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Coding Without Fear

October 2019

It’s the spookiest time of the year, but that doesn’t mean you should be afraid of working on the code. This issue rounds up tools and techniques to make you a fearless coder: static analysis, writing WordPress plugins, protecting against DDoS attacks, and more.

Practical Static Analysis

By Dave Liddament

All developers know bugs are bad and finding them can be difficult. The good news is tools to help us find and prevent bugs are becoming more powerful. This article shows how to use advanced static analyzers on your current project to help you produce cleaner, bug-free code.

Building Your First WordPress Plugin

By David Wolfpaw

For many, working on a WordPress theme or plugin is there first foray into PHP development. When doing so, there are many ways to do things, but in the long run, you’re better off following WordPress’s conventions and idioms. In this article, we’ll go through how to structure and write a plugin from scratch, insert our code with the proper hooks, and leverage the subsystems WordPress provides for storing configuration settings, declaring plugin metadata, and outputting HTML.

DDoS Attacks: Threat Landscape and Defensive Countermeasures

By Chris Holland

Imagine an army of 100,000 robots, each hitting reload on your home page, several hundred times per second. How quickly would your site or application die? Having had to field such attacks in a past life, I found surviving them to be extremely difficult. My odds improved over time from better understanding them and preparing adequately.

Education Station: Overriding Composer

By Chris Tankersley

Composer is one of the most influential tools to have come out of the PHP ecosystem. Not only did it help revolutionize the PHP package ecosystem by making it easy to autoload code, find packages, and keep track of dependencies, it also stands as one of the best package managers from any language, hands-down. Python’s pip, NuGet for .NET, Rust’s cargo, and Go’s dep all pale in comparison to the stability and simple usage of Composer.

The Workshop: What’s New in Laravel 6

By Joe Ferguson

September 2019 marks the release of the latest major version of Laravel: 6.0. Laravel 6 is also the new LTS (long term support) version of the framework. We’ll cover what’s new and different in version 6 and learn about the brand new error handling package: Ignition. One notable change is the requirement of PHP 7.2 as a minimum supported version.

Security Corner: Crossing the Streams

By Eric Mann

While not commonly seen in the wild, PHP exposes powerful interfaces empowering applications to manipulate large streams of data directly. Both stream wrappers and filters allow developers to interact with objects too large to fit in memory or which might be ephemeral in nature. Combining these stream interfaces opens up even more possibilities for the savvy developer.

Community Corner: Top Five Tips for Successful Speaking

By Gary Hockin

Public speaking is an excellent way to advance your developer career. When you stand in front of your peers telling them what you know, you get recognized as an expert in that subject. Forcing yourself to think about things in a way that allows you to teach tho others makes you understand that topic in a more in-depth way.

Pragmatic PHP: Testing Singletons

By Edward Barnard

This month wraps up our singleton coverage. We’ll see the self registry variant (a self-contained registry pattern implementation). We’ll find ways to test singletons and learn how to test database memoization without requiring an actual database.

finally{}: Dark Matter Developers

By Eli White

Back in 2012, Scott Hanselman wrote a blog post on Dark Matter Developers, and I think the concept still rings true today, maybe more. So what are they?

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