6 Skills to Look for when Hiring a PHP Developer

24 Nov · 6 min read

6 Skills to Look for when Hiring a PHP Developer

PHP, a well-known programming language, has been in existence for more than 25 years. PHP, like Python, is a programming language that was created as a side project by a single developer in the 1990s. The longevity of this script indicates that enough time has passed for software engineers to improve their PHP developer skills.

PHP is used by 78.3% of all websites with a known server-side programming language, according to W3Techs data, with approximately 40 million live websites using PHP as we speak. That signifies that PHP is used in a few ways on well almost 8 out of every 10 websites you come across on the Web.

Stack Overflow has revealed that, despite its age and declining usage numbers, PHP remains one of the top ten most popular programming, scripting, and markup languages available. It's used by popular websites like Wikipedia and Facebook, as well as some of the world's most popular open-source projects like WordPress and Drupal.

Because PHP is so widely used, it's not difficult to find developers who claim to be PHP experts. Moreover, in this article, we will cover everything you want to understand related to the language as well as how to best assess PHP developer skills.

What is PHP?

So, what exactly is a PHP developer? A PHP developer is responsible for writing, testing, and maintaining the source code for PHP-based applications, programs, and websites. An open-source server-side scripting language mainly in use for company apps and web development.

PHP is a free scripting language and interpreter that is primarily used on Linux Web servers. The name, which was derived from Personal Home Page Tools, is now abbreviated as PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor.

A scripting language continues to run and analyze scripts. Typically, these scripts are embedded in other software environments. Scripts generally are used to improve an application's performance or to perform routine tasks. Client-side scripts are interpreted by the client application, whereas server-side scripts are interpreted on the server.

What To Look For When Hiring a PHP Developer?

Because PHP is so widely used, it is easy to find developers who claim to be PHP experts. However, recruiters frequently struggle to find experts who not only have the necessary knowledge and skill set but are also culturally fit. Hiring PHP developers with a variety of expertise and specialties is frequently one of the most difficult challenges.

So we've compiled a list of the top core skills required for PHP developers to assist you in hiring a PHP expert for your company.

Looking for PHP developers? Head to Amplifyre OpenBench! The easy-to-use filters help to narrow down your search and make your hiring process faster.

So, let us get started!

Among the critical skills that developers must have are:

  • Knowledge and Expertise

Creating a web application is a difficult task. To get your project up and running, you'll need a PHP developer. Otherwise, you may be in for a long uphill battle.

Developers who have dabbled in PHP and web development languages may be on your current programming team. However, to solve major issues, you'll need an expert on board who can create, deploy, and maintain your app.

When hiring a web developer, make sure their PHP knowledge is up to date. However, you should also consider their other skills, and Aureate Labs' Hariraj Rathod recommends hiring someone with bug-fixing experience.

The hiring process can be complicated, but Rathod recommends hiring "a well-versed developer rather than one with only a mastery of the language."

While this is important, a developer should also have a solid understanding of databases and the methodologies used when integrating PHP with database management systems.

  • Vast Knowledge of Programming Languages

Your PHP developer should be able to spot and correct errors in web design, and a solid understanding of front-end programming languages such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML is required. Knowing these languages well will also help them understand how they affect the user experience (UX), which is the end goal of most programming projects. It is also necessary to be acquainted with databases (mainly MySQL but also common options such as PostgreSQL and Oracle). The bottom line is that developing and maintaining a well-rounded technical skill set is an important way to become a valuable member of any development team.

  • PHP Best Practices and Design Patterns

Design patterns can be applied to any type of software development, including PHP. They can help to accelerate development by providing repeatable solutions to common problems. They also aid in code readability because other developers will recognize the patterns used. Some of the most common design patterns in PHP applications are Factory, Strategy, and Singleton, but there are many more to learn. In general, save time by brushing up on the best practices for working with various PHP frameworks. The language has been around for over two decades and has a large community behind it; use it wisely to avoid making the same mistakes as others before you.

  • Easily Adaptable To Changes

Keeping up with the latest applications and language updates is an important part of product development, and if you want to introduce the latest technology, hire someone who can handle all of these changes.

Programming languages are constantly evolving, and according to Matt Read, CTO of Green Rabbit Media, the ability to adapt to new technical elements should be a key skill to look for when hiring a new PHP developer.

"When hiring individuals for PHP positions, or any programming language for that matter, the most important component that the candidate must demonstrate is the ability to adapt to changes in the underlying technology while still adhering to the core principles of high-quality programming," Read says.

  • Problem Solving Skills

Learning 'hard' technical skills is one aspect of becoming a high-level PHP developer, but without the right set of complementary ‘soft skills, the developers are unlikely to succeed. One of them is problem-solving, which is essential in all aspects of web development.

It is the PHP developer's responsibility to deal with unexpected problems. The developer must resolve this, and how they do so will determine their value on a development project. Thus, critical thinking, or the ability to analyze and evaluate various solutions to a problem to find the most effective one, is required for good code writing.

  • Communication Skills

Many developers could be PHP whiz, but if they don't know how to communicate with others, they might struggle to work effectively on a team project. They must be able to communicate with clients, colleagues, and bosses to understand project/business goals, raise issues, and explain how their work fits into the overall product. Remember that, even if they're most at ease behind a screen, good communication includes speaking on the phone, via video conference, or in person, as well as via email and messaging apps.

Final Thoughts

Keeping all of this in mind should also assist you in finding a developer who is eager to learn, as they will check both boxes during the recruitment process, making them more appealing to your hiring managers.

So, if you can find a developer who is willing to go above and beyond and add another string to their bow, your company could have a winning combination.

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