I’ve been writing code since 1994, and have used many programming languages over the years to build commercial apps. Thought PHP was NOT my favorite language, years ago, I came to respect the pragmatic and effective nature of the PHP universe. From day one, with PHP, you just got things done fast.
PHP sucks! PHP is old!
Funny, PHP is the programming world’s whipping boy. People have been disparaging the language for years and years. And yet, like Rocky Balboa, it just keeps on coming and winning!
PHP now powers more websites than any other server side programming language … some estimates say nearly 80%! Consider that the 3 most popular CMS’ are built with PHP (WordPress, Drupal and Joomla) … it stands to reason.
Contrast that to the once darling of the nerd-hipster programming world: Ruby on Rails. Rails for all its’ positive qualities and innovations of its’ day, has slowly faded. Year after year as PHP continues to hold its’ quiet dominance in the server side programming space, Ruby on Rails slowly sinks in obscurity reminiscent of other failed technologies like Delphi, ColdFusion and Flash.
The naysayer nerd-hipsters will always find fault with PHP because of its’ sorted past, but history teaches us that just like Rocky, PHP will not only last for years to come, but will in fact thrive due to its’ yuuuge install base, and because of continued development of innovative tools like Laravel.
I’ve recorded a series of videos I call ‘Careers in Code’, and it is about many things related to coding professionally. The series of videos is less about code, and more about all the things professional coders have to understand.
Drawn from my 20+ experience in the coding arena, there is a lot of good information in there I learned the hard way … you can learn it more easily watching these videos.
The new year approaches and once again I will give you my assessment of where PHP will be in 2015. You might think me biased given killerphp is the name of the site … but you would be wrong. I am always ready to throw out a technology that no longer deserves my attention.
… That’s why I know 8-9 languages. And to be totally transparent, I’ve logged many more programming hours with Java than I have with PHP. That said, where goeth* our lovely PHP in 2015?
PHP in 2015
These days I hear the young nerdlings are all enamoured with Python. Yes, Python is a fine language and worthy of praise. But is it better than PHP? And what about the jobs – how much Python work is out there to be had?
Let’s start with the most important number: over 80% of dynamic sites run on PHP! Not Python, not Ruby. Nope, little old ugly PHP runs 80% of web apps in the world! From what I hear, web development firms have lots of PHP work but are finding it increasingly difficult to find PHP programmers.
… With scarcity comes higher prices.
PHP Frameworks are sooo 2015
Like all the mature languages out there, PHP has a nice selection of web frameworks to choose from, and ultimately, you as a budding web developer will have to learn at least one. In 2015 Code Igniter is out (although there are many legacy CodeIgniter apps that will have to be maintained) and Laravel is in.
… Anyway, once you learn one PHP web framework, learning another is not too hard. They are all MVC based and so they all work pretty much the same way. That said, some are better than others.
In a future article I will put my finger to the wind, and get into WHICH PHP framework is probably best in 2015.
Happy new year!
Goeth defined: archaic third person singular present of go.
The following details the steps you need to take to become a web developer – this is a question I get all the time by the way … you are not alone!
#1. Learn to code. You need the skills before you can sell them! Today (2014-2015) you need to learn the following technologies in this order:
HTML5 & CSS3
SQL & MySQL
Object Oriented PHP (OOP in PHP)
To be clear, you don’t need to master all these before you get to step #2, #3 and so on … But you do need to see these as the ultimate goal.
… In fact, you could quickly move into step #2 once you have a good understanding of CSS and HTML under your belt. As you learn more though, you will be able to take on more jobs (simply because of the greater variety of skills you will have) and raise your pay/salary as you become more valuable and more experienced.
I’ve been teaching web design and programming for over a decade and I’ve been active building websites and web apps since 1994 – I’ve been around the block … and back again.
Web Developer as a Career
I have a few tips for you if you are thinking of becoming a web designer or programmer/developer:
First thing, becoming a web developer is a great career move – this is a growing field that will have plenty of demand for many years. In fact, there will be many more jobs than there are people for at least a decade … it’s a major problem in the US and other western nations.
Learning web development can seem like a daunting task … so here are some learning tips:
Be prepared to make mistakes and hit roadblocks. It takes a little time to develop the nerd-eyes.
Concentrate on learning code and the foundations of code – don’t be tempted by tools that try to hide code from you .. because in the end, you will save more time learning to code.
Don’t just sit back and watch the videos – do the code examples, even the simple ones. Repetition is the key.
If you want to learn web development, you might as well learn from the best – that us! Why not take advantage of my popular Web Developer from Scratch training package – these are the SAME courses that K12 public schools, community colleges and career centers are using today to train their students.
I am HUGE advocate of learning alternative languages and frameworks. So that means if you are a PHP Zend man, I would suggest learning another MVC framework like Laravel or any other PHP framework that looks interesting to you – there are many to choose from:
But … this may shock some of you hardcore PHP nerds, it’s also a good idea to learn another competing language too! Personally, these days, I would suggest learning a little Ruby. Ruby is very popular, sophisticated and by comparing how Ruby does things vs PHP … you will become a better PHP programmer because of it.