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There are many lists of »interview questions for web developers«. They are popular not only to literally prepare for a job interview. It can be a fun challenge just to see how good you perform. This got me hooked when a post titled »PHP interview questions and answers for web developers« popped up in my Twitter timeline. It stood out for reasons you will understand shortly.
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Some lesser known PHP gems

… in alphabetical order.
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How to prepare your codebase for PHP 8

PHP 8 is planned to be released in November 2020. And while you might want to wait a few weeks or months before you start updating your production servers, you will definitely need to do it in November 2022 when all PHP 7 support ends.

The changes in PHP 8 are rather significant, compared to all previous releases – even compared to PHP 7.0. Sure, getting rid of register_globals was an enormous change. But it took a very long time, dating back as far as 2001, when $HTTP_POST_VARS was introduced as a first attempt to solve the problem. PHP 8 gets rid of more confusing, sometimes embarrassing design mistakes in a shorter time.

I compiled the following list from the work-in-progress upgrade notes with MediaWiki development in mind where we already have rather high standards.
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Re-visiting »PHP: a fractal of bad design« in 2020

I love PHP. And I love Eevee's (a.k.a. Evelyn Woods) blog post about PHP's bad design from 2012. Mostly because it's so massive. It lists really everything anybody ever disliked about the language, and explains why. It's fun to read. And it's true. Or at least was true. The post was compiled in 2012. The most recent – and only supported – version we had back then was PHP 5.3, as well as 12 painful years with PHP 4. And yes, PHP 4 was still in use pretty much everywhere. Adoption was notably slower back then.

It's 2020, and PHP 8 will be released in less than 3 months, according to the plan. And oh boy, what a leap forward! The PHP 8 changelog reads like they are finally fixing some of the worst design mistakes in the language.

Time to re-visit the »PHP: a fractal of bad design«.
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STEM. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As in »Women in STEM«. As in »POC in STEM«.

It's 2020. There is still so much to learn.

I have a collection of obsolete »computer books« from the 1980s and earlier, including many about the programming language BASIC. Whenever I skim through another addition to my collection, one BASIC keyword keeps catching my attention: SWAP. It's such a simple enhancement. There are even dedicated Wikipedia articles about the concept (Dreieckstausch in German). Yet it doesn't exist in any of the modern programming languages I use nowadays. Why is that?
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