Should You Learn PHP in 2022?


In recent years, PHP has begun to push Nodejs and Python, and Java and .Net solutions for large companies. We figured out whether it is worth learning PHP now, how much time you have to spend and whether special training is needed

PHP remains one of the most popular back-end web application development languages. Its alternatives even cumulatively occupy a smaller market.

In addition, the salary of a PHP specialist is comparable to other areas of development, and sometimes more complex. For example, an Assembler developer is statistically paid less than a PHP programmer, while Assembler is considered a more complex language.

PHP programming from scratch

The PHP language is easy enough to learn, which is a plus, because after just a few months of learning, you can start working in the position of a junior software engineer. But this is also a disadvantage, because it is impossible to become a qualified specialist in such a short period, and developers enter the development field who do not know either Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) or design patterns, which means they create low-quality applications that are difficult to maintain.

Do PHP Specialists Need Special Training?

I have a humanitarian education and 15 years ago I mastered PHP on my own from articles on the Internet. Which once again confirms that you can understand the language and start doing something in it quite quickly, without investing time and money in higher education or long-term courses.

While a good education doesn’t hurt, as I said earlier, many developers lack design patterns and other proper development solutions in their knowledge base. Therefore, the best solutions for learning can be either full-fledged courses where experienced programmers will teach not only the language, but also its correct use, or practice with a mentor, perhaps even free.

Should you choose PHP as your first language?

On the one hand, this is a good way to quickly figure it out, and also quickly start doing real projects. On the other hand, before learning PHP, you need to have a good knowledge of layout principles and at least the basics of JavaScript.

The language allows you to quickly move from theory to practice, bypassing the process of studying classical approaches, therefore, if you have knowledge and at least minimal experience in another language with an OOP paradigm, for example, C ++, or Java, or C #, then you you will develop much faster in PHP as a quality developer. This means that in a short time you will be able to pass the stage of a junior engineer and start getting interesting tasks and a good salary.

Tips for Beginning PHP Developers

Having worked on various projects, I have collected some important tips that will allow novice developers to reconsider their habits and radically improve the quality of their work. Experienced developers are unlikely to find anything useful here.

It is enough to correct a few small habits for the development team to say thank you. Lyrics aside, let’s get started.

1). The type of the input parameters. Don’t forget that PHP allows input parameters to specify the value type and exit type of the method. I met cases when something like $customer was taken as the input of the method, and under this in the project one could often find both the customer id and the name, and a link to it. And the most interesting thing is when this occurs in cases, for example:

function updateCustomer($customer)

{

 database query …where(‘customerId’ = (int)$customer);

}

And now sit and think, what will happen if I pass the full name here, and if the object? Especially realizing that for mysql, for example, an implicit primary key conversion is often specified in the settings. How long do you think the development team will catch bugs or inexplicable program behavior? As a result, the more often you specify the type of the passed variable, the earlier you can identify a potential problem or undesirable behavior of the program.

It also happens that the interface does not explicitly specify the types of input and output parameters. Time passes. Someone is trying to implement a method from an interface and adding data types. AND? Everything is falling! And woe is the programmer, so as not to complicate his work – he leaves it as it is!

Or even more “nervous” case, you debug a dozen methods in a chain and at the very end it turns out that the type of the variable is not the same. But it could have been filtered out at the very beginning. As a result, a lot of nerves and time were spent on unnecessary mistakes. Results at the end of the article.

2). Encapsulation is a good protector for a large team and the key to proper use in a multi-user project. It is often found that all methods are declared public. At the same time, some of the methods were written specifically for a specific action. Several years pass, and it turns out that everyone who is not lazy began to use this method. And then there comes a situation in which you need to correct this unique method. Try to do this without breaking the rest of the program. Conclusion, if you understand that the method was written purposefully and purely for a certain situation, then by making it private, you protect it from rash use by other developers, though not always.

3). Comments. It is better to spend 5 minutes writing it than 20 developers 5 minutes each to understand the logic. It happens that the name of the method speaks for itself, but not always. Often, in order to understand the purpose of one method, you have to understand the entire long chain. But if there was a comment. Which describes the context of use – the time to understand the logic is reduced significantly. The same applies to comments inside a method. Of course, excess is also not needed. There is a way to determine whether it is needed in a particular place or not: if after a while you read your code and “stupid” why it is here and not in another way, a comment is needed.

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