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Startups, PHP, Languages...

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Oct. 11th, 2007 | 09:21 am

So yesterday I was at the Zend PHP conference giving a talk on EC2/S3
and deployment strategies for LAMP stacks in those environments.

It was a fun talk, and one of the types I really enjoy giving. It
wasn't about features, but on how to go out and make something. Even
after the talk was over I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon
talking to different individuals on how MySQL works in EC2 and EC2
like environments.

Other then the difficulty in building horizontal solutions compared
to vertical in EC2, I was pretty amazed at the energy at the
conference. There are a lot of startups at the moment, and there is a
need to find developers.

Which got me thinking about which languages to use. I am not a
language bigot (though I am quite fond of Objective C!). I tend to
use whatever allows me to get a job done.

Looking around at the conference made me start to wonder if I would
use PHP. Can I deploy it? Oh yes. Easily...

But the demand is pretty high, and I wonder if I could staff all the
positions I would need if I was building a startup. Looking around
the room it was obvious to me that there is a greater demand in PHP
coders right now then there are the positions to fill.

Would Perl be the same way? I doubt it.
Java? Probably not.

Ruby?

Ruby is the language that programmers seem to be hot to learn right
now (which I admit to only having a passing knowledge of). I would be
tempted to build a new application around Ruby just to attract
developers. Find senior developers who keenly want to learn something
new.

It is a strategy for a startup :)

For an individual wanting to get into programming?

Go learn PHP.

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Comments {11}

irnbru_man

(no subject)

from: irnbru_man
date: Oct. 11th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
Link

My language of choice has been perl, and was off learning other things when the whole PHP buzz hit during the dot com boom so never got round to learning it. I finally gave in and decided to take a class in it, just so I have a better idea of what is going on when looking at other peoples code. After the class I was left scratching my head wondering why people are building large applications with PHP. The whole embedding of PHP code in html just hurts my head thinking about all the stat php/end php blocks. I also heard an article a few weeks back that said an experienced ruby programmer tried and failed to build a large complex website with ruby which I thought was interesting considering the buzz round ruby on rails at the moment. I wish i still had the link.

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Topbit

(no subject)

from: topbit
date: Oct. 11th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
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7 reasons I switched back to PHP (for CDbaby.com)

The whole embedding of PHP code in html just hurts my head thinking about all the sta[r]t php/end php blocks
That's one of a large number of dumb moves that newbies make. You might not need a MVC framework or even a template engine at all, but there's very little excuse for mixing code and html in anything but a 'throw-away script'.

Like so many other things, just because you can do something in PHP, doesn't mean you should. The same goes for every other programming language. Ever.

Meantime, Rubyists (or Perl-mongers) think that because they have to type less characters to do something they are faster - tell that to an APL programmer that has to come back to what really does look like line noise. I spend maybe 10% of my time typing code, and nearer 40%+ thinking what I need to type. The rests supports my thinking time with learning and figuring out what I've got to do, and keeping up with business.

I've been programming PHP for nearly ten years. I've been _good_ at it for maybe seven years, tops. Most of that was about learning how to program properly, and not about being good at PHP, that's pretty trivial - I skipped though the manual and with 5 years of C as well behind me, it was easy to program the basics of loops, structure and functions. OO, exceptions and TDD/Mocking/unit testing are another learning curve, and I accept that. But being a developer, and not just someone that writes code is a lot more than about programming though.

Trust me - I'm tring to find a good developer right now - they are rare. Treasure them.

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Topbit

(no subject)

from: topbit
date: Oct. 11th, 2007 05:35 pm (UTC)
Link

For an individual wanting to get into programming?
Go learn PHP.


step 2: realise just how crap 90% of the 'php programmers' out there are, and go and learn how to be a good developer. Documenting, layout style, testing, structure and optimisation are some of the highlights. It will only take a few years to get good at most of them.

step 3: if anyone out there is an actually good PHP developer near London, UK, and hate your job because the boss wants it fast, not right - call me.

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Brian "Krow" Aker

(no subject)

from: krow
date: Oct. 11th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
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One thing that I was surprised about, was how few of the developers there knew anything about revision control :)

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Topbit

(no subject)

from: topbit
date: Oct. 11th, 2007 06:00 pm (UTC)
Link

yep, and the last 4 jobs I've had, stretching over maybe 7 years, I've brought CVS, and more recently SVN into them - and perhaps more importantly, an environment where anyone can check out any of the projects into anyone's development area (all on the same dev box, but they didn't have to be) to work on them, and they would work - no hardcoded paths required.

(Which was fine till one of the guys left a dev-box URL - world viewable - in an email that went out to 250,000 emails for the biggest ISP in the UK. Trying to get thousand of images per minute served over a piece of wet-string ADSL slow-upstream was 'interesting'. But some DNS magic solved that)

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(no subject)

from: _justanotherme_
date: Oct. 11th, 2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
Link

There is a lot of demand for programmers in a lot of different languages.

In my country the demand for .Net programmers seems to be the highest.
Also the PHP programmers are making les money then JAVA / .Net programmers.

So I would recommend people learn .Net instead :)
Be it C# or VB.Net.

Because to me JAVA isn't really a nice platform to develop on.

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Topbit

(no subject)

from: topbit
date: Oct. 11th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC)
Link

PHP programmers are making less money then JAVA / .Net programmers.


True - you'd have to pay me a lot of money to program them as well.
It's like - you could get some guy to eat a mars bars for free, but dog poop - that's at least a hundred bucks before he'd even go near it.

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(no subject)

from: _justanotherme_
date: Oct. 11th, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
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Actually programming in spaghetti land (asp / php) but for me I don't really want to go back to that kind of programming now that I'm working with ASP.Net most of the time.

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dormando

(no subject)

from: dormando
date: Oct. 12th, 2007 02:52 am (UTC)
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Hiring is crazy hard. There seem to be a lot of people on the market but few of them are any good. Doesn't even matter what language you aim for.

Personally I've given up on PHP companies. The technology is what keeps me interested, and PHP just can't do that much interesting work.

For a startup? Who cares. Go learn PHP, read design patterns and a few other good standby's, and get a job!

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Morgan Tocker

Technical choice or social choice?

from: mtocker
date: Oct. 16th, 2007 02:57 pm (UTC)
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Reminds me of something I heard Paul Graham speak about. The technical difference in the language might not be what matters.

To learn Ruby or Python you probably have to have enough interest to actually go out and learn it.

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(no subject)

from: jakeras
date: Apr. 2nd, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
Link

Now PHP can include a command line interface capability and can be used in standalone graphical applications. It is similar to other server-side scripts that provide dynamic content from a web server to a client, such as Microsoft's Active Server Pages, Sun Microsystems' JavaServer Pages, and mod_perl. PHP executes hundreds of base functions and thousands more via extensions.
The PHP Group produces the main implementation of PHP which serves as the de facto standard for PHP, because there is no formal specification now. PHP Group provides the complete source code for users to build, customize and extend for their own use. It is considered a free software released under the PHP License. But it is incompatible with the GNU General Public License (GPL) as there are restrictions on the usage of the term PHP.
PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that can be embedded into HTML. It generally runs on a web server and creates web pages taking PHP code. It is also used for command-line scripting and client-side GUI applications. It works on most web servers, operating systems and platforms free of charge. PHP can be used with many relational database management systems. Now, according php tutorials, it functions on more than 20 million websites and 1 million web servers.
PHP can be compared to a filter as it takes input from a file or stream containing text and/or PHP instructions and outputs another data; HTML is the most common output. It can automatically identify the language of the user.
So, really, learn PHP

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