This is part 2 of a 4 part blog series about using an IDE for PHP Development. For Please find Part 1 here

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Contextual editing frees your mind up for things that matter (like writing better code)

The larger your application grows, and the more dependencies you work with, the bulkier your mental model will become, and the more important details will be crowded out just trying to remember where everything is and how it fits together. A proper development environment will take much of this mental modelling on itself, remembering and allowing you to drill down into details when you need them, and push them aside when you don’t.

Spend enough time working like this, and you’ll find that your naming choices will grow more verbose and descriptive. Where you may have avoided spelling things out in great detail before, to save keystrokes and mental space (in the short term), While there’s something appealing and hackerish about speaking in obscure acronyms and unpronounceable codenames (witness the C Standard Library, for instance), it doesn’t make for code that is easily understandable by others, or even yourself a few years down the line. And the newbie? They’ll probably dislike you, just a little bit, for making their job harder than it needs to be.

Plus, with tools such as CodeSniffer and automatic DocBlock generation well-integrated and conveniently accessible, your overall code hygiene will improve without much extra effort on your part.

Please join us tomorrow for part 3 on avoiding var_dump and exits.

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