There are no better shortcuts than a very good study but there’s a tip which can help you to get a bit of speed.

Have you ever tried to figure out what available methods you can use from a customer model in Magento?

Imagine you load the customer into a variable (or the product, order)

but you’re not sure what methods/functions you can access, and here it comes the beauty:

What exactly this function does (got from php.net):

Returns an array of method names defined for the class specified by class_name. In case of an error, it returns NULL.

And the output of the previous command would be something similar to this:

As you can see as a result you get an array of method names defined for the class specified by class_name. In case of an error, it returns NULL.

But it should be noted that the returned methods are dependant on the current scope.