So I enrolled in a course over at the O’Reilly School of Technology, for their PHP Programming with MySQL certificate. So far I’m pretty happy with the services offered as well as the instruction – the instructor for the course has responded within minutes to every question I’ve had that I’ve asked during normal hours. The fact that it’s accerdited through the University of Illinois also is a plus. The project I’ve working on has driven my forehead into the wall with frustration many times since I started working on it, and I’m hoping the training offered by these courses will help me with that as well as advancing my long-term goals.
PHP is a very interesting language in that is both extremely simple and powerful. It’s not nearly as arbitrary as other languages I have looked at, with most of the structures and functions working in exactly the way you’d assume they would. I am having a great time learning it, and as I find out more, it seems like things just get easier and easier. It’s something I actually enjoy doing, which is more than I can say about a lot of other things I’ve tried.
Tangentially related, I have been watching the events unfolding in Iran with great interest, both as a geopolitical matter and also as a fascinating demonstration of the power and effectiveness of the “new media.” I’ll avoid dealing too much with the geopolitics right now, but I will say that watching so much information coming directly from those involved via Twitter and Facebook is a wonderful example of the potential of the internet and social media. I have gotten all of my information from Twitter, Youtube, and various blogs – and these are the same sources that CNN and the New York Times are using. Earlier tonight, General Rahim Safavi himself twittered on the events going on – it’s a beautiful thing that we have this ease of access so widely available now, even in such a place as Iran where freedom is so limited. I hope the bravery of the protesters does not go unrewarded.