Is PHP Still Good to Learn in 2020?

Is PHP Still Good to Learn in 2020?

Is PHP still good to learn in 2020? Is it still relevant in the marketplace? Today I’m going to be going over whether you should bother learning PHP or not in 2020. You can watch the video or read the transcript to find out more.

Is PHP Still Good to Learn in 2020?

Hey guys, this is Nick from Mobile Code Media. Today I want to go over whether PHP is still good to learn in 2020. The short answer is YES! It’s still good to learn PHP in 2020, but there’s more. As for why it’s good, I want to go over how you should go about finding the answer, because the answer is going to change over time.

When you’re deciding if a programming language is worth learning, you need to set aside your emotions. The marketplace doesn’t care if you think a programming language is stupid. The marketplace cares if you can solve a problem. If you can solve problems, and solve them well, then the marketplace will give you money. If you don’t provide the market with what it wants, then it will ignore you and nobody will pay you. To help yourself, you have to first focus on helping others. 3 factors will determine your pay, according to Earl Nightingale:

  1. Is there a need for what you do?
  2. What is your ability to do the job?
  3. How hard is it to replace you?

So the first place that we can look to see if there’s market value is to check whether there are jobs available for that skill. PHP is heavily used in 2020. Since WordPress, Drupal, Magento and Joomla are so popular (especially WordPress) and are written in PHP, statistics show that PHP is behind at least 75% of websites. While Content Management Systems are really popular, a lot of those sites are written with frameworks like Codeignitor and Laravel, as well as custom sites written from scratch.

A current popular trend for building scalable sites is to build an API backend with Laravel and then to build an SPA (Single Page Application) on the frontend with React or Angular to communicate with it. You can also dovetail other features in like a PWA (Progressive Web App) for even more functionality. PHP has really become a much lighter and faster language with the release of PHP 7 a few years back. It’s really matured a lot over the 12+ years that I’ve been using it extensively and is far from the templating language that it once was. Code camps aren’t really teaching it anymore, but I would argue that code camps are really limited in scope due to time constraints. You can get by nowadays by running Node.js on the backend instead of PHP, but again, you need to look for what companies are hiring for and how the market is shifting. A code camp’s job is to get you prepared for that 1st job and then it’s up to you to continue learning.

So finishing up my long answer….PHP is good to learn in 2020, but it isn’t enough. You need to make sure that you also know something like React or Angular, as well as HTML/CSS, plain old Javascript, MySQL/MongoDB, etc. It’s part of the web stack that you should know if you want to stay relevant in the field. This includes how to configure Nginx and Apache. It’s all a part of a tool set that you should have and continuously be developing. If you learn PHP, don’t consider yourself a PHP developer. You’re a software developer that specializes in web tech. You learn whatever you need to get the job done, and PHP will serve you well throughout 2020 and beyond.

Good luck in whichever language you choose to learn and thanks for reading!

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