7 Tips to Choose a Technology Stack For a Web Application

Imagine you came up with the idea for a web application. The question is what tech stack to use to get a powerful web app. 

The technology stack for your product does not only bring it to life but affects its further maintainability, scalability, and many other factors.

Let’s consider the major tips you should take into consideration before getting the web tech stack and other web development services.

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How to Scrape Sports Data with PHP

Anyone can use web scraping (or web crawling) to collect all sorts of useful data. One of the most valuable ways to put a data scraper to work in this day and age is through collecting sports data. There are many ways to build a web scraper, but we’ll walk you through several ways to do so with PHP programming in this guide.

What Is Data Scraping?

Scraping data from the web involves building a scraper (or “spider”) that can autonomously go to the website you instruct it to, download that website’s HTML, record certain variables, and sometimes even export those valuables into a neat table for you to use later.

In some cases, sophisticated web scraping programs can even upload the information they collect into a database for better organization. While anyone can build a web scraper, this practice is most commonly used in the business world, where competing companies use web crawlers and other programs to keep tabs on their competitors’ products and prices.

Google is one of the best examples of web crawlers we have today. Google uses its algorithms to search web pages for specific keywords and phrases. Then, Google uses these words and phrases to index and categorize the web page based on what it’s about.

For example, if the Google web crawler reads sports, scores, and basketball on your page, in all likelihood, the search engine will categorize your page as a basketball website of some kind.

Before you do any web scraping, however, make sure you’re aware of the privacy policies of any websites you want to scrape. Some websites don’t allow it in their terms of use, so you could potentially get into legal trouble if you’re not careful!

Scraping Sports Data with PHP Programming

There are many different ways to build a data scraper, and doing so with PHP is certainly not the easiest. However, if you have some existing knowledge of HTML and PHP programming, any of these data scraping tools will get the job done. However, if you don’t know much about PHP, you’d probably benefit from learning more about it first through PHP’s syntax guide.

In this section, we’ll look at a few of the best tools available on the internet for web scraping with PHP programming. While you can build your own web scraper from scratch with PHP if you want, doing so is unnecessarily complicated with all of the pre-build resources available online.

While these programs provide an excellent starting point, you’ll still need PHP knowledge to set them up and configure them for sports data scraping. Once you download and explore each program a bit, you should be able to tweak it as needed to extract the data you want.

Simple HTML DOM

A DOM Parser is one of the most flexible ways to parse through HTML, so this Simple HTML DOM is a great place to start when building a web spider. A DOM Parser works by navigating to the website you specify, downloading a page’s HTML, and navigating through it to isolate the tags you specify.

The Simple HTML DOM is excellent because it can work with invalid or messy HTML, while many other PHP-based web crawlers cannot. Because this parser is more or less built for you already, the coding you need to do is minimal.

You can find the full documentation for this DOM Parser here. Keep in mind that this program is written in PHP5+, so you must use PHP5+ or PHP7 with it.

cURL

cURL is a fully-supported, open-source PHP library that is extremely popular among users. cURL works to find and extract data from URLs, so it works great for PHP-based web scraping. As a bonus, since cURL relies only on PHP, you don’t need to download or install any other programs to build a cURL-based web crawler.

cURL stands for “client URL Library,” and it expands PHP’s native capabilities to support HTTP and HTTPS protocols. You can learn how to use cURL and its related functions through its documentation, located here.

Goutte

Goutte (pronounced “goot”) is a PHP-based web scraping program designed to be user-friendly and straightforward, even for those who don’t have much experience with PHP. While Goutte has a few dependencies, if you don’t mind that aspect, it’s one of the easiest ways to set up a simple sports data web crawler through PHP.

Goutte’s documentation can be found right on the home page of its website above, but keep in mind that you’ll need both PHP 5.5+ and Guzzle 6+ to make Goutte work. We’ll look more into Guzzle and what it does below.

Guzzle

Guzzle is a PHP-based HTTP client that lets your program send HTTP requests. It also allows your web crawler to integrate with other internet services. Because Guzzle gives you the ability to send and receive HTTP data, you can use Guzzle alone to create a web crawler if you prefer.

However, because Guzzle is an extremely robust program with many high-level functions, those who don’t have much experience with PHP may struggle to get the most out of it. That’s why companion programs like Goutte generally provide a much more user-friendly place to start with building web crawlers.

Conclusion

Did you see any programs on this list that you’ve used with PHP before? Perhaps you’ve built a web crawler with another programming language, but now you want to test yourself by making one with PHP instead? While PHP can be a challenge to use sometimes, it’s undeniable that building a PHP-based web crawler is easier today than it was years ago because of all the premade options available to you.

Regardless of what sport you end up using your PHP programming web scraper for, it’ll surely boost your productivity and make your sports data gathering much more straightforward. After all, the alternative to building your own web crawler is either copy-and-pasting the information by hand or purchasing a pre-build web crawler for money. Fortunately, all of the options on this list are free, open-source, and ready for you to utilize.


Zenscrape’s Social Media Handles

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About the guest contributor, Christoph Leitner

Christoph is a code-loving father of two beautiful children. He is a full-stack developer and a committed team member at Zenscrape.com – a subsidiary of saas.industries. When he isn’t building software, Christoph can be found spending time with his family or training for his next marathon.

Christoph Leitner

How To Check Nearshore Python Development Team Is Up To The Challenge

When considering the idea of ​​transferring some of the enterprise’s functions to third-party companies, management often encounters proposals to turn to nearshore IT outsourcing. Nearshore outsourcing involves turning to geographically closer teams of developers, R&D center, or IT specialists when the difference in time zones is more than 1-2 hours. In most cases, European companies prefer to give the right to implement a nearshore software development project to local firms, which determines the popularity of nearshore IT outsourcing in Europe.

For the development of your Python team, the nearshoring services are also justified. But how to predict whether the team is ready for various challenges and will it cope with the assigned task? In the article, we will talk about skills a Python developer should have and how to properly organize a team.

Must-Have Skill-Sets for Growing Python Development Team

The Python language is used in machine learning, data processing, building web applications, and much more. The language is fairly easy to learn, allowing scientists and researchers to automate their work and perform large-scale computations. Python developer should have such skills:

1. Knowledge of Core Python

The developer should have a good knowledge of the concepts of the Python core and its aspects: iterators, generators, principles of working with files, variables.

2. Object-relational converters

An object-oriented programming language is used to transform data between two incompatible systems, and this technique is called the Object Relational Mapper. Python developers must use many custom ORM tools.

It’s worth noting that a Python developer can grow significantly in the field of data science. This option is possible if he understands such aspects of data science: good knowledge of SQL, knowledge of using Python packages such as Scikit learn, NumPy, data analysis, data visualization, knowledge of probability.

3. Analytical skills

In terms of analytical knowledge, it is needed to better create useful websites for web development, better visualize datasets for Data Science, optimize algorithms during coding, and write clean code.

4. Version control

Changes to the source code happen multiple times, and you need to be able to track each change. If the developer is already familiar with words such as “commit, pull, push”, then he will efficiently handle different versions of encodings and track changes in codes.

5. Understanding multiple delivery platforms

There are many platforms for displaying results, such as desktop or mobile, and a Python developer should be well aware of the difference between different platforms.

6. Soft skills are a must

Responsibility, striving for professional growth, the ability to manage working hours, and work in a team are basic soft skills that are needed for almost any position in the IT field. It is worth talking over some rules of communication in teams and outlining the responsibilities of everyone in the team before the development team takes on the project. Thus, you can prevent challenges in personal communication between the team members.

Ask the teams to focus on specific goals at a high level, then have them work with ideas and execution. Developers are likely to work in an environment where they can make a difference and learn new things.

Facts Need to Be Considered When Creating a Nearshore Python Development Team

Python developer is additionally expected to be able to quickly master new material, delve into the essence of tasks, understand requirements, and be ready for routine tasks.

Also, Python developers are needed for machine learning tasks. Therefore, when selecting for positions related to Data Science, they check the knowledge of machine learning algorithms and the ability to apply them, the experience of participating in competitions on Kaggle or in hackathons. Applicants are expected to have knowledge of mathematics: probability theory, linear algebra, and mathematical analysis.

When a client decides to outsource a Python project to software companies, most providers will help select the right talent for a company’s needs. This includes CV review, initial assessment of the candidate’s relevant experience, technical interviews.

The dedicated development team model is best suited for long-term projects with changing requirements. It is also ideal for companies looking to extend their Python development team over an extended period of time to delegate tasks. Compared to other collaboration models a client gets a transparent budget, the ability to manage a Python development team workload, and change requirements as your project evolves.

How to Check Nearshore Python Development Team Is up to the Challenge

Software development is considered a poorly measurable process. The first rule of thumb to follow when designing and building processes is to do them in such a way that they leave artifacts in the data. You need to build not just Agile but make it Measurable Agile.

Sometimes for the sake of measurability, you have to sacrifice some of the Agile principles and, for example, somewhere prefer written communication over oral.

Due date practice has shown itself very well, which improves predictability. Its essence is as follows: when a developer takes a task and drags it into “in progress”, he must set a due date when the task is either released or ready for release. This practice teaches the developer to be a conditional micro project manager of his own tasks, that is, to take into account external dependencies and understand that the task is ready only when the client can use its result.

In measuring processes, start from problems. You need to monitor the violation of processes, and not how some practice is followed. Processes often do not work, not because people violate them on purpose, but because the developer and manager do not have enough control and memory to follow them all. By tracking violations of regulations, you can automatically remind people of what to do and get automatic controls

Conclusion

Certain development approaches can help but are not necessary tools for success. To gain experience, teams need to be given the freedom to experiment and make mistakes. They need to start acting. The only exception is code reviews., thus this is the most effective way to improve the overall level of your team. With rigorous code reviews, fast iterations, and actions, your teams will grow faster.