About 8 years ago I decided to learn PHP and it was my first programming language. I started with no knowledge at all, researched  the necessary topics, did a few self initiated projects and after a few months, I was able to get my first job as a PHP developer. Looking back, I am still happy for learning it. It gave me a good basis for being able to work with other technologies I was required to and it is now my partial income.

PHPphoto credit: Robert Agthe via photopin cc

The last few weeks, I have read a few articles about PHP. Some are good, endorsing it. Some are bad, saying things like it is a broken language. Of course, PHP has it’s own ups and downs, but I am here neither to prettify or disfigure it. I can only say, that you should build on the positive and deal with the negative.
I don’t know, maybe, that is what got me writing this kind of post in the first place.

The reasons I am thankful for learning PHP:

  1. Researching technology on your own is never easy, but I believe it is an essential skill in High Tech. Learning this language was a huge milestone on the way getting that skill for me.
  2. It taught me the basics of scripting and OOP. I had to adapt when I started programming Java, but it was much easier than just knocking on the Object Oriented Programming door on your own for the first time.
  3. HTML, JavaScript and CSS – I was learning one programming language, but got 4 in the same package, learning those other languages, which usually any PHP work combines.
  4. The community is huge. PHP people, PHP people everywhere.
  5. The knowledge resources are full of… uum… knowledge. You can always find relevant examples and how other developers attended similar problems.
  6. It gave me an opportunity to go further, than just the programming language. WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento and many more are all Content Management Systems or similar, which are leading in the industry. Those systems are based on PHP and as PHP Freelancer, I have worked with those systems or can easily get myself to be able to do so. Something, that not any developer in other programming language can say.
  7. It is one more skill for me. There is a lot of work, employed or freelance, involving PHP (some say too many work and even more developers). It can always be a full or a part time income.

For conclusion, I am happy for learning PHP, It was a fun ride when I started, it opened up some great opportunities and helped me in evolving my skills. Further more, those are interesting times in the PHP world, there are a lot of frameworks, open source projects and APIs. Special notice to the Facebook Hack Language and HHVM, two recent interesting developments, which I will try for sure.  So, since 2006, I choose to <?php?>.

You are welcome to share your opinion and experience with PHP.