Why Warren Buffett would invest in PHP (and you should too)

anastasionico on February 01, 2019

About a year ago an event happened that shocked me and I believe, it changed my life forever. I still remember like it happened yesterday, I ha... [Read Full]
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"Remember, no carpenters fight on what is the best hammer."

Maybe not fight, but discuss, suggest, compare and improve.
Maybe not a hammer, but a saw, a machine, wood types, safety measures.
There's merit in comparing the tools, but balance is essential.

Job vacancy <> trends is a faux comparison IMO because one is more "solid" than the other.

There's also the sunk cost fallacy of tech choice where since you already have stuff done in x tech and the cost of change.

The problem with comparing ROI in learning with money is that there's no solid measure. You reuse most of your experience in any other language if it stays in similar scopes (like web), it's very unlikely that you'll lose 100% of your investment. The bar for entering into web development today is way lower than 10 years ago, so any investment 10 years ago doesn't have the same cost today.

Very well written article and was a nice read and point-of-view, but I feel the premise is misguided and the conclusion has no use.

No, I did not "invest" in bitcoin.


Hello Rodrigo,
Glad you did not put any money on Bitcoin,
anyway, yes all developers should discuss in order to improve but nowadays is easier to find close-minded people that just want to fight than compare.
This article was just a thought I wanted to share with you.


Sure thing.

I personally don't like PHP (bad experience) and wouldn't recommend, but understand it's perks and advantages.

But it's also refreshing to see analogies outside the industry. We're mostly secluded from other industries and spoiled in many senses, so it's good to spark some discussion.


I see what you mean in the sense that you should focus your efforts to expand your skillset towards where the jobs are plentiful and valuable. But I can't help but feel like "investing" in any language is sort of missing the point for advancing your career. Expanding your knowledge of clean code concepts, learning how to piece together complex modules and APIs, architect and engineering practices, those are what's really important for advancing and staying employed, and those are all language agnostic. Although I tend to avoid employers that look for "(x language) developers".

Great write up with tons of sources and information though.


Hi Garrett, Thanks for your kind comment.
I am 100% agree with what you are saying.
But at the same time, when I searched for a job I've always specifically looked for PHP position and I am glad to have done it, because (in my humble opinion) otherwise I would have been ending up on PHP, then Perl, then Nodejs job without "mastering" any of them.

I am still far from the "master" level but I reckon that coding professionally in the same language for years is helping me day by day achieving my goal.


👍, i would consider to learn and master 2 - 3 language, for career change its promising. PHP is good, i still dont know why we got so many language, but yeah... Its programming


Actually, when I read your article I feel very cringy worthy so I promise you I am not gonna start a flame war.

I may be wrong if memory serves me right, in the intelligent investor book, he has written we should never invest in the industry that we are part of.

Instead, we should focus on investing in what we know, as we might have biases that we may not realise that cloud our judgement while investing in an industry that we are part of.

Aka "A hammer can solve everything when we view every problem we come across as a nail".

What I see is that depending on where you would like to end up in the near future.

Besides the usual technical prowess we are required to know, we should focus on writing, networking, branding as an expert, leadership, sales.

To be a person who creates a ripple effect that galvanizes a whole group of people to act in a cause you believe in. Instead as being an independent contributor that is my own personal opinion.


This is the kind of constructive comment that elevates the conversation level.
I love it


Thanks for the complements, I think that it's good that you add a different blend of the usual articles here.

Which comes from business books, self help and politics which I doubt I could pull it off myself by writing that clearly.

And no I didn't buy bitcoin but I'm building a crypto related product for a friend who is a VC.


When someone says php is dead and how better their choice of language is performing i almost immediately agree with them just to avoid the argument.


Actually I saw PHP workforces are fun and respectful! :)


Probably not a 100% bulletproof argument, as there are always other factors, but this is definitely an interesting model to think around these things.


I can't agree with your premise. (Analogous to saying Warren Buffet would invest in a specific set of vice grips.) But I respect the detailed and interesting article.


Allow me the joke but Buffett actually has more than 2 billion worth of shares of Acme Brick Company, Cavalier Homes and Clayton Homes.
I guess he owns plenty of vice grips.


Not sure how that relates. He doesn't invest specifically in Kobalt 8" vice grips or only in Acme's Ranchero style brick line. He invests in whole companies. The specific tools used matters very little toward success compared to the business factors.


Somewhere, working on Golang + assembly (need cooling, reduce contention, etc) could get many times more performance and lower energy consumptions, we know it is worth to pay more when such performance are needed and delivery solutions is crucial.

We are in the space age, many programmers utilise PHP for a job opportunity. It's just having plenty choices in the imperfect world, but I would still go with golang to build the future for the community.


Yes, it seems that a lot of web agencies are moving toward golang in the last few years.

Still, in my opinion, there will be plenty of PHP's jobs at least for the next decade.


Yes, no doubt, you can predict the future.


Some thoughts to think when decide where put your efforts.

But sometimes learn a language that was not "popular" is a process that force expand us mental model about programming and problem solve.

And this make changes in how you see all this elements.


Yes I agree,
In my case, for example, I hated C ++ during my teen years at school but I can not deny that concepts of Encapsulation and Polymorphism helped me a lot as a professional PHP developer.


In my opinion PHP has been quite a bright language since 5.3 or so (2003?).

The true programmers that are reluctant to complain about languages and instead invest their time in improving their professional capacilites have mentioned it since then.

Look here devshed.com/?s=gervasio for the several dosens of articles that are up to now quite usefult for aspiring programmers (notice, irrespectively of whether it is PHP or not).

Thus today PHP being quite fast, providing all the web-related specificities built in, being the easiest deployed one, running 80% (?) of the web (lots of legacy codebases rewrite / refactor in PHP ahead?), yet having huge power for its OO capabilities, having the well ordered impulse to develop its even brighter future is on the top of the list for investing my time and efforts as far as web development is considered.

Having said that I enjoy every working line of code written in PHP (however I equally say so for JavaScript, MySQL, C or assembler).


Go for it, it is one of the best books about investment out there!


Just to be sure to understand, your case against Python is basically that the standard library is too small and the language is too slow?


Hi Remy,
Nope, I do not have any case against Python and any other languages to be honest, with this article I just wanted to express my answer to whom says that PHP is dead, there isn't jobs security anymore, and investing your time in learning PHP is a waste.
How do you find working with Python?


Much, much, much better than working with PHP.

But in that case I don't understand what are your down points about Python

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