This month PHP turns 20 and I wanna say thank you to all of you who work with it. The language has had its flaws (especially design related) over the years, but has been improving so much and having great ideas implemented.
I started learning about PHP around 2004 in a Brazilian portal (hpg) that doesn’t exist anymore today. I wanted to learn how to create web pages at the time and PHP was already everywhere, so it was a natural choice.
Then, in 2008 when I started working at a web agency, things were very different and PHP 4 was still being used in many places. I had to work with a lot of structured legacy code while learning more about software development, until I started to strive for more quality and migrated many of them to object oriented PHP, so things got a little bit better at the time. From just creating websites with PHP, I was starting to develop systems with it.
After reading a very convincing post about CodeIgniter (at that time CodeIgniter’s website used to call it “the kick-ass php framework”, or something like that), I decided to give it a try and start developing my projects with it. The learning curve was small, it was simple and the documentation was great, so it was easy to get started with. I also fell in love with the Active Record pattern. Later, I’ve had the opportunity to teach a colleague how to work with CodeIgniter from scratch, and that was an interesting experience as well.
With this knowledge in CodeIgniter, I got a job at a company that develops fitness software. I was hired to develop their whole stack of online products and help the company migrate from the desktop to the web. We were using CodeIgniter for every project.
Nowadays with the experience I have, I can see how things can be built in an even better way, by using design patterns, ORM, TDD, etc. Lately I’ve been taking a look at Symfony2 and I’m constantly being amazed by how great it is and the way it is organized to work. It’s beautiful, much better than CodeIgniter and I hope to have the opportunity to use it professionally soon.
Along my career I’ve been to many PHP events and can say the community is great, people are always willing to teach and learn together. During this time, I also ended up working a little bit with Java and more recently I have been working a lot with .NET, but PHP has never left my life and I know it will stay like that for a long time.
I built my career with it, developed most of my projects with it and we will still fulfill many dreams and accomplish many goals together, so I’m truly thankful.
Here’s to another 20 years of growth and success! #20yearsofphp