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Discussion on: What's the deal with downing PHP development?

bgadrian profile image
Adrian B.G. • Edited on

Because it is, for many reasons (most of them I blame on the community):

  • it isn't the best at anything (out of the mainstream languages)
  • didn't got the mainstream wave, so it was always the underdog
  • if it wasn't for wordpress and a few projects probably it was as popular as Perl now days, as in dead
  • the standard lib and the PHP as a project had bad decisions along the way and inconsistency
  • it is slow
  • a lot of messy code written in legacy projects
  • there is no PHP way to write things, even in this post comments people are not agreeing how to name variables. This leads to many other problems.

There are many reasons to not make it your first language:

  • because ..of the way things are now (low adoption), the number of jobs/projects is lower so is hard to find a good paying job
  • if you want to be a web dev is simpler and faster (to be productive and get a job) to learn only 1 language (JS) and to write front and back end
  • with Python or Java you have access to many more companies and projects and industries

With a 7 year experience on it (and I loved it for many years), after I have exit my bubble where PHP was everything I realized that it deserves to be a second class language and it doesn't worth to be added to a professional career skillset.

devployment profile image

after I have exit my bubble where PHP was everything I realized that it deserves to be a second class language and it doesn't worth to be added to a professional career skillset.

This. So many times this. One can think whatever comes to mind about PHP, but this bubble thing is especially hard to oversee.

I started my career with other languages than PHP. Basically I started with (Visual)Basic. Some C(++) during school(s). Started "real" programming with Delphi. From there the journey continued to some VB .NET and finally C# professionally.

For the web gigs involved I really enjoyed RoR for big projects and Django to some Degree. Even ASP.NET for corporate work is on the list. ASP.NET Core just feels like getting most of the rings right for now. But it mostly depends on the context of the project what the right choice of tool/framework is. Tried Phoenix (Elixir) for some toy project recently. FP is hard to grok if you come from OOP oriented school of thought, but the concepts and ideas make sense in a lot of places.

Due unforeseen circumstances PHP is currently part of my day to day work. And what should I say? I hate it. I always hated it and will probably always hat it.

Maybe you can write clean code with PHP. It is still dominant across the web. Unfortunately people still start new projects in PHP. But does that mean it does anything really well? It feels just mediocre every time you touch it. Eerytime. In any single place.

Anyway, I try to keep my mind open and try to find and accept the good parts of PHP.

But the most annoying thing is the ignorance of the people that live exclusively in their PHP bubble. They never saw anything else, but think PHP solves every problem the right way and try to convince you, that you are wrong criticizing things created by and in PHP. Don't get me wrong. I'm not generalizing all PHP folks. But I never experienced this bubble mindset in any other ecosystem as much as in the PHP bubble.

I can just propose everybody to look left and right and learn new ideas and concepts. Even if you're profession is and will stay PHP. But my bet is that if more people would do that, PHP would certainly loose it's dominance. Dominance of ignorance as I'd like to call it.

joshualjohnson profile image
Joshua Johnson Author

All of your points seemed to fit within the mold of what everyone else says bad about PHP. But I have not seen the statistics to prove the claims. Most people say it would be dead language as you made the same claim. How is it then, that it powers 88% of the web according to

In benchmark tests I agree it is slow. There are plenty of resources out there to prove that. However, I have been on many projects, where PHP out performed Java applications they had running in the same house. My own personal experience has been that If you build PHP correctly, you can get 15ms response times. Java out of the box gives me 100ms response times running none of my code.

okolbay profile image

well it doesnt have to be sudden death. but when golang and alike will become simple enough for entry-level devs to comprehend and amount of tutorials on how to launch your blog in go will grow, php will die away. along with RoR. and Python&Flask. Some mentioned that you can run php on a hosting. Its 2018 and spinning up few containers with stack of your choice was never easier, so this argument doesnt hold anymore.

also, looking at focus and rate of new libraries appearing for php, I predict it would miss next big thing with all these stream processing microservice setups.

bgadrian profile image
Adrian B.G.

There is not a direct correlation between "powering the net" (which can be said about bash and linux too) and how good PHP is as a language, the quality of the code and the number of jobs or its performance.

One guy that does not know PHP can take care of 100 WordPress and joomla websites with no sweats.

You can read the search for other statistics: most open positions, best payed positions, best cloud language, language popularity in 2018 and so on ..