PHP stands tall as one of the most renowned programming languages worldwide, and its significance reaches great heights, where the demand for PHP skills is soaring. Should you harbor aspirations of donning the hat of a PHP developer, certain crucial insights beckon your attention.
This comprehensive article shall act as your guiding compass, navigating you toward a prosperous career in the realm of PHP development. Notably, it will furnish you with a well-crafted sample job description, instrumental in penning a flawless job advertisement. Thus, ensuring your quest for the ideal candidate to fill PHP vacancies or fulfill remote work opportunities abroad concludes with unparalleled success.
What is PHP?
According to information found on the PHP official website, PHP is a widely-used open-source scripting language known as “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.” This language is particularly well-suited for web development and can be seamlessly integrated into HTML.
In the process of web development, the server executes the PHP code, resulting in the generation of HTML that is then sent to the client’s browser. Despite its relative simplicity, PHP remains an ideal choice for beginners due to its ease of learning. However, do not mistake its simplicity for a lack of sophistication; PHP boasts a plethora of advanced features that seasoned programmers will undoubtedly appreciate.
Here’s an interesting tidbit: PHP was originally an acronym for “Personal Home Page,” but to avoid restricting its potential, the name was changed. As they say, sometimes the key lies in how things are presented!
Impressively, a staggering 77.4% of websites that employ server-side programming languages utilize PHP as their preferred option. The language’s widespread adoption is evident, with major platforms like Etsy, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Wikipedia, and WordPress all endorsing PHP for their operations.
Who is a PHP Developer and what do they do?
A PHP developer is an individual skilled in working with PHP and its associated technologies, including MySQL, JSON, AJAX, XML, and HTML, among others. Alongside a proficient understanding of PHP, a PHP developer should feel at ease with diverse PHP frameworks like CakePHP, CodeIgniter, and Laravel, as well as PHP-integrated development environments (IDEs) such as PHPStorm and ZendStudio, among others.
In essence, a PHP developer is a seasoned professional who crafts applications, programs, and websites using the dynamic scripting language known as PHP. It might seem straightforward, right? At times, these developers may be referred to using more general titles like “software developer” or “web developer.” Nevertheless, they constitute a specialized subset within the broader realm of developers.
Roles and Responsibilities of PHP Developers
PHP developers are consistently engaged in a wide array of tasks, keeping them occupied with various responsibilities. These encompass, but are not limited to, the following:
- Crafting, testing, and deploying novel and cutting-edge website applications promptly and efficiently. Simultaneously collaborating with fellow developers to fulfil data acquisition requirements.
- Detecting and resolving compatibility issues involving CSS, HTML, and scripting across diverse platforms and browsers.
- Thoroughly assessing websites on multiple browsers, including mobile, notebook, and tablet devices, while proactively addressing concerns voiced by customers.
- Engaging in extensive research and exploration of architectural considerations during the system design process. This includes a focus on web usability, website performance, and database design. Exploring and evaluating various options for implementing new application features.
- Establishing seamless communication and collaboration with other development teams and company management. This involves resolving conflicts, prioritizing tasks, selecting optimal solutions, and defining criteria for new content development.
- Devising comprehensive plans to maintain the website’s currency and relevance at all times. Offering recommendations for improved performance, fine-tuning style guidelines for website content, and carefully selecting the most effective design tools, programming languages, and applications.
- Providing detailed descriptions of website specifications, encompassing product features, budget considerations, programming languages, communication protocols, functionalities, structure, and project deadlines.
- Continuously staying abreast of the latest programming practices and web technologies. Achieving this through consistent reading, embracing continuing education opportunities, and actively participating in relevant professional workshops, groups, and conferences.
What are the skills you need to become a PHP developer?
For a good PHP developer to meet all of the expectations listed above, they must be able to draw from a robust set of appropriate skills. Here’s a list of the most needed expertise and talents:
- PHP, of course, even if it’s just at the beginner level. It’s a start.
- Knowledge of Ajax, jQuery, and MySQL.
- APIs, Unix/Linux, and MVC Framework Architecture.
- Understanding CakePHP- an open-source web framework, and PHPUnit- a unit testing framework.
How to Become a PHP Developer for Beginners?
If you’ve decided to become a PHP developer (or have wisely decided to upskill), then you need the below step-by-step guide to success.
Step 1: Get a Relevant Degree
You should have at least a relevant Bachelor’s degree before you set out to become a PHP developer. Although there aren’t any stringent qualification requirements to become a PHP developer, it’s beneficial to have a degree in computer science, software engineering, or programming.
In many cases, proven work experience in fields like computer programming and software engineering will be considered more than your educational qualification. Still, having a degree is preferable.
Step 2: Learn PHP
Now, you are ready to learn PHP. You have to start with the basics of programming, data structures, and algorithms. If you have prior exposure to programming and/or web development then starting with PHP will be much easier. If you haven’t then don’t worry as many people don’t. So, how do you learn PHP? Well, there are several ways, including:
- Books and eBooks
- Online courses and tutorials
- Offline classes
- YouTube videos
- Seminars and webinars
- Blogs and websites
Step 3: Work on PHP Projects
Once you’re ready to work with PHP, it’s time to indulge in PHP projects. There are projects of all levels that you can try to know how well you’ve learned PHP so far.
PHP projects can be categorized into basic, intermediate, and advanced categories depending on the knowledge that you’ll be required to invest to champion them. Basic PHP projects typically involve pure fundamental PHP knowledge.
Intermediate-level PHP projects require a little more than PHP basics. You need to know some advanced topics to successfully complete them as well as some knowledge of additional technologies like MySQL, jQuery, MongoDB, etc.
Advanced projects are those that demand a lot more than just PHP knowledge. These require knowledge of PHP-related technologies as well as analytical and problem-solving skills.
Step 4: Get Certified
Finally, aspiring PHP professionals should get certified, accomplished by taking a course and passing the certification exam. With that certification under your belt, you show future employers that you are well-versed in PHP programming.
Different PHP certifications will help you to testify to your different types of working experience with PHP at different levels. These certifications increase the value of your resume and give you an edge over candidates without a PHP certification(s).
What are the best resources for learning PHP?
Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or pro, these below given online websites below will definitely help you develop your skills more.
- PHP Manual7
- PHP Tutorial by Tizag
- PHP 101
- Killer PHP
- The Learn PHP Tutorial
- PHP Tutorial by W3CSchool
- SitePoint PHP
- TutorialsPoint PHP
- PHP 5 Power Programming
- Hacking With PHP
- PHP The Right Way
- PHP Academy
- PHP Video Tutorials
- Develop PHP
- Bento PHP Resources
- VideoPHP Blog
- PHP Jabbers
- Microsoft Azure PHP Tutorials and Documentation
Different types of PHP projects you can build
Looking to explore various types of PHP projects you can get into? Well, you’ve landed in the right place! Check out these cool project ideas that might just spark your interest:
- Clothes Recommendation System: Delve into the world of fashion and technology by creating an intelligent Clothes Recommendation System. Your app can suggest stylish outfits based on user preferences, weather conditions, and trending fashion trends. Step up your fashion game and make shopping a breeze for your users!
- Customer Relationship Management for ISPs: Forge stronger bonds with your internet service provider (ISP) customers through an advanced Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Optimize customer support, manage subscriptions, and track user interactions to ensure seamless connectivity and stellar customer experiences.
- Predict Movie Success through Data Mining: Dive into the fascinating realm of movie data analysis! Develop a powerful data mining system to predict the potential success of upcoming movies. Crunch box office numbers, analyze cast and crew, and uncover insights that could influence the future of the film industry.
- Fake Review Identification: Tired of being misled by fake product reviews? Create a robust fake review identification tool that can analyze and detect suspicious reviews across e-commerce platforms. Help users make informed decisions and foster a trustworthy online shopping environment.
- Data Mining Implementation for Secure Learning: Are you passionate about education and data science? Combine the two with a data mining implementation for secure learning. Safeguard sensitive educational data while leveraging data mining techniques to enhance personalized learning experiences.
How to get certified as a PHP developer
Zend Certified PHP Engineer
Coding professionals around the world recognize the Zend PHP certification as a noteworthy accomplishment. Employers often use this certification to distinguish the skill level of applicants. Professionals can earn this certification by passing an exam.
The Zend PHP certification exam consists of 75 questions, which candidates have 90 minutes to complete. The exam costs $195, and candidates can retake the exam however many times they would like. Zend created this exam to test the topics that PHP programmers address in their daily work.
This is a certificate for beginners and can give you a good boost of knowledge. Although it may not act as proof of your knowledge outside the company you work for, it will certainly give you an edge over others when you move teams or for promotion in the same company. You wouldn’t give it to an exam center, but at your choice of place, you will need to appoint a supervisor, who will be monitoring you during the exam, and whose name will also be mentioned in the certificate. It would be a good idea to choose your manager or mentor to be your supervisor for more credibility. W3Schools provides a lot of resources like tutorials and quizzes so you can prepare for the exam well.
LinkedIn PHP Developer certification
LinkedIn offers a PHP course filled with 45 hours of training videos. Professionals earn a badge of completion after completing this course. This can help when applying to positions on the LinkedIn site, as employers can see this badge and recognize the accomplishment.
Coursera certification courses are provided by learned professors of various prestigious universities and companies. Many colleges and universities prefer and recommend Coursera courses for their students. The mentioned course is a part of the 4-course web development series offered by the University of Michigan. We will be giving the details of the first course of the series, which is most relevant to PHP.
Udemy PHP certification
Candidates earn the Udemy PHP certification by completing a specialized course. Udemy offers three different courses for PHP coders, each separated by skill level. After completing a skill level, the professional will receive a certification specific to the course they finished. Then, they can decide whether to advance to the next course.
Though the cost can vary, professionals can purchase each of these courses with a one-time fee. Udemy offers video content and study guides for the candidate to learn at their own pace.
How can I stay up-to-date on PHP development trends?
Staying up-to-date on PHP development trends is crucial to remain relevant in the ever-evolving programming landscape. Here are several ways you can stay updated:
- Follow PHP Blogs and Websites: Regularly visit PHP-focused blogs and websites that cover the latest trends, news, and updates in the PHP community. Websites like PHP.net, SitePoint, PHP The Right Way, and Laravel News provide valuable insights and updates on PHP development.
- Engage with Online Communities: Join PHP communities, forums, and discussion groups where developers share their knowledge and experiences. Participate in discussions, ask questions, and contribute to conversations to stay informed about emerging trends and industry practices. Platforms like Stack Overflow, Reddit’s /r/PHP, and PHP.net forums are great places to engage with the PHP community.
- Attend PHP Conferences and Meetups: Attend PHP conferences and meetups to network with other developers, gain exposure to cutting-edge technologies, and learn from industry experts. Events like PHP Central Europe, Sunshine PHP, and local PHP user groups often feature talks and workshops on the latest PHP trends and advancements.
- Subscribe to PHP Newsletters: Subscribe to PHP newsletters and mailing lists that provide regular updates on PHP-related topics. Newsletters like PHP Weekly, PHPDeveloper.org, and Laravel News can deliver the latest news, tutorials, and resources directly to your inbox.
- Follow Influential PHP Developers: Follow influential PHP developers, framework creators, and experts on social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, and GitHub. Their posts, articles, and repositories can give you insights into emerging trends and best practices in PHP development.
How to Prepare for PHP Developer Job Interviews?
PHP has a vast range of topics that can be categorized into basic and advanced concepts. A PHP developer interview aims to assess a candidate for PHP knowledge, design patterns, and problem-solving ability. Some of the questions that you might be asked during a PHP job interview are:
- What is a session in PHP?
- Explain variables in PHP.
- How do echo and print differ in PHP?
- Highlight the advantages and disadvantages of PHP.
- What’s the difference between using mysql_ functions and PDO?
- Describe how inheritance works with PHP.
- Do you know what the PHP-FIG is? …
- What classes would you create to build a basic Twitter-style status system with OOP?
- What frameworks are you experienced in?
- What frameworks do you prefer?
- Can you tell us about how PHP interacts with HTML?
- What is the importance of traits in PHP?
- What are the security features offered by PHP?
- How can you create cookies in PHP?
- How will you create a database with MySQL and PHP?
- Explain the steps to create an API in PHP.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – PHP Developer Career Guide
What is PHP?
PHP, also known as “PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor,” is a widely-used open-source scripting language primarily used for web development. It can be seamlessly integrated into HTML, and the server executes PHP code to generate HTML that is then sent to the client’s browser.
What does a PHP Developer do?
A PHP Developer is skilled in working with PHP and associated technologies like MySQL, JSON, AJAX, and XML. They create applications, programs, and websites using PHP and are proficient in PHP frameworks such as CakePHP, CodeIgniter, and Laravel.
What are the responsibilities of PHP Developers?
PHP Developers are responsible for crafting and deploying web applications, resolving compatibility issues, conducting website assessments, collaborating with other teams, and continuously staying updated on the latest programming practices and technologies.
What skills are needed to become a PHP Developer?
How can I become a PHP Developer as a beginner?
Start by getting a relevant degree in computer science or programming. Learn PHP through books, online courses, tutorials, and videos. Work on PHP projects to apply your knowledge practically, and consider getting certified to showcase your skills.
What are the best resources for learning PHP?
There are several online platforms like PHP Manual, W3Schools, CodeCourse, and TutorialsPoint that offer tutorials, quizzes, and videos for learning PHP.
What types of PHP projects can I build as a developer?
PHP projects can range from a Clothes Recommendation System and Customer Relationship Management for ISPs to Predicting Movie Success through Data Mining and Fake Review Identification.
What certifications can I obtain as a PHP Developer?
You can get certified through Zend Certified PHP Engineer, W3Schools PHP Certification, LinkedIn PHP Developer certification, Coursera PHP Certification Course, and Udemy PHP certification.
How can I stay up-to-date on PHP development trends?
Stay updated by following PHP blogs, engaging in online communities, attending conferences and meetups, subscribing to PHP newsletters, and following influential PHP developers on social media.
How should I prepare for PHP Developer job interviews?
Prepare for PHP interviews by familiarizing yourself with session handling, PHP variables, differences between echo and print, advantages and disadvantages of PHP, and other core concepts. Be ready to discuss frameworks, APIs, PHP-FIG, and security features offered by PHP.