Test driven development in PHP
Whilst developing for the iPhone I an constantly reminded of the differences between a loosely typed programming language like PHP and a strong one like Objective-C. The differences between these two languages are such that I notice more the cost to my time when I end up coding a feature that wasn't fully spec'd. Assumption is one of the biggest causes for these errors.
I am always looking for a way to speed up our development in the office and my attention recently has focussed on a methodology call Test Driven Development. This is where the developer writes the test for new feature before the code for the feature itself. This dev cycle requires the test to be satisfied before you move onto the next feature.
The goal being that the code all the way up to the latest build has been fully tested from inception and therefore you, as a coder, have a more concrete foundation with which to move onto the next feature. It's the process of defining the test for the new feature that strives to eliminate errors in assumption.
Although I stumbled onto this concept looking for ways to improve my iPhone development I'm also excited about implementing it into our PHP development also.
It's worth taking a look at http://simpletest.org/
Also if you looking for something good to read on the subject "Growing Object-Oriented Software, Guided by Tests" by Steve Freeman & Nat Pryce is worth a look.