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How to NOT sell an upgrade, @CakewalkInc

So, I work in software and so I know that sometimes a software vendor is not able to do things in as streamlined a manner as possible. However, Cakewalk has taken the cake (no pun intended) when it comes to doing whatever they can to piss off their customers. I have been using (and upgrading) Cakewalk software for almost 10 years. When their new X1 was announced I was all kinds of giddy. When it was released I was even more so… until I tried to upgrade.

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Addressing Zend Studio’s cost, minimal though it is

On the ZF-general mailing list there was a discussion that was occuring about the cost of Zend Studio. I started writing a response but saw that it was getting kind of long so I decided to turn it into a blog posting.

The first question I’ll address is that of cost. When you look at what other similarly-featured IDE’s cost, we’re actually pretty good. Flash Builder 4 is $250 for the standard, $800 for the premium version. Visual Studio is $300. IntelliJ is $599. So, from an Apples-Oranges, throw everyone in the same bucket, IDE comparison, Studio is about where everyone else is, or better, from a pricing perspective.

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Amazon SQS and Zend Framework

I’m doing some work for a webinar and I figured out that if you want use AWS SQS in your app you need to specify not just the queue name, but the full URL. What is the full URL? It is what createQueue() returns.

For example, I was doing this to store the queue name in a task that was stored in the session so I could get it at a later point in time:

$this->_queueName = sha1(‘fileProcess-‘ . $this->_sourceId);
$queue->createQueue($this->_queueName);

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Building better PHP programmers, part 2

I have no “findings”, no “conclusions”, but I have some thoughts on my continuing goal to help bad/nominal PHP programmers become better PHP programmers.

The first question I asked is “Is there really a shortage of good PHP developers?” While I didn’t get a specific answer the general jist of it is that yes, there is a problem with finding good PHP developers. Now, some of that may that the people responding ARE the above-average PHP developers and so there can often frustrations in figuring out how to work with developers who don’t yet have the chops that they do.

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This week’s book giveaway

This Friday I will be giving away the second (technically 4th and 5th) copies of my book “You want to do WHAT with PHP?” The rules still apply; if you win I will ask you to cover shipping costs. See one of my previous posts on what that looks like.

So, to win

Tweet this posting. I will change it up a little and say that it needs to contain the bit.ly link for this page. I will make the drawing based off of who bit.ly says has tweeted it. The ywtdwwphp hashtag was a little wierd.

Become a fan of my Facebook page and Like this posting. The Like will be how you will be entered. But remember, the winner will be asked to cover shipping costs.

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Getting good PHP programmers

One of the interesting conversations I had during Zendcon was while talking to a recruiter. She asked what questions she could ask to help guage how strong a PHP developer is. The best one I could come up with was “name 6 of the 10 variable types in PHP”. I’ve had the pleasure of being able to interview several people for working at Zend and that is usually one of the first questions I ask and I can usually get a good feel for how long the conversation will be after that. It’s an esoteric question but by asking it I can guage a) how well that person knows PHP, and b) how easy it will be for me to work with them. If they know the answer (and correct it) they know their PHP. If they don’t know the answer but get flustered or angered by it, then they will probably be harder to work with.

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Top 25 Bad Book Titles

I’m sitting here waiting for a half terabyte drive to format on Vista (apparently quick format should be “quick” format). So I’m trying to figure out what to do. It’s towards the end of the day and there’s not much my brain could do right now that would be worth starting. Yesterday, there was a trend on Twitter about “boring movies”. So, why not do something on boring/useless/pointless/wrong book titles?

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@DragonBe is awesome

After I posted my slides for use by user groups Michelango van Dam of PHPBenelux posted on the Zend Facebook page that people could use his too. They are CC-licensed so you are free to use them as well. So I asked if he could provide the PPT versions so I could post the full deal for people and he agreed. So here are three presentations that Michelangelo did that you can use for your user group as well.