It really was a long time since my last review of books about Magento, in the meanwhile some of you may know that I’ve been to a Magento U class in Berlin and I’ve taken 3 of the 4 Magento certifications. I’ve been through some really busy months but now I should be back on track.
I have to say this, the guys at Packt are doing a really awesome job but, if you have the possibility, go take your chance to attend a Magento U “Fundamentals of Magento development”, it’s going to change your Magento life for good.
So… let’s dive into this new review, first of all you’ve to consider that we’re talking about an ebook sold at less than 18€ (paper version for 34€) and if you’re serious about Magento development this is much less than what you should invest in your studies.
The book is really long, it features 250 pages and I’d like to define it as a “A-Z Magento guide”. Magento is a big world (I’ve already said that) so you can’t cover everything in any book, but this is going to take a classical old-school PHP developer to understand what’s going on when he starts to work with Magento.
First chapter: setting up your environment… but what I really like is: Vagrant, PhpStorm, Magicento, Github, Magento2. A lot of concepts, just an overview on the most complex ones but definetively of lot of useful things to think about!
Second chapter: Zend Framework, MVC, ZF componets used in Magento, folder structure, Magento bootstrap and code pool priority, autoloading, routing and request flow and really a lot of other stuff. A great chapter! and the author totally knows what he’s talking about! Maybe it covers just too much, I mean, it’s going to take so some time to digest all these information…
Third chapter: hey the “interactive magento console” is a really nifty idea! Here we talk about models, models, models ;) ORM, collections, EAV. You need to know this stuff. That’s it.
Forth chapter: build your first extension… it’s a long chapter but this is definitely a hard topic… this chapter may leave you more confused than self-confident…
Fift chapter: backend customizations… kinda easier than the 4th chapter but again we’re talking about hard topics. I don’t know maybe these 2 chapters should have been 250 pages each (instead of the whole book)
Sixth chapter: all about API, great chapter.
Seventh chapter: tests! have you misread? no no it’s really testing Magento1! Talks about the great Ecomdev_PHPUnit module and it’s really valuable!
Eighth chapter: it’s more about deploying your own extensions than managing the deployment operations during a website development lifetime, it would really be much more fun!
Conclusions? To me it’s a go and buy it now! The core chapters about developing a frontend and backend extension are maybe not perfect due to the complexity of the topic but… for this price it’s really, really a great value, all the other chapters are simply perfect and also 3rd and 4th have so many useful info you’ll anyway need in your developer future.