So what is a PHP Web Developer and what do they do?
A PHP web developer is someone who writes computer code using the server-side scripting language PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor). They are generally considered a “back-end” developer, meaning they deal with programming logic that is separate from the “front-end” or visual part of a website. Common uses of PHP will be to connect to a database to read and write data or process data using programming logic.
On the other hand, a developer in a large development team might find themselves being more specialised and working solely on back-end code and not really dealing too much with the frontend side of things.
How relevant is PHP compared to other technologies in today’s market?
PHP is still an extremely popular programming language for building web-based applications. It is well established and has strong support from the open-source community.
Many popular platforms are built with PHP such as WordPress, Magento, Facebook, Wikipedia, Tumblr, and a whole lot more.
Have a look at this blog article exploring PHP’s popularity. “Is PHP Dead? No! At Least Not According to PHP Usage Statistics”…
According to W3Techs’ data, PHP is used by 78.9% of all websites with a known server-side programming language. So almost 8 out of every 10 websites that you visit on the Internet are using PHP in some way.Source: Kinsta Blog https://kinsta.com/blog/is-php-dead/
How can I learn PHP?
Because of the widespread support for PHP it is not difficult to find plenty of tutorials and courses on this programming language.
Schools for PHP web development
You are probably not going to find schools that are solely focused on teaching PHP. Learning will more likely be in the form of an elective unit to study. With formal education such as a degree in Computer Science, programming fundamentals will be a good background when learning PHP. As you learn to program you will realise that there are a lot of common threads between languages, some stronger than others. For instance, PHP is closely aligned with the C programming language.
Teach yourself to be a PHP developer
This is where the modern-day “internet enhanced” world is exciting. Education of all types is being opened up to the world like never before. If you are self-motivated and have a desire to learn there’s an abundance of knowledge you can tap into. Either at a minimal cost or quite often, completely free!
Use YouTube tutorial videos
YouTube has loads of informative and practical hands-on videos to help you on your way to mastering PHP.
Use educational libraries with curated content
An online library such as Website Library has curated content from the web so you don’t need to look through streams of information to find quality content.
Read the official PHP documentation on php.net
The official PHP website is an essential reference source for learning PHP. You will find that you will use this often to check what functions are available for specific tasks, arguments to pass, specifications and lots more.
Read from the experts in the field
Check out this article “23 PHP Developers to Follow Online” on the top PHP developers in the industry.
The following list—in alphabetical order—includes some of the most prominent PHP source and framework committers, project leaders, teachers, visionaries, and entrepreneurs. Follow their blogs, Twitter feeds, and other communication channels to get a front-row view of what matters to the community today, where it wants to go, and how you might be able to get involved.Source: New Relic website https://blog.newrelic.com/culture/php-developers-follow-online/
Are there many jobs for PHP Web Developers?
Of course! PHP is a popular web programming language and used by many companies.
Where can I find PHP Web Developer jobs?
One of the things you may need to ask yourself is what type of lifestyle do you want? Do you prefer the stability of a day job? Or would you prefer to have your own clients and work for yourself as a freelance developer?
Working for a web design and development company
Once you feel that your skills are up to scratch and you want to branch out by getting a PHP web developer try research around your local area for any web design/development companies. This can be a great advantage being in the local area where your employer is based, especially if you are required to be in the workplace on a day to day basis.
Failing that try some of the online employment websites. This will vary depending on what country you live in. Here in Australia “Seek” is the largest online job employment, career and recruitment site. Search “online employment website” in Google for yours.
Working for yourself as a freelance web developer
It’s quite common these days to work for yourself as a freelance PHP web developer. This can be a great way to go if you have some experience behind you. Or possibly you are part of a strong PHP development community that can help you out if you get stuck!.
See this video tutorial and article on How to Find Freelance Web Developer Jobs.
What does a PHP web developer get paid?
It’s worth doing a little research online to see an average PHP Web Developer salary. It will most likely vary depending on what country you live in. Try the Payscale website to give you an idea of what sort of pay range you should be earning. Make sure the correct country and city are selected for your location. This control is located at the bottom of the page.
More PHP related resources to explore
The PHP area of the w3schools.com website is a great learning resource for PHP. It’s well laid out and a good reference especially if you find the PHP site a bit daunting.
This educational website aims to guide the PHP student towards good standards when programming with PHP.
There’s a lot of outdated information on the Web that leads new PHP users astray, propagating bad practices and insecure code. PHP: The Right Way is an easy-to-read, quick reference for PHP popular coding standards, links to authoritative tutorials around the Web and what the contributors consider to be best practices at the present time.Source: PHP The Right Way website: https://phptherightway.com/
Have a genuine interest and passion for PHP
Lastly, I just want to conclude by saying that your journey to becoming a PHP web developer should be a conscious one. Make sure you have a genuine interest and passion for PHP as this is what will see you towards your goal. As a PHP web developer in the workforce, you’ll find yourself being confronted with a lot of complex problems to solve. If you don’t have the drive and interest in resolving these issues you won’t break through to greater heights. Foster your passion for PHP and let that sustain you through the tough times.
All the best and enjoy the wonderful world of PHP!