Moving forward

Where are we?

You know roughly what PHP does, and why it is worth learning. You’ve read about the CoreDogs Way. What if you like what you see, and decide to go further?

This lesson’s goals

By the end of this lesson, you should know how to get the most from your CoreDogs learning time.

Read in sequence

CoreDogs breaks up concepts into small chunks. Some ideas are scattered across chapters. For example, PHP’s if statement is explored a little here, a little there, and a little somewhere else.

This makes learning easier, since you don’t have to learn complicated new things all at once. But it also means that if you jump around the chapters, you might get confused.

It’s best to read the chapters in sequence. There are forward and backward links at the top and bottom of each lesson.

Do the exercises

I can’t stress this enough. PHP is about doing, not memorizing. You won’t learn unless you do the exercises.

Exercises are in two places. Some are mixed in with the lessons, usually following an example. They tend to be “near transfer” tasks. That is, tasks that are similar to the examples in the lessons.

There are also exercises at the end of each chapter. They are more “far transfer” tasks. They ask you to apply what you have learned to new situations.

Ideally, you should do both types of exercises.

Work with a group

Working with other people can help a great deal. You’ll be less frustrated when you can bounce ideas off other people. And it’s motivating to see other people working on the same stuff.

Some CoreDoggers have natural groups; they might be using CoreDogs in a college course, for example. Other CoreDoggers are not so lucky.

You can use Facebook to find other people to work with. You can use other sites, of course, but CoreDogs is Facebook-oriented.

If you work in a company, you might be able to find coworkers who want to learn about Web sites. Or maybe there are people in your neighborhood association. Ask around.

Take pride in your learning

You’ll learn a lot with CoreDogs. And it will be useful stuff.

From time to time, think back over what you have learned. Take a look at your exercise portfolio; click Your account and the portfolio tab. This is a visible record of your accomplishments.

Share some of your exercise solutions with others. For example, you might want to show your friend Jenny what you know how to do. You can choose the solutions you want to share, and email people a URL that will show those solutions. See the portfolio tab on the Your account page for details.

Send feedback

OK, this is more for me than for you. You might find mistakes, think that something should be explained better, have an idea for a good example,... Let me know!

There’s a feedback area to the right, below the notes and quick links.

It often takes me a while to fix errors. CoreDogs is evolving, with a lot of work still to be done. But I do appreciate your taking the time to send feedback.


This lesson explains how to make the most of CoreDogs. You should read in sequence, do the exercises, work with a group, take notes, and take pride in your learning. Please send feedback as well.

What now?

Let’s get going with PHP. We’ll start by reviewing what PHP does, and then look at tools that will make your PHP work easier.