PHP Web Development in 2019

If you are stuck in old-school PHP, you better read this...

Posted by Darwin Biler on June 30, 2019
This article is more of "how to think" like a modern PHP developer than "how to write" PHP. If you are like me who learned PHP 10 years ago (2009), the landscape and ecosystem is entirely different than today.

We dont call them "script" anymore, we call them "product" or "app"

Before, whenever some functionality is needed, it is pretty common for people to look for a corresponding "script" for that

  • Do you have youtube clone script?
  • Where could I buy a user management script?
  • I have a script to optimize my site but it is broken
You'll often read those kind of sentences in old forums, emails and conversations. Today, whenever a user needs some functionality, this is how they refer to it:

  • Is there an app that does this?
  • What startup is offering this kind of product?
  • How can we optimize this app?
If you are asking What exactly means by "app"?, you can check The Twelve Factor to know what exactly is needed for an app to be an app.

Writing in "Core PHP" is not cool anymore

First things first, a lot of people who calls themselves a "PHP Core Developer" is misusing the term "core"

What they THINK Core PHP means: Writing scripts without using framework or libraries and only using core functions.

What does Core PHP REALLY means: You are C or C++ programmer who is contributing to maintaining and optimization of PHP Interpreter source code

Now, lets say we take the 1st context (writing in php without frameworks), the only situations you should be doing that are:

  • You have full mastery of ANY existing framework and you think you can write a better one.
  • You could comply with 12 Factor App without cutting corners and delaying your project timeline.
  • You need to fix a bug or add a simple feature on a legacy application.
  • You are developing an SDK (libraries to interact with APIs) or Tools (Composer, PHPUnit).

You should NOT be coding in "Core PHP" if:

  • You don't have understanding on how to build a good framework from scratch. Frameworks are unavoidable, it is either you use an existing one or unconsciously building one.
  • You dont know how to use any existing framework or library.
  • You dont know what PSR is.

We dont Copy-Paste PHP Classes anymore

If you are one who often browse phpclasses.org whenever you need something, let me introduce you to Packagist and Composer.
Please know how to use those two tools and you'll see what I mean.

We dont use Filezilla to use edit files in live/production anymore

This is a habit that is hard to break, specially if you are a WordPress Developer. But hey, check the concepts of Continous Integration and Delivery. And if you are a WP developer, please check Roots.io

There you have it! Sorry if you are expecting some cool PHP syntax, but if that is what you are looking for, I have a post for that :)


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