Friday, April 11th, 2014

Come Learn PHP at ALA 2014

EnoughLogo_350

Summary: Tim, LibraryThing’s founder, is going to be giving a one-day, almost-free introduction to PHP programming on Friday, June 27, alongside the preconference day of ALA 2014 in Las Vegas, NV.

“Enough PHP to Be Dangerous” will cover the basics of PHP, the most common web programming language. It’s designed for people with little programming experience.(1)

Instruction will be project-based–a series of brief explanations followed by hands-on problem solving. You won’t emerge a PHP master, but you’ll know enough to be dangerous!(2)

We’ll presume some familiarity with the web, including basic HTML. You must bring your own laptop. We’ll ask you to set up a simple development environment before you come–we’ll send instructions. You should be connected to libraryland somehow. Prepare for a mental workout–there’s no point going slow when we only have a day.

Where? The session will be held Friday June 27, 9am-5pm at Embassy Suites Convention Center, three blocks from the Convention Center.

How do I sign up? Email tim@librarything.com. Say who you are and put “Enough PHP to Be Dangerous” in the subject line.

We’ll close applications on Monday, April 14 at 4:00 PM EST. If more than 30 people sign up, we’ll pick the winners randomly. If fewer, we’ll allow people to sign up after the deadline on a first-come-first-served basis.

What Does it Cost? On the day of we’ll pass the hat, asking $55 to cover the $45 cost of hotel-provided muffins, coffee and sandwiches, and some of the cost of the room, equipment and wifi. If $55 is a hardship for you, no problem–we’ll waive the fee, and you’ll still get a sandwich.

Why do I need this? Libraryland needs more programmers, and people who know what programming is. Libary software vendors exert outsized power and too often produce lousy software because the community has limited alternatives. The more library programmers, the better.

Why are you doing this? Conferences are hugely expensive to exhibit at. They’re worth it, but it’s a shame not to do more. If we’re going to be out there anyway, adding a day, a room and a projector doesn’t add much to the cost, and could help the community. Also, I’m a frustrated former Latin teacher, so it’ll be fun for me!(3)

Is this officially connected to ALA, LITA, Library Code Year, etc.? Nope. We’re doing this on our own. It’s easier that way. Of course, we love all these groups, especially our friends at LITA.(4)

Will the class be broadcast? No. That sounds fiddly. Maybe another time.

Want to help out? If you’re a programmer and want to help make this happen, email me. It would be great to have another programmer or two helping people figure out why their script won’t run. It’ll be fun, and you can put it on your resume.


1. If you tried to learn something years ago, or do a little cutting and pasting of JavaScript, fine. If you’re a master of another programming language, you’ll be bored.
2. We’ll focus on the most basic skills–variables, loops, functions, etc. We’ll focus on non-OO PHP. We’ll print up some funny diplomas, so you can show off your new-found dangerousness back at the library.
3. Alas, the hotel doesn’t provide chalk boards.
4. We take inspiration from Introductory Python Workshop at ALA 2013, put together by Andromeda Yelton and others.

Labels: ala, ala2014, instruction

3 Comments:

  1. Ben says:

    Great idea Tim and LibraryThing

  2. Can you recommend a resource for those of us ineligible to take the course, but interested in the idea?

  3. Tim Spalding says:

    Code Academy, I think.

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