There are ways to validate the application besides writing tests. It’s possible with static analysis tools, programs designed to analyze the whole application. We can set them up once, and they’ll check all the code we’ve written before and the code we’ll write in the future.

Here are some handy static analysis tools.

Finding bugs with PHPStan

In most programming languages, instead of deploying our source code to production as is, we must pass it to a compiler to build a runnable file. Compilation might also fail if there is an error in the source code, like a syntax error, the use of the undefined class, or if a string is passed to a function that expects an object.

PHP doesn’t need compilation, making it easier to use and deploy programs. But also, errors might slip into production unnoticed and become fatal.

PHPStan does the job of an inexistent compiler and automatically finds some categories of bugs in the PHP code. It can find many mistakes like using undefined classes or passing the wrong number of arguments to a function. It works even better when we use type hints.

Using type declarations

PHP is a dynamically typed language. We never have to explicitly declare types for variables, function arguments, and function return types. And, this code is considered acceptable.

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