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3 solid reasons to hire PHP developers for your next project
24 / 01 / 2019
Looking for a technological partner for your digital transformation efforts? You may not be convinced that PHP-based development is the way to go. And understandably so.
PHP development gets really bad press. The list of complaints about this server-side language is long, and you can find people griping all over the web: PHP syntax is seen as verbose and clunky, and PHP APIs are unreliable. It’s the biggest crime is its age. The language isn’t new, and so it’s seen as lacking innovative flair.
Nevertheless, PHP remains the language of choice for a tremendous number of projects. As of 2018, PHP was the coding language used for 78.9% of websites. And this trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down:
Tiobe, the Switzerland-based software quality assessor, confirms these findings. According to the Tiobe’s research, PHP is one of the top ten most popular programming languages, and that probably won’t be changing any time soon.
We believe that the popularity of PHP is something you definitely need to take into account while planning your next digital transformation project. In this blog post, we’re going to elaborate on that and highlight the advantages delivered by PHP which validate the choice of this programming language from technological and business perspectives.
#1 PHP ORM libraries increase code security and make development more efficient
As far as the efficiency of development goes, object-relational mapping (ORM) lets you standardize incompatible type systems, and thus enables easy application of databases. Developers form queries to the database by evoking methods that ORM automatically converts to SQL.
This lets them modify database instances on the fly without meddling unnecessarily in the code. All they need is to change the configuration of the ORM they’re using. This way, they can change PostgreSQL to MySQL when migrating the database to another system.
As for security, ORMs mitigate the risk of SQL injection. Even though they are not 100% resistant to SQL injection attacks, the chances are small that hostile code will be injected into an ORM-generated query.
Some ORMs, like Doctrine, let you prevent that from happening by giving you the ability to use prepared statements, and thus to avoid creating a loophole. What it means for you is that a PHP developer with a certain dose of experience is able to deliver quality code in a time-efficient manner.
ORMs are obviously not unique to PHP – the language is known for being supported by a solid fleet of libraries. Apart from Doctrine, ORMs particularly worth paying attention to are:
- Medoo – a light database framework that accelerates development
- Propel – an open-source ORM library that is highly customizable, quick, and enables continuous integration
- safemysql – an ultra safe library, as it enforces sending dynamic queries via placeholders and enables smooth handling of even complex queries by parsing
ORMs are not antidotes to all coding mistakes, and we don’t recommend heavy reliance on them. One of their biggest advantages, however, is the fact that their application greatly reduces the amount of code that needs to be written and speeds up the development of your application.
#2 PHP tools that enable proactive troubleshooting
There’s a number of debugging tools for PHP that help you automate troubleshooting. The one that deserves the most attention is Xdebug. This tool helps your developers save enormous amounts of time by facilitating proactive troubleshooting as the project progresses.
The debugger lets you break the code execution and easily detect problems even when you don’t have a clue about where it originates from. It also helps your developers troubleshoot during one iteration. Again – an invaluable timesaver.
Iain Paulson from deliciousbrains.com calls it “Debug Driven Development” and suggests analyzing code proactively as you go, by progressively moving Xdebugs breakpoints farther along in the execution. This gives you maximum control over the code and speeds up the debugging process.
On top of that, in 2018, Xdebug version 2.7 of the extension was released. The update allows you to easily debug scripts remotely. In the past, the debugger couldn’t run simultaneously on parent and child processes, but Brad Wilson resolved this issue by creating a separate connection for every child process.
#3 The rich PHP talent pool still works to your advantage
Undeniably, PHP is anything but an emerging technology. It’s been successfully used by smaller and larger companies in countless IT projects over the years.
The vast PHP talent pool comes with both advantages and disadvantages. Lower barriers to entry mean you shouldn’t have trouble finding developers to work on your project. On the flipside, however, the large number of developers available on the job market doesn’t guarantee high quality.
Recruiting in-house teams of PHP specialists is bound to take time. If you’re short of it, consider IT team leasing from a reputable source.
The upside of hiring external developers from a software house is that you can count on help from experienced programmers who have already been involved in a number of projects and can bring their expertise to the table.
There are two ways of going about outsourcing:
1. Hiring a remote team
2. Hiring a PHP developer from a consulting company
Go for the latter if you have all the necessary expertise to run your digital transformation project and what you need is extra hands to help. Take the first option if you’re ready to delegate responsibility for managing the team and taking care of the quality of the code.
Either choice lets you save time on running in-house recruitation and avoid long-term obligations. And either of them works to your advantage in terms of code quality, as well: Since companies delivering IT outsourcing services are looking for long-term projects, it’s on their project managers to ensure the code is secure and high quality.
The bottom line
Companies have different strategic goals, but what they do have in common is the need to deliver quality, and stay within budget and on time.
PHP splits opinions. Much of the criticism it gets seems to result from the competitive nature of programmers, which shouldn’t necessarily determine your business choices. The availability of quality IT staff for outsourcing projects, PHP frameworks that facilitate swift and secure development, and the large selection of open-source PHP tools to tap into make the language worth serious consideration.
As an open-source, extensible and platform-independent programming language, PHP is said to be simple to use and relatively easy to learn. Because it’s the most popular language with programmers, this means you’ve got the biggest pool of IT talent to select from and chances for faster launch of the project.
On our blog, we’re going to say a lot more about this subject. If you’d like to receive regular updates from us, we’d love you to subscribe to our newsletter. If there’s an aspect of IT development you’d like us to cover, drop us a line!