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VS Code
VS Code

Visual Studio Code is hot stuff right now and is quickly becoming the editor of choice for developers worldwide. It’s available for Macs, Windows and Linux and best of all it’s free. These are what I consider the essential Visual Studio Code extensions for PHP developers to improve your productivity.

A PHP question I particularly like to ask candidates at a job interview is to explain a bit of code that includes the $$ syntax for variable variables. It’s great if the candidate is already familiar with this feature of PHP; but what’s more important to me is that once the candidate understands how this syntax works that they can describe potential issues with using it.

If your development and production environments don’t match you can easily get tripped up when the time comes to deploy to the live server. It’s not too uncommon for developers to find themselves working with one version of PHP and using another in an app or website’s final destination. If you use Composer to manage PHP packages it would be nice to be able to take this into account to avoid any nasty surprises post deployment. Thankfully Composer has this covered.

Have you ever found yourself stuck with gibberish characters in a database that you’ve just imported? Is your data looking like someone’s tried to mask expletives? Then perhaps you’ve found yourself exporting a latin1 encoded database containing UTF-8 characters.