PHP Advent Calendar Day 10

10 Dec 2007

Today's entry is provided by Chris Cornutt.

Chris Cornutt

Chris Cornutt
Chris Cornutt is the senior editor of, a popular PHP news site, as well as a lead PHP developer at a Texas natural gas distributor.
Dallas, Texas

You're hacking your way through yet another project and you hit that point. You know the one; you've been going and going, churning out code like the end of the Internet is coming tomorrow, and you sit back after finishing off a long haul and are hit by something. You look at where your code is now, and reviewing how you thought of it about five hours ago, you realize there's no next step. You know you need to keep going, but you're just not sure where. If you take the wrong step, you could end up with a big bowl of spaghetti, not the elegant application you're going for.

This is prime example of bad planning practices. Many developers forget to take this all-important step before they lay their fingers to the keys. They lay out the basic idea in their heads and just start typing, and, unless they're really lucky, they hit a wall somewhere.

I've got a few tips to help:

I got a little wordier than I probably should have, but hopefully something in this list can be added to your practices. Best of luck to you in 2008 and remember, you can always start planning now for tomorrow's code!