Best Online Courses #18

PHP with MySQL Essential Training: 1 The Basics and 2: Build a CMS by Kevin Skoglund on LinkedIn Learning

This pair of courses was one of the things that helped me in gaining a much greater understanding of PHP and using it with MySQL, when I completed it back in 2019 at the beginning of my developer career. I’d certainly agree in calling these two courses as “essential training” that everyone wanting to learn PHP and MySQL should do, especially since there’s a dearth of available material online that covers how to integrate PHP with MySQL in an application that adopts real-world coding practices.

Easily the greatest advantage that this set of courses has over other courses is that it provides a complete hands-on code-along of a non-trivial and fully-functional PHP web application connected to a MySQL database. While you can find plenty of other online courses on PHP, the majority of them won’t cover MySQL along with it, and even if they do, the applications won’t be functional enough to provide you with enough takeaway knowledge that you could apply in a real-world setting. That’s exactly the void that these two courses fill, as Skoglund walks you through writing PHP code line by line slowly & methodically to build out a fully-functional CMS-like web app connected to a MySQL database, that also uses many of the built-in PHP functions that you may have already learned about in a standalone course on PHP.

Not only does Skoglund walk you through writing code line by line to help aid you in understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing, and integrating certain segments of code with others, but he also aptly demonstrates a lot of coding practices that you’ll find in real-world web applications, including how to add authentication, authorization, password encryption, data sanitizing, preventing SQL injection, separation of concerns, code reuse via functions, hiding sensitive data, closing DB connections after they’re used, and even file & folder organization. The CMS-like project is also an extremely valuable aid in showing to integrate PHP with HTML, CSS, and SQL code together, for anyone who hasn’t quite grasped that yet either.

The only real downside, which isn’t exactly a downside but more of just something to be aware of, is that there are points in the course where segments of code are re-factored that aren’t fully shown in the screencast and have to be referenced from the course ZIP file, due to the length of the code.

Conclusion: An extremely valuable and recommended pair of courses in learning PHP and MySQL together that helps in providing the next step of knowledge you need after learning PHP and MySQL on their own separately, and shows many “best practices” that will end up following you on the job into real-world PHP apps. The ideal follow-up courses for those who’ve already learned basic PHP and SQL and want to know how to use them together, and provide a very good foundation in learning a PHP framework next, whether that’s CodeIgniter, Laravel, or one of the others that are available.

Rating: 5 out of 5