It’s diffcult to narrow down the most influential books & resources. While I must credit a ton of random answers and tutorials on the internet, I didn’t really understand the fundamentals until diving into these resources.
Not ranked in any particular order, these are my favorites:
Jeffery Way is really the best teacher out there. He keeps the videos short and easy to follow. It’s a fantastic resource if you’ve decided to take the Laravel path, which I highly recommend if you’re a beginner and have interest in Web Application development.
Learning PHP Design Patterns
It may seem like an oxymoron that PHP & design patterns are in the same book title. However, these design patterns are universal across all object oriented languages. If you’re already on the PHP path, and you’re interested in breaking apart complex problems - this book is most certainly for you.
Don’t be discouraged if you have to reread chapters over and over again. Trust me, I studied this book for months before I could actually follow the most complex examples. It’s challenging, but once you understant these concepts you’ll be able to dissect complex problems into smaller pieces.
I highly recommend this book if you’re already fluent in PHP, but if you’re coming from another language consider a patterns book in that instead.
Learn Enough Rails to be Dangerous
Rails is great because it totally embodies the “Just in Time Learning” style. You can pick up the basics pretty quickly, and learn the other areas of the framework when necessary.
This series will teach you the absolute basics needed to get started. From this point you’ll be able to create web applications. This is the first step towards a backend or full stack career.
If you’re coming from an object-oriented background and you’re interested in functional programming, you might want to take a look at this first too. There’s a few functional concepts in this book that carries over.