Today I did the first lesson. It was the usual orientation assignment to test the turn-in mechanism, but there was a short reading assignment about the nature of PHP and a 4-question quiz. The reading assignments are copyright protected, but I don’t think they’d mind if I posted the quiz questions to show the progress of what their courses teach (it may inspire other people to sign up for them, after all!). Here’s today’s quiz and my answers (if I got any wrong, too bad):
Question 1: In your own words, describe the difference between a Client side language and a Server side language. Give examples of each.
Question 2: In your own words, explain the difference between a parsed language and a compiled language. What are the advantages and disadvantages of both?
Parsed languages like PHP are interpreted real-time each time you run the program, while compiled languages like C++ or Java are interpreted (to binary so the computer can understand it) when the code is compiled rather than when the program is run each time. Compiled languages can be faster since it doesn’t have to do interpretation on the fly, but parsed languages are more flexible and dynamic.
Question 3: What’s a technology stack? Give a few examples.
The stack is the group of technologies that power web applications. In our case, as in the case of WordPress, it’s the LAMP stack:
Linux server, Apache web server, MySQL database, and PHP. Other stack examples would be the M$ .net platform or Java/J2EE.
Question 4: Tell us something about yourself. Any particular reason you’re learning PHP:
I’m the UX designer and community lead for the WordPress open source project. I want to be able to write my own patches for UI stuff, so I don’t have to wait for one of the guys to do it. I also want to encourage more women/girls to get into PHP programming, and being an advocate for doing something I haven’t done myself seems incongruous.
Stay tuned for my ongoing progress!