Should You Learn PHP in 2019?

As I was driving back from looking at new homes, I was pondering on the mysteries of the coding universe. Questions like “Should I focus my attention on learning Node?” or “Would learning Kodlin make me a more attractive coder to potential clients?” As my mind was racing through these thoughts, I realized that with the set of skills that I have, I can attract and deliver quality results to any business or customer that may need our services.

It's not the tools that you use, it's about the quality of work that you deliver to your customers:

PHP has a bad reputation within the developer community in general. Things like “it's ugly to look at” or “it's spaghetti code” are some of the things that developers say about PHP. This is the reputation that it developed during its early years. PHP 5 and 7 changed all of that, and now PHP is a fully Object Oriented programming language that can use the Model, View, and Controller paradigm to design, and implement modern web apps.

With that said, the regular business owner doesn’t care about how PHP looks, or if it's spaghetti. They only care about three things:

1. Your communication with them.

2. That you deliver your product on time and budget.

3. That it works as promised.

If your application doesn't work as promised or it takes forever to deploy, they are not going to care if you used ReactJs or Java to write it. They just care about results, and making sure that their companies or projects are exactly what they want it to be.

It’s no surprise that PHP powers 79% of the world wide web*, and because of this reason, there are some very ugly sets of code out there. But to regular folks who don’t understand the difference between procedural or decoupling, they just want to see a pretty functional site that does what you promised it was going to do, this doesn't matter.

Programming is programming, you learn one, you can learn all the others:

If you start learning PHP in 2019 (which I say 'Do it!'), then what happens if in 2020 you plan to learn Javascript or Python? Well, then you take everything you learn from PHP (Variables, arrays, function, classes, constants and conditional statements), and you apply it to those other languages.

But what if you want to learn Android or IOS programming? Then you take everything you learn from PHP and you apply them to those languages. Yes, syntax may be a little bit different, but the concepts are the same.

The beauty about programming is that you can learn, change, and grow using the same foundational principles.

To answer the question, should you learn PHP in 2019?

Yes! Just do it. Once you feel comfortable enough and understand the foundations of programming through PHP, then you can decide if you want to expand your knowledge base, and learn how to use PHP with MySQL, or learn about composer and how to install packages, or learn a PHP framework like Laravel or YII2. If at the end you see that learning PHP is not going to help you advance your personal goals, then you can decide to learn another language, and you will have a better understanding of coding principles. The point is to learn, grow, and explore. Give it a try; it will change your life!

 

Notes:

* https://w3techs.com/technologies/overview/programming_language/all
Jose Garcia

Co-founder of coloreal, Software Developer, and Graduate from Florida International University.

Follow @ jgar186
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