So, 20 years ago on the 8th of June, Rasmus Lerdorf released PHP 1.0 and we have been hearing peoples’ stories of their own path on the PHP journey. Here’s mine…
I left university with a very head strong (and very naive) attitude. I adored OO systems design, it was my core strength at uni and foolishly believed that I could be an architect without ever needing to write any code at all. How young (and daft) I was 🙂 . That was crushed as soon as I entered the job market and realised that if I wanted to be that architect, I also needed to be a bloody good programmer to boot and I was not going to get that job right off the bat as a graduate. I had done some PHP4 at university so I figured well that’s as good a start as any. I sat in an interview with someone who I’ve worked with again and again and answered ‘yes of course’ to the question: ‘Do you know how to program using OO PHP?’. I was also good at drama; that chap didn’t realise I was lying through my teeth but I figured I knew OO design so how hard can OO programming really be? It is an art, luckily one I had a talent for and managed to swim in the deep end I had flung myself into with a lot of mentoring from said chap and boffing up on it in my own time. There in lies my accidental drop into the world of PHP!
Since then, my world has been dominated by this language. I steadily grew and moved into different frameworks and applications including zend, symfony (both 1 and 2), Magento etc etc – the list goes on, focused for a long time on API development, integration, componentised systems and have found myself in the position where I operate more in the leadership function around technology and sate my appetite with R&D. Being someone who takes integration and architecture very seriously, I managed to achieve what I set out to do and have learnt an awful lot along the way and I’m still learning.
Good old PHP – it has it’s foibles and unfortunately because it’s not strictly policed in best practises through the language itself; has bred a sea of rubbish products and programmers but that being said, some of the best developers I have known have also used that freedom to create some seriously amazing technology. That’s their story, and they’re all good ones.
Here’s to another 20 years!