PHP Pandas: Introduction

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Well hello there! Aren't you just the most handsome AND/OR beautiful reader on the planet! Well done you for buying PHP Pandas, and for taking the first step towards your career as a world-famous web developer.

Who am I? Well that's a simple question! My name's Dayle, and I'll be your author for this adventure. I've been writing books for beginners for a few years now, and have taken many other charming readers like yourself on adventures to learning new skills. We'll make new discoveries together, and all along the journey, rest assured that I'll be right by your side.

Why do you write like a crazy person?

Excuse me? Oh this.. Well you see, this is the only way that I know how to write. If you're looking for a technical book full of science teacher stern-ness (Is that a word? I hope that's a word.) then I'm afraid you've come to the wrong place. I write my books for people. I like to think that we're buddies, sitting in the pub, talking about PHP over a pint of Special Bre... Fosters.

The truth is, the beginners that I've written for tend to like my writing style. They're not looking to gain a maths degree from this book, instead they're looking to learn a thing or two about PHP, and that, I can promise you!

Oh hey, you'll also notice that we're talking right now. You don't get that from other authors do you? You see, I have this magic power that will make you talk to me and ask your questions.

Wait, how did you do tha...

That would be trade secret. Sorry, we can't share that just yet, but don't you feel glad that you get to be a part of this adventure, and not just an observer?

I guess so... Sure I'll give it a go.


Well now's about the time where any other book would be telling you about PHP, it's whole history, its application, its author and about a million other things. Well we've already established that I'm not the most traditional author, and I'm not fond of such chapters. You've bought this book to learn about PHP, so you've already built up a little curiosity about the language. I think this is all you're going to need.

PHP is a programming language that powers most of the sites out there on the big, wide ol' interwebs. It was originally written by a guy called Rasmus Lerdorf, who can often be seen smiling in pretty much any image you find of him on Google. Now, Rasmus is a great guy, and in my own way I thank him each and every day for this language that has given me a trade, but I think that's all you need to know about him. Other PHP books would probably be telling you his favourite cereal about now, but instead, how about we actually jump in and start learning?

This book is for absolute beginners. This means that if you've never tried programming before in your life then you're in luck my friend! If you've already tried programming, then you'll do just fine. If you're a PHP expert, then now's a time for a refresh of your skills, and maybe you'll pick up a few tips and tricks along the way.

I've been using my girlfriend (no dev experience), my non-technical colleagues, and random people on the street, forcing my book upon them as guinea pigs to see how it goes down with folks that have no prior knowledge of PHP. My little guinea pigs did exceedingly well, so now it's your turn, squeak squeak!

My goal for this book, is for it to become the most fun, factual, and fantastic PHP book that's on the market. I want it to be the book that gets recommended when someone is about to become a PHP developer. I've worked really hard to make it accessible to everyone, so if you enjoy this adventure then please tweet about it, blog about it, buy copies for your friends and family, or just print it out and slap people in the face with it as you pass them on the street.

This book is a syntax book for PHP. It's not going to teach you how to make websites (I'm working on the title in the series for this). Instead, it's the first step that will build your foundation knowledge of the language so that when you come to build your first website, you're gonna be @%£^ hot, baby!

If you read the book and you feel like something is missing, that a certain chapter is confusing, or there's anything else bothering you, then please send me an email to to let me know! I'm incredibly responsive (thanks to all my media queries... haha... programmer joke), and I want this book to be perfect for everyone.

If you read the book and you didn't find anything wrong, well... send me an email to tell me you enjoyed it! I'd love to hear from you.

Right then, let's not waste any more time. You've got some skills to learn! Flip the page, imagine the Jurassic Park theme when they open the gates, and prepare to enter the world of development!

My books are available online for free to encourage learning. However, if you'd like for me to keep writing, then please consider buying a digital copy over at

It's available in PDF, ePub, and Kindle format, and contains a bunch of extras that you won't find on the site. I have a full-time job, and I write my books in my spare time. Please consider buying a copy so that I can continue to write new books from the comfort of my sofa!