Facebook, Wikipedia, Flickr, and eBay have all used and contributed back to the PHP language. What started out as a procedural "hobby language" has evolved into a viable solution for large software systems.

Many aspiring developers have cut their teeth on PHP by diving into popular content management systems like Wordpress, Drupal or ExpressionEngine. This course aims to take novice developers to a higher level by teaching students how to leverage PHP’s object oriented features.

Throughout the course of this class we will build an actual web application using an MVC (Model-View-Controller) framework and an ORM (Object Relational Mapper). If these terms sound strange now, by the end of the class you will have the knowledge to rapidly build web applications, and manage your data with ease.

It is well known that testing saves your bacon. Good principles and style will be encouraged through the use of TDD (Test Driven Development), which we will leverage heavily throughout the process using the PHPUnit testing framework. Well tested code, is maintainable code.

Most importantly, we will teach you the principles and practices that will make you an effective coder no matter where you end up.

Ben Routson


Ben Routson
Acquia / Flip Learning

Technical Architect for Acquia, Lead Developer for Flip Learning. Still learning new things everyday and loving it.

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Course Goals

Developing Locally

Learn the ins and outs of developing on your own machine, and making sure the code you develop on your computer will play nicely with others on your team. A crash course using Vagrant and Puppet to configure your PHP install.


Learn how to take your local applications and deploy them so you can share them with the world.


Learn the good, the bad, and the ugly of PHP. We will show you how to leverage the good parts of PHP, and how to avoid the bad. By the end of this class you will be writing lean/performant PHP code.

Symfony2 Framework

Learn how to build applications quickly using an MVC (Model-View-Controller) PHP framework. The movers and shakers in the PHP community build their software on top of the Symfony2 components, and we will be no different. We will use this framework and it’s MVC capabilities to build a solid web application.

Doctrine2 ORM

Learn how to take control of your data using an ORM (object relational mapper) called doctrine2.

Twig Templating

Learn how to use a templating system to create DRY HTML markup in your app using twig.

Testing with PHPUnit

We will drive the whole process with tests so you know the code you are writing works. We will use tests to enforce quality, ease of maintenance and to make sure there is a safety net that keeps us flexible and ready to react to change.

Before Class You Should Know

coLearners taking this course must have a general understanding of web development principles (HTTP GET/POST, basic HTML and CSS, etc) and basic familiarity with programming concepts (variables, loops, etc).

coLearners must own or have access to a computer to use onsite during class hours, be able to attend all required class periods, and meet the minimum attendance for supplemental programming.

Students must own or have access to a computer to use on­site during class hours, be able to attend all required class periods, and meet the minimum attendance for supplemental programming.

After Class You Will Understand

  • How to build and deploy PHP applications.
  • PHP fundamentals
  • Object oriented programming with PHP
  • Symfony2 Framework
  • Doctrine2 ORM and storing your data
  • Twig Templating
  • Test Driven Development with PHPUnit