Developing new skills
At the end of 2009 I really wasn’t sure what direction I was going in anymore.
Being primarily self-employed for the previous year and a half and a total of 4 years of the last 6 I was feeling burnt out.
I had begun to consider looking for full time employment but had found that the opportunities were few and far between for “the job” that I would have liked to land.
You see, for the last 9 years I’ve worked primarily with ColdFusion. Working with ColdFusion has always been a joy and it continues to be my first love.
But unfortunately the job opportunities weren’t plentyful.
So what does a guy do??
Well, coming into 2010 I had an opportunity to start working on a project that uses Drupal and though I’ve been temporarily side tracked with other work the time I spent digging in the code and trying to modify certain parts really got me thinking in a different way.
I’ll probably write about this particular project later on.
I had committed to another project last December. This project was scheduled to start mid-January. I’ve been working with a small business that does some web development and with this project I obviously needed to make sure it would be compatible with their dedicated server.
So the answer was obvious for the server side technology. PHP was going to be the tool for the job.
In the beginning I started thinking about how I was going to go about this project… .because (admittedly) I’d never coded a large project as this one from scratch. So my mind was focused on the best approach.
One decision I made was to go out and find a framework that I could work with. With ColdFusion, I had used a couple of frameworks and played with many of them. I first delved into an MVC framework when I used Model-Glue for the very first time. At first the concepts were a bit foreign… I had worked with Fusebox years prior but it had been a long time.
My experience with Model-Glue was a good one. One benefit that I found in using a framework was that it forced me to organize my code in a certain way and get me thinking about the code and it’s flow in a different way.
So after a bit of research and a simple call out on twitter, I settle on Kohana. At first I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. Back in my high school days, learning didn’t interest me at all and I really seldom liked being challenged.
My work life in technology has been a challenge since day one!
Although I was intimidated at not being familiar with syntax… with reading the code I started to really look forward to this challenge. After all, it’s also about learning new skills. As previously mentioned, I love ColdFusion. That hasn’t changed. But, I have to say that so far my experience with PHP and Kohana has been very positive.
The MVC concepts were familiar to me and Kohana actually kind of reminder me of another ColdFusion framework that I really enjoyed. Coldbox.
ColdBox is quite a rich ColdFusion framework. I found that it was easy to work with and has alot of built in functionality that you can tap into.
In that same sense, I found Kohana to be familiar. Kohana has some real useful functionality built in and while using it I almost felt as though it was (for me) to PHP what ColdBox is to ColdFusion….. take that for what it is… I’m just basically stating what I perceived.
So diving into new things and being willing to learn, ask questions, search on google and forums. I’ve been learning some new skills and have also been enjoying it!
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