Three weeks ago, I was contacted by Packt publishing asking if I’d review their new book “PHP Team Development” by Samisa Abeysinghe. I agreed and received the book. But, after reading it, I was wondering about how to tell negative things politely.
In the mean time Lorna Jane, Brandon Savage, Ken Guest, Walter Ebert and some other people wrote their review about this book. And I found, most of their opinion supports my thoughts on it. Actually, most of the things that I thought has already been said in their posts. So, I am not going to repeat them and will tell my views shortly.
This book will introduce teamwork and some development processes (XP, Scrum) to fresh devs . It has brief introduction about source control, bug tracking, continuous integration and many other important terms of software development. These may help a beginner who have made software for university assignments but never worked in a professional team. The author had intention to describe the complexity and some commonly occurring problems of software development with suggesting solutions.
It presents MVC as the way of working of a team and tried to solve everything(!) with it. As some others mentioned, the author has presented his solutions as the only way of doing something. It didn’t enlighten the readers about other available solutions. Also, a few of the topics did not seem to be related with the context of this book title.
This book mentioned about many tools, processes and methods – but most of them are not explained up to such a level that one can implement them after reading the book. Some concepts of the book seemed unrealistic to me. For example, separating teams based on concern (one team will work with model, another with view; and tie them up together later).
Like Walter Ebert said, this book seems to be a “quick ‘n dirty guide on team development” to me. About recommendation, I’d say, if you are a beginner in PHP (also in programming) and just know how to connect and retrieve data from MySQL, then the book can help you know many of the terms which you should study next. If not, then you should spend some time on finding a better book to start with.