How Do I Become a PHP Programmer?

Alex Newth
Alex Newth
Woman doing a handstand with a computer
Woman doing a handstand with a computer

Hypertext preprocessor (PHP) is a scripting language with a wide variety of uses, so many businesses need workers who are skilled in its use. To become a PHP programmer, you need PHP programming skills along with a college degree, experience, and database and website skills, because PHP is often linked with databases and websites. Technical thinking and problem-solving skills also will be needed to fix programming problems and approach new situations. PHP programmers are in high demand as freelance workers.

To become a PHP programmer, the most basic thing needed is experience. Unlike other jobs, where experience can only be obtained from having a job beforehand, PHP experience can be gathered without any job or any classes. All you need to do is download the scripting language and set up the server so it works. You can buy books or read website tutorials about how to use PHP and, in the process, you will begin gaining experience. Having experience before going to classes or getting formal training is essential to know whether you like PHP well enough to make it a career and whether you are adept at working with scripts.

Getting a two- or four-year degree in computer science, or a similar computer or technical degree, will help you to become a PHP programmer. Many businesses want to see either experience or education before they hire someone, and college will provide you a more intensive learning environment than books or online tutorials. If you plan to focus on a freelance career rather than officially joining a business, then a degree is not as important as experience is.

Along with knowing how to use the scripting language, programmers also must know how to work with other programming issues. The most common areas a PHP programmer will need to know are website and database programming and how to work with servers. This is because PHP often integrates with these and is rarely used alone. To become a PHP programmer, you must know how PHP integrates with these factors.

The additional skills needed to become a PHP programmer include technical thinking, problem solving and adaptability. Technical thinking is needed so you understand PHP’s strengths and limitations and how to use them in any situation. Problem solving will help so you can fix the problem when PHP, or any other area, has a bug in it. Adaptability is the most needed skill, because clients often request changes that reflect their current needs.

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