Hiring and Retaining PHP Developers

A fundamental building block of the web, PHP is a technology that unlocks a lot of potential for teams and organizations. For companies to take full advantage of the language to increase and improve their online presence, hiring PHP developers should be a key consideration towards building future success.

Ian Deed
Ian Deed
Published: 01.08.2022

In addition to building for the web, PHP is capable of doing so much more for teams. Some of the most popular mobile and desktop application frameworks in use today lean on PHP to implement apps and services for teams. Put simply, it’s is a language enabling companies to do more to attract users and produce teams with high rates of efficiency, productivity, and high-quality engineering.

When considered specifically for the web, it’s a language that creates a huge amount of opportunity. Content management platforms WordPress and Drupal, for example, lean on PHP to create site features, themes, and web pages. Between them, these two platforms alone account for more than half of the web’s content-managed pages—demonstrating just some of the potential the language holds for organizations.

The strengths of the language come from its inherent simplicity and extensive capabilities in application engineering. Strengths that organizations can reach simply by getting the most out of teams they hire, deploy, and manage to build their services.

This means hiring experienced and expert developers familiar with creating robust and reliable solutions, and disciplined enough to build them with good management methodologies in mind.

How then, do we find, hire, manage, and maintain these teams within an organization.

Here, we’ve put together guides and resources designed to get your team up to speed with PHP development fast. From the advantages of the language to hiring PHP developers and managing them in your team, we’ve covered the ins and outs of the language as it applies within your firm.

Why Choose PHP Development Teams

Since the initial release of PHP in the early 1990s, it’s a scripting language that has had a low barrier to entry and abundant opportunities for developers to pick it up to learn. Easy to use, simple to set up, and easily approachable—these design choices have resulted in PHP being adopted far and wide in building the modern web.

Since then, the language has continuously evolved while keeping these principles in mind. Adopting modern engineering standards and tools to remain competitive today, it’s a language that now features object-oriented design among its many attributes.

With the eighth iteration of the language recently released, PHP has shown to teams and businesses that it’s a tool still in a highly active development phase with few signs of slowing down.

With new features consistently being added and better programming tools continually unveiled, it can be hard to keep up with the latest thinking. To help developers and teams keep up, we’ve put together an article on the future of PHP engineering to take a look at some of the most impactful and groundbreaking changes to come to the language and analyze what they could mean for the future of your organization.

Advantages of PHP Development

As a highly mature and capable language available to teams, PHP offers many advantages to the developers and organizations who lean on its abilities. Some of the reasons teams choose to lean on PHP development include:

  • Extensive community. The longevity of the language has allowed the ecosystems and communities that surround it to grow in size and ability. Today, there is a wealth of people and resources available to aid development and troubleshoot problems

  • Language flexibility. PHP is designed to be able to run almost anywhere, enable adoption into existing projects, and build entirely new things from the ground up

  • Available Tooling. Frameworks are one of PHP’s biggest assets. There are now countless high-quality frameworks built around rapid and inherently scalable PHP development

Of course, these advantages are just some of the key reasons PHP performs well under the right teams. Taking a detailed look into the advantages and drawbacks of the language, our article on the pros and cons of PHP development highlights what makes the language so valuable for teams today and the key things to watch out for when you adopt it into your organization.

Using PHP to Reach More Users

Who your users are and how you plan to direct them towards your applications and services will play the single biggest role in the type of PHP developer you target for hiring. Precisely how you utilize the language is highly dependent on where you plan to take it. Luckily, with PHP, there are a rich array of options available.

One of the most important advantages of PHP is the abundant web-based frameworks it has available. Whether you’re building a mobile accessible service, a CMS for creating, managing, and distributing content, or constructing a rapid prototype to test an idea—PHP frameworks are ideally suited to building highly capable solutions for teams.

Of course, this abundant array of choices means there are more details of the language to learn. If you’re confused about choosing between CakePHP, Symfony, and Laravel—or simply need to brush up on your knowledge of the language, we’ve created a guide to help. Our ultimate guide to PHP frameworks takes a close look at the resources you can deploy to get the most from the language.

Hiring PHP Development Teams

Now, with a guide on how you plan to use PHP and its supporting frameworks—the next goal to target is how to recruit the teams that can build them.

To do this successfully, you should be confident with the basics of the language and be intimately familiar with its advantages and drawbacks from the resources provided here.

At this advanced level of development, the PHP engineers you should be looking to recruit should include skills such as:

  • Knowledge of additional web technologies such as JavaScript and CSS
  • A good understanding of object-oriented programming
  • Familiarity with PHP 8 and the changes and developments that have gone into it
  • A working knowledge of MVC frameworks and APIs for multiple technologies
  • Previous experience using technologies such as Ajax, SQL, NoSQL, and jQuery
  • Previous work with PHP based frameworks such as Laravel, CakePHP, Drupal, etc

Here, we’ve put together a hiring guide that can help get you off to a strong start. Detailing exactly what to look for in a PHP developer and how to find the right teams, our article on hiring PHP developers has everything you need from initial hiring tips to a template job description to start your hiring journey.

Naturally, there is more than one way to connect to high-quality development talent to build your apps and services. PHP is more advantageous than most languages thanks to its broad range of developers working on a freelance basis to build and maintain sites for technology companies worldwide.

Many firms rely on this freelance talent to upgrade ongoing projects and implement services in a flexible way. Others, in contrast, lean on outsourced development teams to onboard PHP developers on an ongoing basis.

Both options have advantages and drawbacks that make them well suited to some organizations and projects over others.

Freelancers, for example, tend to be more flexible in deployment, come at a lower cost, and require less turnaround time on a project. Outsourced developers, in contrast, tend to have more robust management abilities, broader technology skill sets, and a more cohesive team to accelerate development.

How you weigh these advantages and drawbacks against each other will, very likely, be unique to your organization and management style. The decision between freelancer and outsourced developer isn’t always an easy choice.

We’ve put together a guide on choosing the right developer skillsets to help. Our article on should you hire freelancers or outsourced teams when it comes to PHP development takes a careful look at both options to help you come to a decision on your own.

Onboarding PHP Developers

When you do land on a strategy for incorporating PHP into your organization, the process of reaching out to prospective developers and assessing who to bring into your firm for each available role is the next difficult challenge.

Requiring a foundational knowledge of the technology, a working knowledge of how to put engineering skills to good use, and an eye for good project management techniques—the final stages of hiring can contain some of the biggest challenges.

The most notable of these challenges is the technical interview you need to do to get to know your prospective developer. Requiring you to assess technical skills, get to know them personally, and decide whether or not they’re a good fit within the company—cramming all the requirements into just a couple of hours of conversation is a tough task.

On the technical side alone, your interview should aim to figure out a candidate’s knowledge of fundamentals in software engineering, their problem-solving skills under pressure, and PHP-specific knowledge such as frameworks, libraries, and language skills that could prove essential to future projects.

Using coding tests, practical tasks, and abstract engineering questions can get you closer to discovering some of these traits. Equally important, however, are the soft skills that make teams work and creates a productive working relationship that drives a group’s progress.

To get you started on the right foot with your candidates, we’ve put together a guide that can help you test the soft skills as well as the technical ones within a relatively short time frame. Our article on how to interview a PHP Developer and what to look for has some of the key questions to ask and top skills to test for to find the kind of developer your company needs.

Still confused about hiring when it comes to PHP development? Overwhelmed with options, things to remember, and resources to use? All of these guides and resources taken on board at once can be a lot for anyone to manage. There’s enough here to create a degree in hiring, managing, and deploying PHP teams.

Take your time and go through each resource carefully to get the most out of each one and ensure you don’t miss anything when it comes to hiring one of your firm’s most critical resources.

We’ve put together a quick reference guide to help get you out of trouble. Our comprehensive guide to hiring PHP engineering teams contains everything you need to get to know PHP from beginning to end when it comes to building your next team.

Once you’re over the hiring hurdle, you’re 90% of the way there to building apps and services that scale with the needs of your company. By this point, the best thing management can do to ensure success is to stay out of the way to keep projects running smoothly and on target.

At times, this can be easier said than done. Good project management requires patience, practice, and expertise that can only be built over time. This is something we’ve done often, learning the lessons that matter when it comes to maintaining productive teams in any language, technology, or industry.

With just a handful of key tips, you can learn from our hard-won experience and ensure your PHP development teams are on-track to success with everything they need to build your services. We’ve collected these tips and tricks in our article on the do’s & don’ts of managing a remote PHP development team, highlighting the key things you need to consider to make your PHP teams a success.

Successful PHP Development

As a cornerstone technology of the modern web, PHP is often overlooked amongst teams. Yet, it’s a technology that has repeatedly proven to be a vital part of productive engineering teams and critical to the success of many organizations.

Hiring these top-tier teams and making them a productive asset within your firm isn’t an easy task, but it is one that’s highly attainable with a few tips and tricks outlined here and a couple of our resources to show you the ropes. With just these key pieces of advice on board, any number of apps and services are possible for organizations to succeed in the future.

PHP FAQs:

Q1. What is PHP and Why is it Used?

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a scripting language primarily used to create web pages and apps. Most notably used by WordPress and Drupal content management systems to build pages for the web, it’s a language known for underpinning a vast amount of the modern web. Under the hood, PHP works together with HTML to create dynamic web pages for users.

The language has seen such widespread popularity because, despite being able to do a lot for developers, it’s relatively easy to learn and even easier to deploy as a web solution. Today, PHP can take advantage of object-oriented programming paradigms to create modern dynamic and interactive web apps for the pages it supports. Having evolved a great deal since the language’s first release in the 1990s, it’s stuck around for a long time and seen a great deal of use, particularly in the frameworks that are used to build the modern web.

Q2. Is PHP a Good Career Choice?

The immense popularity of PHP makes development within the language an excellent career choice for developers. Highly proficient PHP developers are one of the most sought-after skill sets in today’s tech marketplace.

Through WordPress and Drupal alone, PHP accounts for more than half of the web. Additionally, the many available frameworks that the language underpins for web, desktop, and mobile development means that it’s unlikely the need for high-quality PHP developers is going to disappear anytime soon. In contrast, similar languages such as CoffeeScript have shown to be in rapid decline over recent years.

Research shows that PHP development is far from the most lucrative career path, with average U.S salaries a little under $40,000 compared to JavaScript’s $54,000. However, with the language supporting 80% of websites including WordPress and Facebook, the demand that the language generates is certainly hard to ignore.

Q3. How Much do PHP Developers Earn?

PHP developers in the United States earn a little under $40,000 per year according to the latest Stack Overflow insights survey. This makes PHP developers one of the least well-rewarded career paths on the marketplace today, ahead only of Dart developers who make a little under $33,000 per year. Worldwide, the story is much the same with PHP developers earning at the lower end of the pay scale within each country in comparison to other languages.

JavaScript developers, in contrast, make $54,000 a year in the U.S while Perl developers earn almost double a PHP developer’s salary at $80,0000. Yet, despite the disparity in pay, PHP is a language that can boast an impressive C.V of accomplishments including supporting 80% of websites today.

While PHP developer salaries are still somewhat lacking currently, it is a language that is likely to see widespread demand for its developers and a continued need for services for some time to come.

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