Is PHP dead? That’s a million dollar question. Let’s find out the position of PHP in 2016 and try to understand its future.
PHP, a popular programming language developed by Rasmus Lerdorf in the year 1995 is one of the widely used programming languages around the world. The ease of use and the availability of experts makes it one of the first choices for creating an enterprise level web application. Big technology companies like Facebook developed their first product in PHP. Many e-Commerce frameworks like Magento were built on PHP. In other words PHP is a dominant programming language in the world of software development
With popular CMS such as WordPress using PHP, it is hard to dismiss its presence in the web arena.
But, Is PHP dead? Most probably not. It is one of the most asked questions on the web right now regarding PHP. There are many pointers where it clearly shows that it is not the best programming language out there. In general terms, technology either evolves or perish.
In today’s article, we will focus on what is in store in the future of PHP.
Is PHP Dead?
If anyone asked the same question 2-3 years ago, the answer would probably be yes. But, things are changing slowly. The reason behind the bad reputation is its bad design, and many developers don’t like how it evolved over the last decade.
For now, PHP7 seems to be the saving grace.
So, what’s improved in PHP 7?
PHP 7 has brought tons of improvement over its previous version. Some of them are listed below.
- Spaceship Operator
- Null Coalesce Operator
- Scalar Type Declarations
- Return Type Declarations
- Anonymous Classes
And much more. Check out the PHP7 reference to know more about the new features. The new features can bring back life to PHP, but we have to wait and watch how the developers use the new features and functionalities in PHP 7.
Where PHP7 leads us to?
PHP7 is the saving grace for PHP community. It is no doubt that PHP has seen bad choices in design aspects. Classes are grouped without any meaning.
The inconsistency with function names can also cause problems for the developers. Don’t get surprised if you find a function that doesn’t belong in its place. PHP7 has surely filled some holes in the broken boat, but there is a lot of changes required to bring it back from the bad reputation. Many articles on the internet rant about why PHP sucks or is going to die.
What Tobie Index tells about PHP future?
Tobie Index is a complex idea that tries to understand the popularity(growth) of a programming language using search results.
As you can see from the above image, PHP is slowly gaining its lost grace, thanks to PHP7. If the above image was inferred in 2014, anyone could have easily said that PHP is dying. The growth has significantly dropped from 2005 after it received the language of the year in 2004. The graph looks amazing considering that developers loved what it has to offer during its initial periods, but slowly new and better technologies caught the attention of developers, resulting in the decline of PHP.
Matt Mullenweg, the CEO of WordPress, crafted the horror in his own words, “We realized that the tech wasn’t going to take us to the next decade.”
So, what does that mean for WordPress and PHP developers? Is PHP dying? From the current position, it is hard to predict, but it does look bad for PHP.
The Power of Market
It will not be a good idea to predict the future of a programming language without understanding the dynamics of the professional software developers. If you are a PHP developer or work in an IT company, you already have an idea of how PHP hold the market.
Currently, the market trends of PHP are as follows.
- PHP experts are easy to find than any other technology developers or experts.
- The cost of hiring a PHP developer is low.
- Maintenance is not costly because of available talent in the market.
- PHP is probably the easiest server side programming language to learn. This enables companies to hire fresh talent and train them accordingly.
- There are tons of frameworks and CMS to work that are based on PHP. For example, WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Drupal, etc.
Considering all of the above listed points, it is can easily be inferred that PHP is not dying anytime soon. After all, the end users don’t care about the technology used in the application. If it works, it stays, the bad design doesn’t matter to them.
What should you do if you are a PHP Developer?
That’s a big question. Many developers have switched from different technologies to PHP while others have found their way out. It all depends on what you want to do in future. PHP is secure and is not dying anytime soon.
The general rule should be to learn another programming language along the way. This way you can make a situational decision in future.
Is PHP dead? Not for now. Will it die in future? Difficult to say as there are too many factors involved to make a prediction.
If you are a PHP developer and think that PHP will stay strong, then don’t forget to comment below to showcase your support. And, if you think that PHP will die in future, then don’t forget to share your opinion too using the comment section below.
You can also check out the PHP programming language category page for PHP related content including PHP broadcasts, history of PHP, PHP books, and much more.