Written by:2009/01/19 10:33 AM
PHP is not a professional programming language but merely a skill set, a sub point on your CV.
I recently read an article on why PHP is not considered as a professional programming language in the IT market. I was quite intrigued as it struck a few chords for me.
Years ago I chose another programming language over the MS framework sets, like VB, .NET, C++ etc. I had all the Visual Studio installed but could not find the time to get into it. As I was too busy working in my own little cocoon.
A friend of mine warned me to get into .NET and the Microsoft suite of products. He mentioned that this is where the world of programming will be. I wrote him off. I had too many arguments as to why the particular path I had chosen was so superior to Microsoft product.
Then when I got into developing web pages and dynamic content. I found PHP and MySQL. This to me seemed to be the way to go. But once again my friend warned me about PHP not being a viable marketing tool on my CV. Once again I thought nothing of it. I proceeded on my career path.
Today I have eventually and humbly gone over to .NET. I still program using PHP and other languages, but this is more a skill set than a professional career. It is more about something that I can do amongst many other things. The career lies in .NET. I would regard my self as a professional programmer with a PHP skill set. PHP is a point on my CV.
Why did I eventually come to this position. Well its all about putting food on the table and having a roof over your head and light and water for your family. Many might argue that PHP is better than .NET and C#. But if you look at the job market, you will see that the lion share of the jobs are for .NET developers, more than 50% for .net alone.
When it comes to development tools, or what is commonly termed and IDE, a integrated Development Environment, Visual Studio stands out from the rest. Its reputation is so strong and so well ingrained into the IT industry, that when mentioning it in an interview or having it on your CV leave little doubt in many employers minds about your knowledge. The same cannot be said of PHP. IDE's like Zend Studio, Net Beans, and Komodo are not well known outside of the PHP geek sector of the IT industry. Even the people in marketing and sales know about Visual Studio is or have heard of it. Companies know and trust Microsoft, whatever their pro's and cons are.
Having the ability to develop in a well integrated, well designed IDE goes along way towards RAD, or Rapid Application Development. With the MS IDE, we have things like Drag and Drop of Controls, Two-way tools, third party integrations, debugging etc. Many of wich are lacking in other IDE's. Most of which are glorified HTML or Text editors.
RAD definitely appeals to companies. They get a better RIO, return on investment. Why is this? Well because with RAD development, your turnaround time is much faster. When companies are paying by the hour, they do not want to pay for some dude programming in a text editor, writing every line of code by hand. Taking him 10 times longer to develop an application, than it does when developing in a RAD environment like MS Visual Studio. Time is money.
Many employees regard an .NET programmer as a real programmer, and a PHP programmer as just a computer geek. They feel that their investment into .NEt. Microsoft is well worth the extra expense as opposed to the Opensource of PHP.
So for me, while PHP does have its attractions. .NET and Microsoft will always be the one that puts more food on the table. There seems to be more jobs available, better salaries, more opportunities.
What are your thoughts. DO you prefer PHP over .NET? Do you find enough work as a PHP Developer or as a .NET developer? What are your thoughts on the market for PHP and .NET Developers?
IF you had to convince me to go PHP or .NET, which one would you choose and why? What would your arguments be?
Drop us a note and let us know.
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