I've had some decent experience picking up books and learning that way, but I usually learn best with visuals and examples. I've been able to tweak some PHP code to make things work the way I need, did that a lot in vB over the years, and I've also done a little Ruby coding, but very simple stuff - if nothing else it just introduced me to the MVC philosophy. But I know I need a better foundation.
I have been looking at these two books to help give me a better foundation, and to have as a desk reference:
I tried looking through PHP.net and can't find a good way to use that site as an effective learning tool. Once I have a better foundation maybe it will be more useful for me. I started a few CodeAcademy exercises but I don't know if that's the most efficient way to go. I wish there was a way that I could just learn while working with XF code.
Any advice would be appreciated. It's been over 15 years since I taught myself HTML and started deciphering wwwboard CGI and email form scripts to customize them for my needs. I wish I had put more effort into learning how to code back then when it seemed easier to get things to "click".