Last night, I had an idea for what I think could be an interesting project, and I was left with a choice: hire someone to build it, or do it myself?
I am not the best developer in the world. My PHP skills are not ninja like in the least, but I have been craving a reason to get back into developing a few of my own things again, as development skills are almost always in demand.
I decided that I would give it a go, and instantly started thinking about all of the files I would need to write. The project files ballooned in my mind, and I felt a little dizzy. I didn’t have time to write a million different lines of code on twenty or thirty files. It was just too much, and while for most programmers, this might have been an easy task, for me, I felt overwhelmed.
It made me a little envious of people that use Ruby on Rails. I had seen the demo videos numerous times where they went and created and felt envy. It just seemed like so much to take in though. I didn’t have time to learn another programming language.
Then I found out about the many different PHP framework systems that are out in the marketplace today, and read that CodeIgniter is the most forgiving. I had to at least give it a chance.
I looked over the installation information for CodeIgniter. It was basically a series of PHP files that are already written for you, and allowed you to easily take advantage of them. They, like other frameworks out today use the model, view, controller system of development, which is new to me, but not too difficult to pick up.
Installing CodeIgniter was as easy as uploading and changing two files. The first file, config.php was just making sure that CodeIgniter understood what domain it was on. I had to change the base_url. And then, because I knew I would want to use a database, I edited database.php with my database information.
After that, I watched the two instructional videos on the CodeIgniter website, and used information within to extract what I needed to do to get the start of my project running.
Within forty minutes, I had already done what would have taken me around a week on and off of PHP development on my own. I still have a long way to go before my project is complete, but CodeIgniter was able to help me get where I am, much faster. Will it continue to save me time, as I continue forward? I am not sure, as I will have to learn more about what CodeIgniter includes, and how to make use of it efficiently, and this learning curve might remove any real time advantage that CodeIgniter implies in using it.
Thankfully, there is a pretty active, and helpful community of users that can hopefully reduce my learning curve, and help me jump over any hurdles. They were already helpful in getting around errors in the demonstration videos due to depreciated information held within.
As I progress in the project, I hope to put up code samples, things I have learned, as well as show the project once it is complete.