James Titcumb

James is a consultant, trainer and developer at Roave. He is a prolific contributor to various open source projects and is a Zend Certified Engineer. He also founded the UK based PHP Hampshire user group and PHP South Coast conference.

twitter: @asgrim

Articles

Community Corner: Community Review 2018

By James Titcumb

The final days of 2018 are looming on us, and I wanted to take a look back on some of the things, good and bad, that happened in and around the PHP community this year.

Community Corner: Leveling up

By James Titcumb

The tech industry moves at an incredible pace. Libraries, tools, and best practices change frequently, and keeping up with things can be hard. In this issue of Community Corner, I’ll explore a few different avenues you can use to learn more and level up your skills.

Community Corner: Mental Health in the Tech Industry

By James Titcumb

Mental health issues are prevalent across the globe, in all walks of life. In my anecdotal experience, however, I have observed a huge number of people speaking out about mental health issues they have experienced, speaking in conference talks, in general conversation, and sometimes in private. Whilst I am not a medical practitioner in any form, so cannot give qualified medical advice, I wanted to share my thoughts on mental health in the tech industry.

Community Corner: Finding the Perfect Development Job

By James Titcumb

We are lucky to work in an industry that is in high demand. Never before has the need for programmers been higher in our world driven by the internet and revolutionary technology. Entrepreneurs are churning out startups, not just in Silicon Valley but all over the world. While the demand for developers does indeed fluctuate through both time and location, we are lucky to have a broad range of choices when it comes to the specialized work we can do.

Community Corner: Where PHP Communities Meet

By James Titcumb

The PHP community makes a big deal about user groups, and for a good reason. Meeting up with local peers and creating a network of people can be beneficial. Many user groups will have a talk most months which makes a nice talking point and a good opportunity to learn something new. The many PHP conferences, too, prove their worth time and time again. Different ticket price ranges, different types of conferences, unconferences, camps, and conventions exist. Again, many have talks and tutorials which are the perfect opportunity to broaden your skill set. And, like user groups, you can expand the reaches of your professional network. What about when you are too far from these? Or can’t afford to attend a conference?

Community Corner: Contributing is More Than Coding

By James Titcumb

I recently returned from another fantastic edition of the Dutch PHP Conference in the Netherlands, where I spoke to many people about open source software. In fact, every year they host a “Code Night” which encourages open source contributions, and they’re not the only conference to do this. If you’ve followed my column, you’ll already be aware of how much I encourage folks to start looking into how they can help with open source software.

Community Corner: Beyond PHP

By James Titcumb

Over the last few years, PHP has grown up and become a much nicer language to work with. The introduction of scalar parameter types, return types, and a host of other features has vastly improved the capability of the language, with more additions being discussed and thought up. But writing PHP applications isn’t just about writing PHP, because the web is not made up of a single language. While PHP has proven itself to be a very versatile language, it’s worth remembering there are other options out there that may be better suited to the job at hand.

Community Corner: My Picks From Packagist

By James Titcumb

Most people are aware of how the Composer revolution came about, and the goal of getting everyone to play nicely together. For the most part, it seems to have worked, and more and more developers are coming on board with avoiding “Not Invented Here” and embracing the more than 1.2 million versions of packages available today. With so many packages it can sometimes be difficult to know where to begin. “I’m going to look at some packages from the open source community you might find useful if you’re not already using them!

Community Corner: What’s the Fuss About Serverless?

By James Titcumb

The new kid on the block is this “serverless” technology. But what’s the fuss about? This new concept seems intriguing if only for the name, and has perhaps even garnered skepticism because of the name. I’m sure you’ve heard the joke “there is no cloud, it’s just someone else’s computer” before, but serverless appears to take this one step further by eliminating the server altogether. Jokes aside, there are, of course, servers somewhere in the stack, but the goal of serverless computing is to take the concern of servers out of the mix when developing applications. This frees developers up to think about the application side of things and worry less about the platform on which the code runs.

Lessons Learned Running a PHP User Group

By James Titcumb

When I founded PHP Hampshire, I had no idea what I was doing, nor what I was letting myself in for. That said, I had a great time learning the ropes, learning more about what people will expect of you, and crucially—meeting new people in the field. The core purpose of a user group is to gather like-minded people together. Whether the folks attending use this for networking, socializing, or learning is entirely up to them, so one important facet is to ensure the platform you set up will cater to everyone.

The Journey to Becoming a Speaker

By James Titcumb

There is a wealth of great advice on becoming a speaker. Speaking isn’t for everyone, but if you’re on the fence and wondering if it’s for you, my advice is to give it a go!

Community Corner: Thank You, OSS Maintainers

By James Titcumb

For the last couple of columns, I’ve done interviews within the community, but in this issue I wanted to change the pace a bit. Open source software is the foundation upon which the web is built. Linux, Apache, NGINX, PHP, and all the libraries, many of the databases, and much of the software we use: it’s all open source software. What does that mean for us?

Community Corner: The elePHPants thing…

By James Titcumb

There is something unique about the PHP community. At first, you might not spot them but if you look a little closer, you might see there are a bunch of PHP developers with stuffed elephant toys on their desks, in their children’s toy boxes, or being looked after by their pets.