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I haven't really found a real answer to this so I figured I would just come out and ask it. How much PHP should I know before I begin to use a framework, more specifically Codeigniter? I was just curious if there is a certain area that I should be more proficient in before I begin to try and use the framework.

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I would suggest having at least intermediate PHP knowledge before you get into CodeIgniter. Definitely have an understanding of the basics (basic syntax, conditionals, loops, error checking, dealing with cookies/sessions, dealing with forms/form validation, basic database stuff) as well as a familiarity with/experience with object oriented programming and the MVC (model/view/controller) pattern.

 

If you have a subscription to the KillerSites video tutorial library (http://killersites.com/university/) I would watch these videos (all within the PHP section):

- Anything within the "Beginners PHP" section

- Within "Misc PHP Videos": conditionals, functions, loops, sessions, debugging

- PHP Crud

- PHP MySQL videos

- Form Validation w/ PHP and Javascript

- Object Oriented PHP discussion

 

You can jump into CodeIgniter without this stuff, with just basic PHP knowledge, but I think you'll end up limiting yourself that way. If you have intermediate level knowledge, I think you'll find that CodeIgniter is helpful for making sure you understand OOP/MVC and exposing you to other programmers design patterns and practices.

 

One of these days, I want to do a CodeIgniter course... depends if I have the time.

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I have been hoping you might add a codeigniter course - I think it would be popular =). Thanks for the advice. I was messing with Codeigniter today and realized I was in a little over my head but I have some videos left to study still so I will do that first and leave it alone until then.

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The most important thing to understand (besides PHP basics, of course) is how and why the files are split up like they are within CodeIgniter. I'm sure it is a bit confusing at first, but splitting up files into models, views and controllers really helps keep things organized and you'll find it really useful when dealing with large applications when you get to that point.

 

For more on MVC, take a look at the first video or two in my PHP login series (that course uses a modified version of MVC and I discuss it in the first video or two) and I'm sure you can find other descriptions/explanations online.

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Having little prior programming knowledge before I began PHP I actually grasped the MVC concept pretty quickly. I think it is one of those things where if it is the way that you began to learn something it makes it much easier than trying to reinvent the wheel (ie learning how to do some sort of a compliable language then switching to an MVC style) - if that makes sense. Anyway I am definitely going to finish the PHP videos and work on a couple projects before I start to use codeigniter - but I think that a series on it would be really cool as there really aren't too many available that are any good or truly explain it to a beginning.

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