Using different frameworks and libraries are a drag, but there are instances where knowing one thing will benefit you further down the road. And that is what I learned with symfony - the 1.x / legacy version - and how it changed my programming perspective.
As I've first encountered symfony, it was only due to be a requirement to learn considering my position as a Junior Web Developer. It was my sole task to know the in's and out's of the framework, from initializing a project, making a database connection and until deployment.
When I first tried the software, I was to follow a tutorial called Jobeet - aa day-by-day tutorial session that focuses on each feature rich component of symfony, all the while building a functional web application. It was a revolution to study symfony for me, I was learning a tool that could shape the world. MY WORLD. And it did, each update to the symfony core was an exciting event for me. New classes for validation, better form handling, advanced plugin capabilities, unit testing, tool chains. So much more that my brain was bleeding with too much information.
Years later, it was then that I was able to build a project which I spear headed into a coding frenzy. A social networking site catering to book lovers which at first was being developed like a slow sprint, then it became a marathon, until it exploded into a full-blown decathlon. Thankfully, the delivery date was met and the clients were happy. So happy that further maintenance and feature updates were implemented abruptly.
Then came the advent of Symfony (with the capital 'S'). Yes, It was now mature enough to puff-out its chests, heh, but I was still proud of it. It was now using Composer, a tool for understanding and building an application stack relying on a list of dependency markers - composer.json - which made it awesome and scary. You would be able to build anything and not just a Symfony application, but any project by just defining the vendor / third-party libraries that you need. The PSR (PHP Standards Recommendations) with Composer, made building a Symfony 2 application easier, by just creating recipe for what your application needs - from DBAL, forms handlers, validations, API's, image manipulations to eCommerce / payment handling.
And now other frameworks have adopted the symfony way, like Laravel.
Laravel is a free, open-source PHP web framework, created by Taylor Otwell and intended for the development of web applications following the model–view–controller (MVC) architectural pattern. Some of the features of Laravel are a modular packaging systemwith a dedicated dependency manager, different ways for accessing relational databases, utilities that aid in application deploymentand maintenance, and its orientation toward syntactic sugar.
Laravel is another framework I've been planning to sink my teeth into and now with the coming 3.0 branch of Symfony coming into maturation, there are more choices for the PHP web developer for creating powerful web applications.
Symfony has been a blight (headaches / eye rolling / hyper-caffeinated morning) and a saving grace for me and other projects. Hopefully I can get up to speed with the coming changes now that development is becoming my sole focus on my days - and not just beer. heh.