- Series: Head First
- Paperback: 814 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (January 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596006306
- ISBN-13: 978-0596006303
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 103 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Head First PHP & MySQL: A Brain-Friendly Guide 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
About 'Head First' Books
We think of a Head First Reader as a Learner
Learning isn't something that just happens to you. It's something you do. You can't learn without pumping some neurons. Learning means building more mental pathways, bridging connections between new and pre-existing knowledge, recognizing patterns, and turning facts and information into knowledge (and ultimately, wisdom). Based on the latest research in cognitive science, neurobiology, and educational psychology, Head First books get your brain into learning mode.
Here's how we help you do that:
We tell stories using casual language, instead of lecturing. We don't take ourselves too seriously. Which would you pay more attention to: a stimulating dinner party companion, or a lecture?
We make it visual. Images are far more memorable than words alone, and make learning much more effective. They also make things more fun.
We use attention-grabbing tactics. Learning a new, tough, technical topic doesn't have to be boring. The graphics are often surprising, oversized, humorous, sarcastic, or edgy. The page layout is dynamic: no two pages are the same, and each one has a mix of text and images.
Metacognition: thinking about thinking
If you really want to learn, and you want to learn more quickly and more deeply, pay attention to how you pay attention. Think about how you think. The trick is to get your brain to see the new material you're learning as Really Important. Crucial to your well-being. Otherwise, you're in for a constant battle, with your brain doing its best to keep the new content from sticking.
Here's what we do:
We use pictures, because your brain is tuned for visuals, not text. As far as your brain's concerned, a picture really is worth a thousand words. And when text and pictures work together, we embedded the text in the pictures because your brain works more effectively when the text is within the thing the text refers to, as opposed to in a caption or buried in the text somewhere.
We use redundancy, saying the same thing in different ways and with different media types, and multiple senses, to increase the chance that the content gets coded into more than one area of your brain.
We use concepts and pictures in unexpected ways because your brain is tuned for novelty, and we use pictures and ideas with at least some emotional content, because your brain is more likely to remember when you feel something.
We use a personalized, conversational style, because your brain is tuned to pay more attention when it believes you're in a conversation than if it thinks you're passively listening to a presentation.
We include many activities, because your brain is tuned to learn and remember more when you do things than when you read about things. And we make the exercises challenging-yet-do-able, because that's what most people prefer.
We use multiple learning styles, because you might prefer step-by-step procedures, while someone else wants to understand the big picture first, and someone else just wants to see an example. But regardless of your own learning preference, everyone benefits from seeing the same content represented in multiple ways.
We include content for both sides of your brain, because the more of your brain you engage, the more likely you are to learn and remember, and the longer you can stay focused. Since working one side of the brain often means giving the other side a chance to rest, you can be more productive at learning for a longer period of time.
We include challenges by asking questions that don't always have a straight answer, because your brain is tuned to learn and remember when it has to work at something.
Finally, we use people in our stories, examples, and pictures, because, well, you're a person. Your brain pays more attention to people than to things.
About the Author
Lynn Beighley is a fiction writer stuck in a technical book writer's body. Upon discovering that technical book writing actually paid real money, she learned to accept and enjoy it. After going back to school to get a Masters in Computer Science, she worked for the acronyms NRL and LANL. Then she discovered Flash, and wrote her first bestseller. A victim of bad timing, she moved to Silicon Valley just before the great crash. She spent several years working for Yahoo! and writing other books and training courses. Finally giving in to her creative writing bent, she moved to the New York area to get an MFA in Creative Writing. Her Head First-style thesis was delivered to a packed room of professors and fellow students. It was extremely well received, and she finished her degree, finished Head First SQL, and can't wait to begin her next book.
Lynn loves traveling, cooking, and making up elaborate background stories about complete strangers. She's a little scared of clowns.
In addition to his primary profession as a writer and technical consultant, Michael is the founder of Stalefish Labs (www.stalefishlabs.com), an entertainment company specializing in games, toys, and interactive media. When not glued to his computer, skateboarding, playing hockey, or watching movies with his wife, Masheed, Michael enjoys hanging out by his koi pond.
Top customer reviews
Head First PHP & MySQL pulls you into the pool fully dressed and forces you to get typing in a way that no other book even comes close to. It's easy to sit back and write a bad review that there's mistakes, parts that are difficult to learn etc - but if you review this book relative to what is out there - the others just can't compete. Head First successfully attempts to deliver an extremely educational book while being fun and modernistic. It is made up of several long, hands-on php/ mysql tutorials that do a great job of showing you how to apply top to bottom php coding. For me, the most impressive thing about this book is it's attention to detail - on more than one occasion I've wondered why something was done in a certain way and I turn the page to find that the detail has been answered! This is what I think helps the book to distinguish itself as the best 'how-to PHP' guide on the market.
I strongly recommend this if you would like to learn PHP, however I would also strongly suggest that you buy yourself a beginner's PHP book to accompany it, that isn't tutorial based, such as PHP for Absolute Beginners (Expert's Voice in Open Source).
I'm mid-way through Head First PHP and stopped doing the tutorials just so i could write this review. In fact i found a free version of this book somewhere online and liked it so much that i went ahead and bought it on amazon because i felt the value I received was well worth the money.. plus it's like having a little PHP bible next to me:) Strongly recommended:)
So if you're interested in checking out how much creativity and fun can be put into a programming book you might consider to give a look at this title, but for really learning to program in php, I would go somewhere else...
I have recently started a position maintaining our company's web site. We are starting to use PHP instead of ASP.NET so I needed some way to learn PHP quickly. I have used other Head First books (I haven't actually finished any, but I have gotten pretty far in them), SQL, C#, HTML and CSS. The other Head First books that I have read are great, I have learned more from them than I have from any other source, and that includes school, other books, videos, and the internet. This one is no different. I love the various ways that are used help retain the information. Now I admit, I do supplement this book with other books, and the internet, but this has been my main source to learn from. The only drawback for me was the amount of MySQL in the book, but hey the title does say PHP and MySQL, and even though I feel at times that I am going through my 100th SQL tutorial, I have learned something I didn't know before. I
I know a lot of people may be turned off by the crazy style of the Head First series books, but it works for me, and the Head First PHP & MySQL book is no different. The only reason I gave it a 4 star instead of a 5 was because in the Kindle version that I am using you are not able to expand images, so some to the images that contain graphical demonstrations of what was learned are too small to read all of the information. But overall I enjoy the book alot.
Most recent customer reviews
Now I have already created more than 3 dynamic websites with PHP.