How Do I Become a PHP Developer?

If you enjoy working with computers and have a vivid imagination, you may wonder how to become a PHP developer. PHP developers are a specialized subset of Web developers, technical professionals who build websites by writing code. PHP is a particular type of coding language known as open source server-side scripting. This scripting language, also called Hypertext Preprocessor, works with standard HTML coding and is now widely used throughout the internet. Web developers and PHP developers often work in software companies, computer systems design firms, web design agencies and technology businesses.

Web developers typically create the HTML programming code to build a website with images, videos and audio files. Depending on the complexity of the site, Web developers may also build software applications, or “apps,” for the site. Web developers interact with clients to determine goals, including the functions, content and appearance of the website. With these considerations in mind, Web developers write the code. A Web developer must optimize the website’s technical performance, ensuring that the website loads quickly and can handle a high volume of traffic if necessary. Web developers may also be responsible for managing online databases and troubleshooting technical problems.

To obtain a position as a PHP developer, candidates should first seek formal education in the form of a college degree. Aspiring PHP developers commonly earn a bachelor’s degree in programming or computer science. In addition to learning the PHP scripting language, graduates of these programs typically develop skills in using multimedia publishing tools, graphic design tools and programing languages such as HTML. They may be required to demonstrate these skills by completing test projects for their courses.

Formal education can teach aspiring PHP developers the skills they need to attain a Web developer position, but to achieve success in their careers, these candidates should possess other attributes. Because Web developers are creating whole websites out of intangible ideas, they must be creative enough to envision the functions that the website will need and design the layout. Working with scripting languages like PHP and programming languages such as HTML require immense concentration and attention to details. A single mistake in coding language could cause a website to malfunction, resulting in the client’s customers, prospective customers and company employees receiving error messages. Because PHP developers often interact with clients and collaborate with graphic designers and other Web developers, teamwork and customer service skills are essential for assuring that ideas and tasks are communicated effectively.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Web developers and the related occupations of information security analysts and computer network architects earned a median salary of $75,660 per year as of 2010. Jobs opportunities in computer fields are expected to increase by 22 percent by the year 2020. If you have the creative skills to envision new websites and the technical aptitude to write programming codes, knowing how to become a PHP developer could be your start to an interesting, well-paid career in a growing field.

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