Post 7: PHP/ASP.NET, Soft and Hard Skills

Based on the requirements for this semester, I had to have windows server platform in my hosting company, so I had to buy another domain that runs windows server in order to run my ASP.NET assignments and project. I think with having two domains I will make two portfolios one with PHP language that runs on and the other with ASP.NET that runs on In this case, I can demonstrate the using of two different back-end development.

Although working on PHP and ASP.NET to build two professional CMS websites will be a great benefit in enhancing our experience in back-end development , but I think speciality is recommended, mastering the two languages at the same time in this short period is not an easy task especially that we also have to have strong skills in front-end development. Through my intensive search for different web design and development companies, I found that some companies prefer the open source like PHP while other companies prefer ASP.NET, and maybe there are very few companies that use both.

With XML class, we started doing some advanced coding. I found that there are many areas in XML beyond creating just simple files as we used to do and I am eager to discover more as we are going to use XML with our PHP and ASP.NET projects plus creating an entire XML project with my team. Besides the programming and designing tasks, time management, understanding project life cycle and choosing the right approach or the project model are also something essential.

With career connections class, we are having different workshops, activities, and guest speakers. I really find this course interesting and has less pressure compared with others. This course will definitely enhance our soft skills and job search methods. In today world, having the hard skill like (programming and designing for our field) is important but the soft skills also play a great role in hiring the right candidate, so they are also necessary and cannot be ignored. Good communication skills in dealing with people if they are clients or colleagues are needed especially in our field when we have to deal with different clients if we want to work as freelancers or in dealing with other developers or designers in the same company for building web projects.

Post 6: Our Strengths, PHP/ASP.NET and Quality Assurance

Identifying my Strength by using the test in it was really a good experience in Career Connections Course. Being one of Humber college students, I received this privilege to access the test and discover my strengths, which are different from the classic ones. The test result was built on different questions related to person’s attitudes, personality, feelings, and values. By the end of the test, each student received his/her top five Strengths, I think each one discovered at least one strength that he or she had never thought they have it. Knowing my strength exactly will help me to use my potential power and sharing these strengths with my team will open extra doors for us as team members to understand each one’s skills in order to employee them in building our projects. This workshop reminded me with the True Colors workshop in the first semester, each student had also to share his true color with other students.

I think this semester will be more intensive and have a lot of work to do than the first one: for the PHP class we are moving fast through the textbook chapters, the same with the XML book, building two different CMS websites, and determine the security and the quality assurance for each project. PHP language makes more sense to me because we can follow the logic of programming; there are no plugins or built-in libraries to add like ASP.NET. Everything I need to achieve, I have to code it by myself, which is why I like using PHP for back-end development more than using ASP.NET at least for the time being. Although, building a website with ASP.NET will be faster using the master pages, form validation, and for sure an advanced IDE like Visual Studio plus other extra features like the design view of visual studio, but I like the challenge that I experience when I use a simple software like NetBeans or Komodo in writing PHP code. It reminds me with the old days when I had to create my university project using the low-level C language. As many CMS are built using WordPress and Drupal, mastering PHP is necessary to me in order to customize those kinds of CMS and add more functionality by creating my own plugins.

Exploring the computer security and going deep in this field in Security and Quality Assurance Course was also something interesting, how to protect users from themselves? That is the idea of the security; we will go through different areas and aspects that we have never explored before. Right now, all the information are theoretically delivered but then when we start doing or applying this information into our codes, the task will become more understandable make more sense. Understand the security issues behind building a web application is something very necessary and crucial for us if we really need to be professional web developers.

Post 5: The Second Semester

We started the second semester now with two main projects that we need to accomplish, one with ASP.NET and the other with PHP. It was an interesting start with the career connection lecture; we had different activities that demonstrated how hard or easy for us as developers to deal with the clients and understanding their needs exactly. I think that the career connection course will build over the skills that I learned in the Project management in the first semester.

I mostly liked starting studying PHP as a server side scripting language. It was a quick and intensive start at the first lecture, so I think we will run through more advanced topics that will enhance my previous experience in using PHP, I hope so, especially when I will build a fully functional Content Management System website with my team. All hosting companies support this open source technology because all of them have servers that run on Linux operating system, which is also free.

I think the problem that I am going to face in this semester or the last one is how to upload my ASP.NET Projects, this technology runs only on Windows Server operating system. Although my professor told me that I don’t need to worry for the time being but for the last semester when we start building our portfolio I need to change my hosting service to another one that provides windows server in order to have all my projects online on my own website. Anyhow, as a web developer we need to remember the main difference between Linux and Windows server which Linux is case sensitive while windows is not. This point is so important when we build hyperlinks or accessing other assets or recourses inside the web pages likes the images names for example.

For the programming languages courses, I am a kind of student that heavily depend on the textbooks more than the instructor himself in most of the cases. Using well-known PHP book, Murach’s PHP and MySQL, as the textbook for the PHP course gives me positive thought about what we are going to learn or to achieve in this semester. As a web master for the Chaldean Patriarchal Vicariate website in Jordan, hosted on Linux server, PHP will be the most important subject to me compared with others.

In Information Architecture course, we will start to continue what we planned for the hospital website in the first semester. Now this information will be put into practice, we will use all the information to build our projects: the ASP.NET and the PHP.

Finally, Security and Quality Assurance, as in this course will go through the entire requirement to maintain the required level of quality and secure our products, which are our websites. I didn’t get the chance to look at the textbook yet, the instructor told us that it’s mainly written for Java language but the rules can be applied to other languages also. At the time, I am writing this blog I don’t have experience in using Java language so I think this will be a good opportunity for me to discover the secrets and mysteries of this strongly object oriented language.