PHP Percolate! Season 6

  • September 1, 2013 · 12:00 AM

PHP Percolate!, our virtual self-study group for beginners, is returning for Season 6. If you would like to learn PHP and MySQL from the ground up, consider joining us. Tell your friends and co-workers to join in the fun.

The format of a virtual self-study group is as follows:

Note: There is no classroom instruction. There are no webcasts. There are no scheduled appointments of any kind.  Once you have the book, you simply proceed at a pace that best fits into your current work/life schedule.  You have the option to meet informally at the beginning of each Boston PHP Meetup, if you live in the Boston area.  You can even set up a real life self-study group with others in your neighborhood.  You DO NOT need to live in the Boston area to participate.

How do I get started?

  1. Become a member of Boston PHP, if are not already a member.  Simply click: Join us!
  2. Register for PHP Percolate! Season 6. Simply RSVP: Yes
  3. Purchase a book (the only program cost). Simply visit the Boston PHP store and order PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites in one of two formats.

Full disclosure: Boston PHP Meetup receives a small commission on each sale which helps fund Meetup activities.


Q: How long will the course last?

A: We will cover 19 chapters in the book, so 19 weeks starting September 1, 2013 and ending Saturday, January 11, 2014.  Refer to the PHP Percolate! Season 6 -- Master Discussion List for specific dates.

Q: Why so long?

A: We will be learning not one, but two technologies -- PHP and MySQL -- and learning how these two technologies interact.  This will be the longest -- and most comprehensive -- introduction to PHP and MySQL we have offered.  We will be building three fully functional web applications -- Message Board, User Registration and E-Commerce.

Q: What is the skill level required to take this course?

A: Beginner / Intermediate.  If you have already built several web applications, then you will likely already know most of the material covered in this course.  On the other hand, if you have a basic understanding of programming and have even spent a little time working with PHP, then this course could be ideal to help you get to the next level.  We will be covering much of the same material we covered in Season 4 (PHP for the Web), only at a faster pace in order to introduce MySQL and build three sample web applications.

Q: Is this course for me?

A: Completing this course will require discipline and a consistent effort each week for nearly five months.  If you feel you are already "over committed" in your work and family life, then this offering might not be the best match for you at this time.  On the other hand, if you have successfully completed at least one virtual self-study group with us, then you know the value of going through this process with others in a supportive, friendly environment.

Q: Do I have to wait until September 1 to begin?

A: No need to wait. In fact, you are encouraged to start early.  The sooner you get ahead of the schedule, the more likely you will be to complete the entire course.  Start early and  proceed at a pace that best fits your current work/life situation.

Q: What if I have additional questions?

A: Simply post a reply below and you will receive a response.  In addition, you are welcome to meet the book's author, Larry Ullman, in person when you attend the Northeast PHP Conference in Cambridge, MA, August 16-18, 2013.  Larry will be making three presentations at the conference and will eagerly autograph your copy of his book and answer any questions you might have.

Let's start percolating!

Gene Babon
Chief Percolator

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    This was a great experience for me...Thank you to the many people who helped me (especially Gene). It was my first time going deeply(ish) into a language. Hope everybody had as good a time as me doing it!

    1 · April 8, 2014

    • Larry U.

      So glad to hear it, Jesse! And my thanks to Gene and everyone at BostonPHP!

      1 · April 19, 2014

  • Ken H.

    As with previous PHP Perc sessions, there was a lot of great information in the book, and good opportunities to apply it and get more familiar with web development concepts and PHP/MySQL/JQuery. The text was great to use, helpful to restate and reframe the problem. That's important because knowing the computer languages is one thing, but having the practical knowledge of the techniques that are crucial to good web development is probably of greater value. It's good to have them both folded together into one piece of work. (Thanks to Larry for his effort in creating these books and refreshing them with new content!)

    Gene is a very helpful guide through the process - always positive and encouraging, and extremely helpful with QA and checking our submitted work. It's a pleasure to work with him in these pursuits. Thank you for all of the effort that you put into guiding everyone into trying their best!

    I'm looking forward to more interactions with everyone at BostonPHP!


    3 · December 22, 2013

    • Larry U.

      Thanks, Ken! And thanks to Gene and all the other great people at Boston PHP!

      2 · January 3, 2014

  • Sunday O.

    I thank God for making me to stumble on this group by reading David Powers book and blog. I was introduced to this wonderful group by him, David wherever you are God will link you to your benefactors - Amen.
    This Boston PHP group has helped me a lot in my web development. God bless you the founder of this group, my chief percolator the person of Gene Babon who always patient enough to check all our assignments may God continue to give you more strength Amen.
    Lastly, I want to thank Larry Ullman for this wonderful book written by him.
    I look forward to the next PHP Percolate Season.
    Till then remain blessed.

    1 · December 29, 2013

    • Larry U.

      Thanks for the nice words. And my thanks to Gene and everyone at Boston PHP!

      1 · January 3, 2014

  • Mike M.

    Thanks very much, Boston PHP, for hosting and monitoring this course. Of all Larry's books used in previous classes, I thought that this was the most helpful. I also continue to find that I get a lot more out of the course when I make myself answer the questions and pursue further work suggested at the end of the chapter.

    Gene Babon continues to do superlative work as Event Host: he stays positive, is thorough, and shows just enough benign neglect to spur us on.

    Thanks PHP, and I hope to join you again in 2014.

    1 · October 28, 2013

    • Larry U.

      Thanks for the nice words, Mike! Glad you liked the book and found it to be helpful. And a HUGE thanks to Gene and everyone there at Boston PHP. Just a great group of people!

      1 · October 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I realize that I am about 6 chapters late to the game, but I had already started to read this book previously for fun. I'm really hoping that holding myself accountable this time will get me through it entirely. I found this group out via a co-worker that is participating and he thought it may be possible for me to catch up. I'd love to have my name added to the attendance list. I can start catching up immediately. Thank you in advance!

    1 · October 8, 2013

    • Gene B.

      @Katie -- Welcome aboard. I added your name to the attendance list -- but only because you like to read PHP books for fun! :)

      You can read the latest weekly update massage here ...­

      Looking forward to having you join "The Others." You have all of October, November and December to catch the lead pack, so take it one chapter at a time.


      October 8, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      thanks! just posted to the introduction. will work on chapter 1 now.

      1 · October 9, 2013

  • Hubert C.

    I am way behind. I need to get started it.

    1 · September 27, 2013

    • Gene B.

      @Hubert -- The best place to start is with the Introduction. Post a comment in the Introduction discussion area when complete.

      September 27, 2013

  • Luyao L.

    Hi Gene, I would like to participate in this group - a little late in finding it out but I would like to catch up! Do you mind adding me to the list?


    1 · September 25, 2013

    • Gene B.

      @Luyao -- Welcome aboard. I added your name to the attendance list. You can read the latest weekly update massage here ...­


      September 25, 2013

  • Ryan L.


    I'm super excited to participate in this group, please add me to the list!


    1 · September 19, 2013

    • Gene B.

      @Ryan -- Welcome aboard. I added your name to the attendance list. You can read the latest weekly update massage here ...­


      September 19, 2013

  • Christopher R.

    Hi Gene, I'd really like to participate with this group and get a good handle on PHP. I just picked up the book. Is is too late to add me?

    Many thanks,

    1 · September 18, 2013

    • Gene B.

      @Chris -- Welcome aboard. I added your name to the attendance list. You can read the latest weekly update massage here ...­


      1 · September 18, 2013

    • Christopher R.

      Thanks Gene.

      1 · September 18, 2013

  • margoA

    Just got my book. Ready to start!

    1 · September 11, 2013

  • susan c.

    Gene, I am so disappointed that I missed Wed. evening but had house emergency. Is there a transcript with the presentation online?

    3 · September 5, 2013

  • Marilyn H.

    Hi Gene -

    I'd like to give this a go. Could you please add me to the list?


    1 · September 6, 2013

    • Gene B.

      @Marilyn -- Welcome aboard. I added your name to the attendance list. You can read the Welcome Message here ...­


      September 6, 2013

  • David D.

    Hi Gene, I too would like to join the group and missed the start date. Would appreciate the opportunity. Thanks.

    1 · September 2, 2013

    • Gene B.

      @David -- Welcome aboard. I added your name to the attendance list. You can read the Welcome Message here ...­


      September 2, 2013

  • Elena M.

    Hi Gene. I wanted to join the group but missed the start date. Is it too late to sign up? Thank you

    2 · September 2, 2013

    • Gene B.

      @Elena -- Welcome aboard. I added your name to the attendance list. You can read the Welcome Message here ...­


      September 2, 2013

  • Pamela R.

    I'd like to join. Since the start date was yesterday, the RSVP button is no longer visible. Can you mark me down as a percolator? Thanks!

    1 · September 2, 2013

    • Gene B.

      @Pamela -- Welcome aboard. I added your name to the attendance list. You can read the Welcome Message here ...­ Gene

      September 2, 2013

  • susan c.

    Just wanted to be clear: We have no virtual meeting time tomorrow; our first event will be on Wed. at the NERD center. I'm already learning a lot and hope to post on Monday. I'm taking my time and reviewing a lot to reinforce the basics. Susan

    1 · August 31, 2013

    • Ernesto

      I take it, thats Sept 4th ...what time ?

      1 · September 1, 2013

    • Gene B.

      Percolators in the Boston area are invited to meet & greet informally between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm on Wednesday, September 4. Details ...­

      September 1, 2013

  • Keith

    I have the 4th edition of the Visual Quick Start Guide. Can I use that Larry Ullman book?

    1 · September 1, 2013

    • Gene B.

      The book we are using is "PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide (4th Edition)" by Larry Ullman.

      September 1, 2013

  • John M.

    What hardware/software will I need for this class. I have VISTA with WAMP installed [yesterday]. thx.

    1 · August 30, 2013

    • Gene B.

      @John -- Looks like you are all set to complete the exercises. You will need a text editor, such as Notepad++ and some place to upload your files for review. If you do not have your own domain name and hosting service you can try a free service such as ...


      Welcome aboard!

      1 · August 30, 2013

  • Charlene

    Hi, I'm a noobie with no current experience with development. :)

    2 · August 20, 2013

    • Ken H.

      This is a good place to start - Larry's books are good, it looks like it starts with an intro to PHP and should be good. You have to make sure to get a good start on setting up your development environment and local web server to try things as you go along, but this is a good place to get help. Good luck! :)

      2 · August 27, 2013

  • Larry U.

    The 4th edition is the one being used by the class. It was published in 2012. Thanks!

    1 · August 27, 2013

  • Deirdre

    Am noticing there's a 2013 edition. Which one should I buy?

    1 · August 27, 2013

  • Dennis Daubney J.

    Just ordered the book. Looking forward to starting when it arrives on Thursday

    1 · August 26, 2013

  • Ken H.

    There will probably will be some overlap between this course and previous, but just to try and keep refreshing and freshening up the knowledge being slowly acquired, it will be good to join this virtual learning group... thanks for starting it!

    1 · August 26, 2013

  • Andrew L.

    Trying again...

    1 · August 26, 2013

  • rodolf

    I studied COBOL in 1992. I forgot programming stuff but I can try to resurrect my innate skill and gift. PHP perhaps is the beginning.
    I am a business owner and a human service professional. Perhaps, that skill I will acquire will help my professional development and transition. I am looking to shift my professional direction to teaching and business

    1 · August 25, 2013

  • Kervintz N.

    Great! I will finally have some guidances with this book. (PHP and MySQL for dynamic websites). Brought both, this one and the PHP for the web over a year ago without reading 10 pages of them. Time to start with the first chapter !!!

    1 · August 22, 2013

  • Jon

    Is this taught with object oriented PHP or procedural?

    1 · August 21, 2013

    • George

      You could study some frameworks like CakePHP or Codeignitor for some study into OOP and frameworks, a lot of companies these days are looking for those skills.

      1 · August 21, 2013

    • Larry U.

      Excellent question! My take is that one strength of PHP is that it can be used both procedurally and using object-oriented syntax. The procedural approach is much easier to learn, and is how those new to PHP ought to learn (for the most part, unless you're coming from an OOP language). But once you're comfortable with procedural PHP and web development in general, you ought to learn OOP. Teams and frameworks use OOP most of the time. Then, when you know both procedural and OOP PHP, you can use the right approach for the task at hand. (For example, for smaller sites, I still use procedural; for bigger and/or framework projects, I use OOP.)

      1 · August 21, 2013

  • Fred T.

    Should be a good refresher to my Web App Dev course at BU last year.

    2 · August 18, 2013

  • Jim R.

    This is great! Anyone else from the NYC area (like myself) participating?

    2 · August 18, 2013

  • Gene B.

    @Percolators -- Chapter 1 Discussion area is now open.

    Feel free to begin posting links to your work and any questions you might have about the material presented in Chapter 1.

    August 9, 2013

  • Lance P.

    Gene, will there be an intense PHP overtime like last year.

    1 · August 5, 2013

    • Gene B.

      There is no need for overtime if you start this week. You have 23 weeks to complete a 19-week course. "Git-R-Done" ~ Larry the Cable Guy

      August 5, 2013

  • Lance P.

    Looking forward to advancing my knowledge of SQL and server side development.

    1 · August 3, 2013

  • Bob H.

    Hoping to keep php fresh and pick up some good practices.

    1 · August 1, 2013

  • William F. Z.

    Planning to come along for the ride as a good way to review the basics!

    2 · August 1, 2013

  • May T.

    I m in. I want to be a web developer. Want to know more about that.

    1 · July 30, 2013

  • Larry K.

    The start of something new !

    1 · July 29, 2013

  • Sunday O.

    I have been programing in php before and I think I will use this platform for full revision and in order to move to advance PHP

    2 · July 28, 2013

  • Judy V.

    I am looking forward to another educational and fun Boston PHP course with Gene Babon.

    1 · July 26, 2013

  • Peter P.

    Have just finished javascript andjQuery reading from last session. Need to backfill the exercises. CFO of a hot new startup WorldStore and need to make sure I understand the "language."

    1 · July 26, 2013

  • Larry U.

    No, no, no: thank YOU, Gene, and to everyone participating. I hope everyone learns a lot, and I thank you for choosing my book. To all: please let me know if there are ever any questions, comments, or concerns. And if you're attending NEPHP 2013, please stop by and say "hello"!

    3 · July 25, 2013

  • Gene B.

    We are excited and honored to have Larry Ullman, author of PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites, join us for this Season 6 journey. Welcome, Larry.

    1 · July 25, 2013

  • Rebecca

    Sounds great! Thanks for the head's up Gene!

    1 · July 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm ready for this!

    1 · July 24, 2013

  • Tseday G

    Looking forward to this.

    1 · July 24, 2013

  • smithrobertt

    Sounds like fun!

    1 · July 24, 2013

  • Liz G.

    A refresher never hurts.

    2 · July 24, 2013

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