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    if you want a quick fix go buy "learn PHP in ten
    minutes" and spend the next twenty years googling for 
    "how do I compute the length of a string"
pretty much summed up the PHP experience :)

    If ALL applications in the world were interfaced by 
    (say) sockets + lisp S expressions and had the 
    semantics of the protocol written down in a formal 
    notation - then we could reuse things (more) easily.
nodejs apps are usually very close to that: small modular services interacting via sockets + events using json, protocol buffers, etc. Much like the unix pipe philosophy applied to servers.

If you didn't study CS and want to improve your knowledge of algorithms, I found Coursera classes to be very good.

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