Growing by eating less Cake

Published on and tagged with learning

As you probably know I don’t get along very well with some core developers of CakePHP. I tried to keep this conflict away from what I write in this blog, but I wasn’t always successful with that. Some posts got a slightly negative touch. And it became harder and harder to avoid this negative touch because I’m also a bit tired of eating Cake…

So I have to change something if I don’t want to end as an unhappy developer/blogger.

And this change will be to eat less Cake in the new year. And to eat more vegetables other goodies. On my list are currently the Yii framework (Jonah Turnquist has recently written some interesting articles about it in his blog), flow3 (an upcoming PHP 5.3 framework with some nice concepts like AOP), and the usual suspects Ruby on Rails and Django.

Learning a new framework should help me to grow as a developer. And what do you do to grow as a developer in 2009?

A Happy New Year! And thank you for reading this blog in 2008 :)

23 comments baked

  • Angellica Cardozo

    Just do what you think will be better for you =)
    Thanks for 2008! Happy new year! =D

  • dave rupert

    growing as a developer can never be a bad thing. i know you had problems with the core team but I want to thank you for all the insight you gave into CakePHP. whenever I was a n00b and getting my lunch eaten by projects, i found my way to cakebaker through google for help. thanks again.

  • Josh Lockhart

    You might also check out the new Recess Framework. This is a RESTful PHP framework that has just been released as an alpha version. In the interest of full disclosure, I do know and work with the developer of this framework. But I do recommend you take a look at it at Personally, I have experience with Merb, Rails, CakePHP, and the Zend Framework. Best of luck to you!

  • TheIdeaMan

    Your blog has been a great resource for CakePHP material for me for the last couple years. As I’ve got an app stuck in CakePHP 1.1, I’m also considering switching to a different framework as CakePHP 1.2 conversion feels pretty close (at times).

    I’d love to see a post from you on your top 10 “must haves” for the new framework.

    Django is certainly a market leader worth considering (on my list as well), but part of me doesn’t want to leave PHP. Ah well…

    Thanks for all your posts over the past years.

  • brian

    I second the notions, keep learning and growing. I also second the recommendation for investigating Recess at, I have downloaded the alpha and it looks interesting. Yii also looks really, really cool.

    I wish I had more time, I think I like trying new stuff more than becoming great at one thing, but I haven’t found anyone that will pay me to do that :)

  • Brandon P

    Great way to start off the new year!

    Personally, I spent too much time these last few years struggling with CakePHP and it’s (seemingly) slow release-cycle. I have turned to other frameworks both out of necessity and to broaden my reach as a developer.

    Having multiple frameworks in your arsenal as a developer is something that everyone should try to attain. It will cause you to write skinny controllers and fat models because you will be able to see how having ALL business logic inside models can really make your app super-portable.

    Think about having an app that with just a few hours of configuring can be ported to a completely different framework. This type of independent design of programming makes the developer very powerful because he/she can ultimately choose which framework to run their application on .. like Yii (which seems to be PHP’s 200mph sports car of apps). Other apps might require a bit more formal design, hence Zend Framework.

    Limiting yourself to a single framework is … well … limiting :) I really look forward to reading future posts!

  • busytoby

    does this mean you’re changing your name too? after all..

    how much cake could a cakebaker bake if a cakebaker couldn’t bake cake?

  • I drank the koolaide

    I have been doing CakePHP for a couple years now. I recently was hired at a rails shop as a front end designer. To make a long story short I ended up having to write some of the rails code. I have been impressed! Rails is definitely a bit further down the track, and Cake has some rising to do before it meets up to the features.

    Am I saying abandon PHP, not nearly. But do give the rails a ride.

  • Rafael Bandeira

    Happy new year Daniel!
    I hope, no, actually, I BELIEVE you will have a successful experience with any tool you face with in your developer career. Differently of all those parachuters, you are a developer who likes to dig in the problems, and to get things done in a smart, elegant and accurate way.

    Anyway, any tool that have you as a developer, community member and/or blogger will have that *plus* on their road.

    Good luck man!

  • rbh

    how about Pluf ( ? Django coded in php :)

  • Silver Knight

    Your insights into CakePHP will be sorely missed by those of us who still use Cake, but like the other commenters, I wish you all the best in your search for other frameworks and I look forward to reading about your adventures. ;-)

    My only hope is that the mountain of useful CakePHP information you have posted in the past stays here and simply gets information about other frameworks ADDED to the collection. It would be nice to have a one-stop-shop for information regarding the various frameworks you are skilled in for those of us who learn best by seeing how others do things.

    Anyhow, thank you for all your great posts of the past, and thank you in advance for the great posts anticipated for the future. :)

  • jojo siao


    If you would really like to look at other programming languages, you might try Django web Framework. I already tried it by reading the online documentation and making a pet project on django… everything was smooth!

  • Kris Jordan

    Just wanted to drop in and say hello. I am the lead developer of the upcoming Recess Framework which has been mentioned a few times in this thread. Recess has been under full-time development for the past 4 months and is now available in a preview release format. To try it out head to

    A number of the design decisions with Recess have been made around being RESTful, DRY, and fun to use. Would love for you to take her on a spin. Many features are still on the way but it’s got a pretty solid base to build off of.

    For more info I would point you to:


    Best of luck on your journey towards a new framework – I’ll be following your story regardless of the path which lies ahead!

  • Nils

    My goal for 09 is to learn writing drupal modules and deal more with rails. I once decided to go with cake – but now i must admit that i think it was wrong.

    so rails and drupal is on my list for 09 :)

  • John

    Hi – I’m going to miss your writing about Cake so don’t abandon it completely.

    On the other hand I’ve always belived that programmers are mostly motivated by boredom… or to put it another way, the desire to keep learning. There is so much happening at the moment and it is great time to see what’s out there.

    Have fun, and let us all know what you find out there :)

    p.s. my list for 2009 is to finally build a real app with Django and I might be doing a bit of Prado (which should be something completely different)

  • cakebaker

    @all: Thanks for your comments! (and I’m sorry for the late response)

    @Josh: Thanks for recommending the Recess Framework, it looks promising.

    @TheIdeaMan: Thanks for the idea for a future article!

    I think a good compromise to leaving PHP completely is to go forward “double tracked”, i.e. using PHP and Django in parallel.

    @brian: Yes, time is always an issue, however, I think if you really want to try something new you will find the necessary time for it, and you will do it even if you are not paid for it. See it as an investment into your future ;-)

    @Brandon: Yes, putting the business logic into the model is definitely recommendable, and a nice side effect of it is the easier portability you mention.

    I think limiting oneself to a single framework also has its advantages. Over time you know the chosen framework in and out, and so you can solve problems faster/better. You become a specialist for this framework, whereas if you know different frameworks you are more an allrounder. For me it paid off to set on a single framework in the last few years, but now I feel it is time for a change.

    @busytoby: No, I don’t intend to change the name, because on an abstract level I will still bake cakes, but with other ingredients ;-)

    @I drank the koolaide: Yes, PHP will still have a place in my toolbox.

    @Rafael: Thanks!

    @rbh: Hm, never heard about pluf ;-) But I will have a look at it.

    @Silver Knight: All articles will stay online.

    @jojo: Hope you will blog a bit about your experiences with Django ;-)

    @Kris: Your framework looks really promising. From looking at the documentation I have to say I like the “decentral” routing idea, it is quite elegant. So far I only played a bit with the web-based “bake” tool, so I can’t say more about it yet.

    @John: Yes, there is some truth in “[..] programmers are mostly motivated by boredom”. Prado is currently not on my list, but I hope you will blog about your experiences with it ;-)

  • John

    @Cakebaker – well the Prado is still a maybe. We’re designing and cutting up the front end for somebody elses system (although all the real application is all in Shockwave or Flash). I reckon we could well be asked to tie them into the website too which is built on Prado, so writing templates, layouts etc.

  • David Persson

    Regarding Django I just discovered this video:
    It’s a Keynote by one of the Flickr (PHP) makers about Django and Frameworks in general. Quite funny. I’m also about to build an app with django because of (a) the language, (b) the way it is developed and (c) it seems the framework really fulfills what it promises. Really would like to see you writing about it in the future!

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  • cakebaker

    @David: Thanks for the link to that video, I enjoyed it :)

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  • Fabio Cevasco

    Believe it or not, after reading this post I (re-)subscribed to your blog feed. Looking forward to read about something different, for a change.

    It’s sad to hear that after _years_ some people never change :-/ Hopefully they’ll learn by their mistakes. Meanwhile, I’d personally recommend looking into the Ruby world more, in particular Merb and Rails (which will become one by the next Rails release).

  • cakebaker

    @Fabio: I hope I don’t disappoint you ;-)

    Yes, Rails is on my plan. However, I will wait with looking into Merb until it is a part of Rails.

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