back up, conference planning has started up again as well. I recently chatted with someone about improving diversity in speaker line-ups. This is a very difficult topic, but one I am very passionate about, so before we get too far into this article, I want you all to know that if anyone is interested in improving the diversity of your speaker line-up, I’m happy to talk through your process and offer suggestions. by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Database Freedom, July 2022

finally{}: Pulled From All Angles

By Beth Tucker Long

Everywhere I look, there are articles targeting programmers with suggestions and plans for how to be “better.” Some articles promise to make you a better co-worker, while others extol the virtues of being a better manager. Some will make you better at communicating while others will make you better at coding. In all cases, though, the message is the same: you programmers need to be “better.”

Published in Another Bright Idea, June 2022

finally{}: Survival of the Fiendish

By Beth Tucker Long

In ages past, the claim has been that the “fittest” survive. Nowadays, the fittest appear to fall by the wayside, crowded out by those fiendishly over-promising, under-delivering, and making it unbearably difficult to escape. by Beth Tucker Long

Published in One Last Slice, May 2022

finally{}: Tech is Taking Sides

By Beth Tucker Long

Throughout history, industries have stayed relatively neutral during wartime. Global companies especially may offer marketing-focused messages of hope and concern but keep their heads down and their tones neutral when faced with actually taking a stand against one side of a conflict. Per usual, though, the tech industry is happy to disrupt the status quo—not just taking a clear stand but putting their money and their talent where their mouth is.

Published in Testing The Core, April 2022

finally{}: I Just Can’t

By Beth Tucker Long

**ding – Subject line: Reminder to complete your student’s school registration.** A new email arrives. *Right, I need to get that done as soon as I finish work for the day.* **ding – Subject line: Your domain names expire in 3 days.** *Ack, I forgot to renew those last week. I need to get that done before they expire.* **ding – Subject line: Did you get my email from last week?** *What email?* (scroll, scroll, scroll) *Oh, there it is. Not sure how I missed that…*

Published in World Backup Day, March 2022

finally{}: Every Which Way But Loose

By Beth Tucker Long

I recently saw yet another discussion online about PHP’s infamous naming convention exceptions and needle/haystack rotations. All the typical vitriol was there from the PHP haters, but I was very happy to see several new programmers add to the conversation or ask for clarifications and receive very supportive and educational responses from the thread. PHP is nothing if not consistent in its status as a recipient of the internet’s hatred. However, I am forever proud of our community’s ability to ignore the hate and still welcome and encourage newcomers. by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Parallelize Your Code, February 2022

finally{}: Experts or Out-of-touch?

By Beth Tucker Long

After talking to someone about ideas for new security education, I popped over to check out the latest OWASP Top Ten list. A quote on their homepage stood out to me: This category represents the scenario where the security community members are telling us this is important, even though it’s not illustrated in the data at this time. by Beth Tucker Long

Published in Domain-Driven Resolutions, January 2022

finally{}: Still Rolling

By Beth Tucker Long

Just when we think things are finally going to calm down—here we go again. It seems the changes never stop coming, but this is no ordinary change. It is a turning point, and times like this are when we all need to choose if we will stand up or give up. by Beth Tucker Long

Published in The Zen of Mindful Programming, December 2021

finally{}: Roll With It

By Beth Tucker Long

The last year has been a big year of change for workplaces in a lot of the world. Every time we think we are settled into our “new normal,” things change again—variants, treatments, policies, work locations, hiring practices, staff sizes—an overwhelming amount of change. A quick internet search reveals many studies showing that rates of burnout are alarmingly high and still rising. We are all resistant to change, but should we be? by Beth Tucker Long

Published in The Art of Data, November 2021

finally{}: Rubber Ducky, You’re the One!

By Beth Tucker Long

Deep in a wild, overgrown forest, a lone developer studies an ancient map carefully. Checking a compass against the angle of the sun and the moss on the trees, this exhausted programmer pushes on, finally making it to the entrance of the long-forgotten cave. Inside on a dusty stone pedestal waits the sought-after artifact—the rubber ducky!

Published in Decrypting Cryptography, October 2021

finally{}: Back to School

By Beth Tucker Long

Here we are, the season for students to say goodbye to break and head back to school. For those of you without children, this is why the office supplies areas of most stores have been looking like post-apocalyptic movie sets with a few broken packages on ransacked shelves and a few hollow-eyed clerks left staring vacantly at the mess. I hope none of you needed crayons. They are going for big bucks on the black market right now.

Published in It’s Really an Upgrade, September 2021

finally{}: Stepping Through

By Beth Tucker Long

Sometimes you need something tried and true, and sometimes you need to escape the daily grind and try something new.

Published in Trimming One’s Sails, August 2021 —Available for Free

finally{}: Rebuilding

By Beth Tucker Long

Recent times have been anything but expected. The community landscape is vastly different from it was two years ago. Where do we go from here?

Published in Deep Dive Into Search, July 2021

finally{}: PHP is Not Important

By Beth Tucker Long

Every technology has its share of haters. Disagreements in coding philosophies become language wars. Differences in project priorities become personal attacks. It’s vicious. It’s demoralizing. Why would anyone stay in an environment like this?

Published in Debug, Rinse, Repeat, June 2021

finally{}: Awkward Conversations

By Beth Tucker Long

When we talk about long-term planning for our code, we often mean making sure that it can handle increases in traffic as usage increases (if we are lucky). We also usually mean making sure the code is flexible enough to handle the new technology and client requests inevitably coming its way. These are great things to plan for, but we leave ourselves open to a lot of risk when this is all we plan for.

Published in Testing Assumptions, May 2021

finally{}: Doomsday Prepping

By Beth Tucker Long

Thanks to the pandemic, doomsday prepping has gone mainstream. Many think this is a new philosophy that is gaining popularity, but it has long been at the heart of the tech world.

Published in Busy Worker Bees, April 2021

finally{}: When the Wrong Answer is Right

By Beth Tucker Long

I’ve been doing web programming for over 20 years, most of that as a consultant, so I have worked on countless different environments over the years. I pride myself on following best practices and building applications ready to hold up for a long life. I always want to do things right, but over and over again, I learn that right is not always what is best.

Published in Lambda PHP, March 2021

finally{}: Fun with Big Data

By Beth Tucker Long

In years past, scientists had to draw conclusions from whatever small data they could procure themselves. Advancements in data collection, storage, and analysis have revolutionized the data sets now available to scientists—and also you and me.

Published in Dealing with Data, February 2021

finally{}: Getting Through to Myself

By Beth Tucker Long

The more some things change, the more some things stay the same—especially when you are a PHP developer. Being a developer is an exciting, stressful, exhausting, invigorating thing. With technologies constantly evolving, our job is as much about learning as it is about building and fixing.

Published in Newfangled Views, January 2021

finally{}: Resolutions

By Beth Tucker Long

As programmers, it is our job to build. We create things. We modify them. We fix bugs. We solve problems. We fill needs. Maybe it’s time to start applying this to something a bit bigger than just our codebase.

Published in PHP 8 Bits and Git, December 2020

finally{}: Put Your Best Page Forward

By Beth Tucker Long

Is your workload filled with looming deadlines and minimum viable products? Is the focus on pivoting quickly and allowing user complaints to drive feature development? Are we exhausting our customers? Are we exhausting ourselves?

Published in SOLID Foundations, November 2020

finally{}: Async Life

By Beth Tucker Long

Our day-to-day used to be full of needing to get to physical locations in person at specific times, but just like programming, we are becoming more and more asynchronous.

Published in Running Parallel, October 2020

Accessibility Makes Things Better for Everyone

By Beth Tucker Long

Accessibility is a broad concept that covers many ideas and requirements, and your project needs accessibility for many varied reasons. Perhaps you are required to comply with accessibility laws and regulations. Perhaps you have existing users complaining that your services are difficult to use. Maybe you are looking to attract a larger, more diverse audience or are just interested in making sure your website works for all people. No matter your reasons for starting, improving accessibility is about increasing the number of people who can use your site or app, and that’s a good thing for everyone.

Published in Out on a Limb – February 2019, February 2019