The Evolution of PHP Programmers

I think around 2015, there was a big splash of good training online for PHP. Frameworks upgraded/changed, helped programmers write better code faster earlier than that. Before that, it was a lot of RTFM. So, before, in the earlier days (maybe somewhat still today), I think PHP developers did this:

  • create crappy functional code
  • create crappy OO code
  • choose a random framework and mess up the implementation of it
  • write your own framework
  • choose you framework of choice and start to implement things great and rigidly to that framework
  • create great code, using a framework as a tool and time-saver

I think some of these steps are skipped now because of the sheer size and quality of training that we have access to now these days.

However, I was talking to Big Boy the other day (you might remember big boy from entries such as these) He had a different explanation of the lifecycle of programmers:

  • Stage 1: write shitty functional code
  • Stage 2: write shitty half assed OOP code
  • Stage 3: write awesome OOP code
  • Stage 4: Write awesome functional code
  • Stage 5: hack shitty stuff together based on business needs

I think I can agree with this, too. But, I want to abstract this a bit. What I think we’re both saying is that there is a progression of PHP (and other language) programmers that is manifested by the way we implement and use our tools at hand.

  • brave new world of programming, you’re excited
  • try to do better at it
  • do the “best practices” of it according to “everyone”
  • develop a flow that fits your logical brain/skillset best
  • start to focus on creating efficient code that solves business problems, code is secondary to problem solving

I think the point I’m trying to make is - there are many ways to get to the end - but the end is crafting quality code, that fits you, that solves the business problems the best. All of those are equally important. Great code that doesn’t solve the problem - or shitty code that solves the business problem (short-term) will always be a failure.

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