Meet PHP

Nowadays PHP is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. It is developed under the terms of the Open Source license, so anyone can have a look at its source code. PHP is a scripting programming language, with syntax similar to other programming languages such as C, C++, but in contrast to them, much simpler. PHP was created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf and was initially called PHP/FI, or Personal Home Page/Forms Interpreter. This language was a set of Perl scripts that acted as a monitor for visitors to his website.

Programs written using PHP are executed by a PHP interpreter on a server that converts PHP instructions into JavaScript and HTML. The PHP language is used to create not only dynamic websites and scripts but also applications running on the operating system. PHP can also be used for data processing. The main advantage of PHP is its simplicity despite the advanced possibilities it can be used for. When it come to the figures, the number of PHP developers in 2013 was set at 5 million (source) and in 2018 – 5,5 million (source). So How Many PHP Software Engineers Are There? The diagram below will give you an overview of what it looks like in the world’s largest countries.

Learn PHP

As for learning this programming language, PHP is easy to start when you begin your journey with coding. It is a dynamic programming language, so it is quite flexible when it comes to writing code and is not heavily typed, i.e., you can change the type of data during program execution. PHP syntax is relatively simple, so it is more beginner-friendly.

As an application grows, PHP may be more difficult to maintain and track errors, as it lacks static typing. However, if we learn how to keep order in the code and write tests, maintaining consistent code will become easier. When considering learning a programming language, it is worth thinking about whether this is to be our beginning of coding or whether we choose PHP as the next language to broaden our knowledge and skills. To choose a programming language according to your expectations, it is worth finding out what it can be used for and how it can serve us in our professional work, and this is what the next point is about.

Use PHP

PHP is an open-source language. Any programmer who has the right skills can download projects, modify them and share them with others. Thanks to that you can find ready-made solutions on the Internet, which greatly facilitate the work of PHP programmers. Creating such libraries and repositories relieves the burden of tedious work on writing the same scripts for each subsequent project. The source code of PHP can be freely modified by the programmers, which promotes the development of the scripting language. It is performed on the server-side, which means that it is invisible to users. It allows you to dynamically generate a page, create and modify files on the server, restrict access to subpage data on your site, encrypt data or use cookies. PHP code can be interlaced with HTML code, but this is not good practice.

The simplest example of its use is the handling of forms on web pages. PHP also supports databases, which requires knowledge of SQL – a structured query language that is used, among other things, to create and modify databases, as well as to enter and retrieve data from databases.  PHP is a relatively old programming language, but its popularity is not decreasing and it does not look like it will in the future.

Initially, the language was mainly used to process data from the form, now we also use it for this purpose:

  • Creating Internet forums,
  • Setting up online shops
  • Developing content management systems
  • Creating mailing lists
  • Wherever data validation is needed

It is also great for creating web applications such as content management systems. Moreover, it is constantly being developed to meet new requirements.

Popular companies that use PHP are: WordPress, Wikipedia, Facebook, Flicker, WhatsApp, Tesla, IBM.

Love PHP

PHP is available for both beginner and more advanced programmers. The beginner will find simple syntax in the language and advanced all the tools to help create an advanced application. The scripting language itself is used almost everywhere, from home websites to browser games and official websites of the biggest companies and corporations, therefore, its knowledge is very useful when we want to achieve success in the IT industry.

PHP has many advantages, so below we list a few reasons why you will fall in love with this programming language:

  • PHP affects the very fast loading of the website, and thus makes it more convenient for its users.
  • PHP is mostly based on open-source tools such as WordPress, so you don’t have to pay for them.
  • PHP reduces hosting costs because running a website through it only requires launching on a Linux server, which is provided by the hosting provider without any additional costs.
  • PHP is flexible in terms of connectivity to a database, as it can connect to several databases, among which the most popular is MySQL, that is available for free.

Different programming languages are equal to different preferences of their users and recipients. It’s worth remembering that the purpose of each programming language is a bit different and it’s worth finding the one that fits best with what we want to do with it and what tools we need to do so. Additionally, by learning new programming languages we give ourselves an opportunity for personal and career development. It’s worth investing in yourself.