ExpressionEngine veteran and personality behind devot://ee Ryan Masuga has released a new ExpressionEngine book: The Guide to ExpressionEngine Development. This book is unique from most other ExpressionEngine-related education in that it focuses on the project environment, development practices specific to ExpressionEngine, security, and other processes.
I was able to provide a tech review of the book and was really impressed, which led to me asking Ryan if I could write a foreword, which I’ve copied below. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, all ExpressionEngine pros should read this book, if for no other reason than to compare and hone your own professional practices.
As our skills with a tool grow, what we can accomplish increases, as does our reach. ExpressionEngine’s renowned flexibility is the result of its modular design, a collection of tools that a craftsman brings together to create great web sites. As the author of this book points out, that flexibility results in a near-infinite number of ways to implement solutions. And as our reach expands, so does the complexity of problems we can solve.
Often critical to success is understanding some truisms. “Don’t be clever” for example. “Clever”, when it comes to our trade, is a bad word. The more complex the problem, the more critical that our solution is simple. “Keep It Simple Stupid” increases in importance as our skills grow. It protects us from ourselves.
It is then that our implementations are robust, not brittle. Understandable, not confusing. Flexible, not rigid. Ready to solve future problems instead of just the one in front of us today.
There are many books, videos, tutorials, and blogs that can help you learn ExpressionEngine, how to model your content, and build your templates. But there aren’t many resources out there that discuss process. Certainly not with the detail and organization the author provides. Even those with many years of ExpressionEngine experience will likely find something new and helpful.
In providing support for our software, we’ve seen it all, the good and the bad. If everyone adopted the practices in this book, it would be a net gain for ExpressionEngine-powered sites as a whole. I am more than happy to add this book to my recommended reading list for all ExpressionEngine users.