Instant PhpStorm Starter Review (and a giveaway!)

There are a myriad of books about pretty much every open-source editor/IDE on the market today, but it seems like most people try to avoid writing about commercial IDEs. There has long been a need for a good book about commercial IDEs, and PhpStorm in particular. Today, I have been invited to review W┼éodzimierz Gajda’s new book, Instant PhpStorm Starter.

The first thing that struck me about Instant PhpStorm Starter is that it is a really short book. It weighs in at a total of 86 pages, so it’s by no means a comprehensive guide to all of the intricacies of PhpStorm - it certainly doesn’t promise to be. The book is, however, exceptionally good at getting readers up and running with an installation of PhpStorm and introducing them to some of the core concepts of the IDE.

After installation of PhpStorm, Gajda details how to create your first PHP application with Symfony. Obviously, since this book is about a PHP IDE, he expects that you know PHP and doesn’t waste time explaining basic language mechanics. He walks you through using the IDE to create a new Symfony bundle with a new route and then demonstrates the new code in a browser. It’s a very simple “hello world” application built with Symfony and it demonstrates some of the features that JetBrains has included for working with Symfony projects.

Gajda then spends the rest of the book talking about features of the IDE that you should know about so that you understand what it’s doing (for instance, with context-sensitive code completion and code templates), as well as some features that can increase your productivity (easy documentation access, autoformatting, version control integration, etc).

As a long time user of PhpStorm, I feel that this book does a fantastic job of introducing the core concepts. As with any book about an editor or IDE, you should not expect a comprehensive reference manual that details every piece of functionality - that’s what Google is for. However, if you’re looking for a book that will get you up and running with PhpStorm, and teach you some of the important features, Instant PhpStorm Starter is definitely that book, and at only $7.99, there’s really no reason not to buy it!

However, you may not have to - I’ve teamed up with Packt to give away three free copies of Instant PhpStorm Starter (or your choice of any other Packt ebook) to readers of my blog. You can read more about the book and download a sample chapter over on Packt’s website.

What can you win?

  • A copy of Instant PhpStorm Starter or any other ebook of your choice from the Packt library

What do I have to do?

  • Share this on Twitter, Facebook, or any other site of your choice:

“Learn to create powerful themes using #PhpStorm with #Packt’s new book http://

  • Send a link to the post to

Contest Rules:

  • 3 winners will be selected by Packt & Cameron Eagans
  • Earliest reply/post will be given preference
  • Contest ends on May 20, 2013


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