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Don't focus on perfection when making PHP classes while on a deadline

Richard Seese
Nov 05, 2015
<p>We have all been there. You just made a basic functioning class to replace a bad habit of repetitive code. You notice that you could improve on it some with a few extra functions. One thing leads to another and you just completely butchered your fully functional class because you added five other classes that interact with it in a fancy way and you got completely lost in what you were shooting for.</p> <p>Oh, one more thing, the project is due tomorrow morning and you dont have a local version control or an old copy of your functioning class. </p> <p>Here are a few tips to avoid that horrible situation that we all have experienced in one way or another:</p> <ol> <li>Use a UML Editor. There are many free ones out there. I've used <a href="http://alexdp.free.fr/violetumleditor/page.php">Violet </a>quite a bit in the past before phpStorm.</li> <li>If you aren't in charge of purchasing for your department but you don't have a LAN repository, or even an IDE that has local repository history support, suggest the investment in such IDE's like <a href="https://www.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/">phpStorm </a>from JetBrains.com or at the very least, <a href="https://www.visualsvn.com/server/licensing/">VisualVSN </a>which is free for basic for easy repository administration.</li> <li>A very basic plan of attack from the beginning can save you hours, if not days worth of stress. Sure, it's easy to jump right in and start typing away believing you know exactly what needs to be done to accomplish the project, but you will always run into roadblocks one way or another with big projects. Especially if you are working as a team. Consider checking out this <a href="https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/project-planning-step-by-step.php">Step by step project planning site</a> for a good idea on how to objectively plan a major project. Add and remove to your liking.</li> <li>If you do want to be adventurous and you don't want to wait, consider simply mapping your idea out first with a UML Editor. I promise you will make a million revisions to it in the end, but you will have a better visual picture than just simply staring at PHP code.</li> </ol> <p>Be on the lookout for my simple project planning guide that has helped me over the years. It's at version 29.5 if you are curious.</p>
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