4 minutes reading time (777 words)

“PHP and MySQL 24-Hour Trainer” - the Go-to Resource for PHP and MySQL Novices

“PHP and MySQL 24-Hour Trainer” - the Go-to Resource for PHP and MySQL Novices

Andrea Tarr’s book “PHP and MySQL 24-Hour Trainer” is a great educational tool for anyone who wants to learn how to work with PHP and MySQL. If you believe that programming books are generally dry, convoluted and hard to understand, you will be very pleasantly surprised by the neat, well-structured, and accessible way this book deals with its subject matter.

About the Author

Andrea Tarr is a veteran programming professional who has been in the trade for close to 30 years. She has a Master’s Degree in Information Technology and was the first person to write and introduce a computerized library circulation system in the state of New Hampshire. She is also known as the author of Joomla’s accessible administrator template, Hathor, and she is the tech editor behind the following popular Joomla! books: Joomla! 24-Hour Trainer, Joomla! Programming, and Joomla! Templates. Today Andrea divides her time between building custom websites, website templates, and extensions, and volunteering with the Joomla! Bug Squad. She is also a member of the Joomla Production Leadership Team.

Book Goals

“PHP and MySQL 24-Hour Trainer” does a very good job at taking its novice users by the hand and guiding them through a clearly defined, well-rounded learning experience that aims at giving practical, hands-on knowledge that can be used time and time again without fail.

The book starts at level zero, i.e. the assumption is that the reader has no knowledge or understanding of PHP, MySQL, and the notion of programming as a whole. Then it introduces the reader to the programming server environment and text editor needed to get the process started, and gradually progresses to unveiling the more complex elements that have to be learned throughout the course of the book.

Eclipse Editor SnapshotEclipse Editor Snapshot

Content Structure

“PHP and MySQL 24-Hour Trainer” is 479 pages long. It has 31 chapters or lessons, grouped around six main sections:

  • Section I: Getting Started with PHP
  • Section II: Working with PHP Controls, Functions, and Forms
  • Section III: Objects and Classes
  • Section IV: Preventing Problems
  • Section V: Using a Database
  • Section VI: Putting it all Together

Every chapter has a clearly defined goal for the reader. The study material provides the theoretical background for achieving that goal, while the practice portion gives the novice user the opportunity to engage in a do-it-yourself exercise and solidify their newly acquired programming skills.

Snapshot of the Try It Portion, Chapter 1Snapshot of the Try It Portion, Chapter 1

Supporting Materials & Additional Benefits

  • Video Tutorials: “PHP and MySQL 24-Hour Trainer” comes with a DVD companion that offers a video tutorial for each chapter, serving as an alternative learning medium for those who prefer watching to reading.
  • Code Files: It also has a supporting files package, available for download at www.wrox.com that contains code files which match the beginning and ending status of the do-it-yourself exercises and provide PHP and MySQL learners the ability to check their code against a known solution or even pick and choose which exercises they want to do.
  • Case Study: And last, but not least, it features a case study which adds to the clarity and interactivity of the author’s teaching approach and helps readers learn while having fun converting a static HTML site into a dynamic, database-driven website. The case study is used in most of the “Try it” portions of the book’s chapters.
  • Support: For those who might have questions or need help, the author of the book also offers support, available online on the PHP forums of wrox.com.

Snapshot of the Case Study Website used in the bookSnapshot of the Case Study Website used in the book

Book information and where to get it

PHP and MySQL 24-Hour Trainer is published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. It is available to the general public via wrox.com (paperback), barnesandnoble.com (paperback and nookbook), and amazon.com (paperback and kindle).

A note from the editors:

We are pleased to announce that the author of the book was kind enough to provide the Joomla! Community Magazine with a copy of her book, which we would like to give away for free to one of our readers. If you would like to participate, please comment after the article, offering three suggestions on how to help make Joomla more popular. The JCM team will select the user who offered the most interesting, unique suggestions and will announce the winner at the end of the article on June 20th, 2012.

Addendum: The winner of the book is Aaron! Congratulations, Aaron, we hope you enjoy it! A big thank you to all of the others who also posted great and interesting answers! Thank you for your support!

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