If you were starting today in PHP?

I’m kicking around the idea of developing an introduction to PHP series along the lines of the Ruby  on Rails and Python classes being held over at Kauffman Labs.  This would likely be outside of our normal User Group schedule, so don’t think we still couldn’t touch on any of these in our group sometime.

The point of the series would be get new developers up to speed by writing something useful.  I could see it even being used to show off PHP as the perfect platform for any level of developer to get something out their quickly, but leave them with enough foundation they could build for the long haul as well.

I’d love to hear some of your thoughts on technology choices in PHP for such a series.  I haven’t taught a formal intro PHP class since Smarty was the hot new thing, so I could really use your help.  There are just so many really great options to choose from.  I’d love to hear of first-hand experiences, but any ideas will be appreciated.

Read on if you are interested in helping.

Some of the options that are initially appealing to me:

Laravel 4

Lots of buzz, but I really don’t know that much about using it first hand.  I’m also not a HUGE fan of all those static methods, but can probably warm up to it.  Still may have too high a learning curve for an intro class.

FuelPHP

Fuel won my heart a year or so ago.  Good CLI support, namespaces, seems full stack enough, without being TOO big.  Doesn’t try to be as hip as Laravel, but seems to address many of the same issues.

Silex + Twig

I’ve done some experiments in this stack.  Felt quick and amazing, but I didn’t get very deep with it.  If this leads me to use Doctrine as a DB back end, would that be too much?

Slim

Seems to share a lot with Silex…but just Silex and a DI container.  Could be enough, but I’d love to hear from someone who has used it it it can deliver the goods.

Anything combination of things from the MicroPHP Manifesto

http://microphp.org/#!/code
Part of me really thinks the lighter the better–as it would play to most of PHP’s strengths. Whatever I do, composer will be a must.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.