Brandon Eleuterio

Articles

Working Harder at Working Smarter

I remember my first encounter with PHP. It was the winter of 2000 and I was living in an apartment at Humboldt State University. I had a job as a web designer for a company called Skye Computer Services — a small boutique webshop hiring kids like me to build marketing sites for small businesses. Most of the projects I worked on were static sites, meaning the content didn’t change. I primarily used HTML and CSS, with a sprinkle of JavaScript to work my magic. But one project I came across used a technology called PHP to dynamically render content at runtime. I was fascinated. With PHP I could do small cool things like set the copyright date to always display the current year:

echo date("Y");

I could do really cool things like break a web page up into smaller reusable parts:

header.php
content.phpsidebar.php
footer.php

I could inject these pieces into each web page so they’d all share the same template. This came in handy if a website had fifty pages and I wanted to change the company logo. I’d just change the logo in one place, the header.php file, and the new logo would magically appear on all fifty pages!

This was an “aha” moment. With the right tools, I could accelerate my creative work. PHP lit a spark, sending me out on a life-long quest to work harder at working smarter.

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