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New PHP/SQL Programming Certificate Series available from the O'Reilly School of Technology

May 27, 2009

PHP/SQL Certification Arms Aspiring Software Developers with Valuable Skills for a Web 2.0 World

Sebastopol, CA—Some people dismiss the term "Web 2.0" as meaningless buzz or hype--or even yesterday's outmoded concept--but the reality is that the concepts behind Web 2.0 are in full-force in the real world right now. From the smallest start-up business to the 2008 Presidential campaign, many are actively seeking a way to harness these still-relatively-new ideas--collective intelligence, rich user interface, lightweight programming models, and user-contributed data, among others--to revolutionize how they engage the public toward their own goals.

The O'Reilly School of Technology (OST) has announced a new PHP/SQL Programming Certificate designed to help students move into the Web 2.0 world. The series is comprised of four courses that take students from an introduction to PHP and database programming through seamless Web 2.0 integration.

"Because the Web has evolved to this point, it's not enough to be a web developer with knowledge of only one or two isolated skills. Rather, developing for a Web 2.0 world requires a complete understanding of how the back end, front end, databases, and web services all fit together within the overall business goals of a website or application," says Trish Gray, developer of the new series.

According to Gray, the successful web developer ends up being far more than a programmer--graphic design, database theory, and system administration all begin to bleed over into the traditional tasks of building clean, reusable and portable code. "Add to that the high-level concepts behind Web 2.0 itself, and suddenly the idea of breaking into Web development--or even updating the skills of a current developer--seems daunting," she adds. "Job descriptions give a laundry-list of skills and use the nebulous Web 2.0 term liberally, assuming everyone knows what it means. But where do you begin?"

Gray designed the new OST Certificate Series with these ideas in mind. Many languages and frameworks can add to the skill set she describes, but PHP and SQL were selected because they form part of the open source LAMP-stack framework (specifically, PHP and MySQL: Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP), a framework that's easy to use, flexible, and free. In addition, they've been around for a relatively long time, they fit perfectly within a web developer's toolbox of web services, APIs, lightweight programming models, AJAX, and other shared code and/or protocols.

The four courses in the PHP/SQL Programming Certificate Series are:

  • Introduction to PHP — focuses on learning the fundamentals of programming in PHP, from embedding/delimiting HTML, form processing, Internet tools, cookies & sessions, etc. culminating in a final project of a shopping cart.
  • PHP/SQL 1: Introduction to Database Programming — focuses on the SQL language (OST uses MySQL) and how it combines with PHP to create database-driven sites, which the student builds throughout the course.
  • PHP/SQL 2: Relational Theory and Logical Design — delves deeper into the database design process, introducing relational and logical concepts from beginning to advanced. Students learn to build databases that can handle mammoth amounts of data, and how to tie that into their database programming projects which culminate in a social networking site.
  • PHP/SQL 3: Seamless Web 2.0 Integration — utilizes advanced PHP programming techniques to build robust website applications based on five Web 2.0 concepts from Tim O'Reilly's "What is Web 2.0?" whitepaper. All projects in this course are Web 2.0-based.

Each course in the four-part series takes approximately 40 hours to complete. Students have dedicated instructors, but can work through the courses at their own speed, on their own time. With satisfactory completion of the series, students earn a Certificate for Professional Development from the University of Illinois Office of Continuing Education.

In addition to the PHP/SQL Programming Certificate Series, the The O'Reilly School of Technology currently offers certification in Client-Side Web Programming, Linux/Unix System Administration, Java Programming, Web Programming, Open Source Programming, and .NET Programming.

For more information about the O'Reilly School of Technology, including a current list of certificates and courses, see:

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