Pro PHP: Top Skills Every Good PHP Developer Should Have

When looking for a PHP developer, you need to make sure they have the right qualifications. Learn the top skills you should keep your eye out for.

There’s one thing that all PHP developers know — the value of having multiple skills. The coding language isn’t one that people use to build complex systems and create new programs. Instead, it’s a language that’s designed to help link systems and create better overall projects.

Only knowing PHP and disregarding other languages like Javascript or its libraries sets you up for failure. And PHP developers don’t just need experience in other tangential languages to succeed. They also need to overcome the common pitfalls anyone in the tech industry can fall into.

PHP developers must develop strong communication to work with bosses, clients, and coworkers alike. Since the language is about linking individual systems, you need to learn how to talk about each of those systems. Most importantly, you need to be the one who teaches other developers how their work fits into the overall project.

In a way, PHP developers need to be a jack of all trades and a master of one: writing PHP code. And you can’t become a master of PHP without picking up a variety of other skills along the way. To learn which skills you should have to do your best work, just keep reading below!

Becoming a PHP Developer Takes Practice and Research

The one skill that every coder must learn before they can call themselves a coder is how to persevere. If you don’t know how to push through a project and see something through to the end, you’ll never get anything done. It doesn’t matter how hard a project gets — you can never give up on it.

The best way to develop your own perseverance is to take on challenging projects. You need to understand what you’re capable of, and the take on projects that push your understanding. If you don’t feel the pressure of trying to finish a project when you don’t know what to do about it, you’re not learning.

Learn How to Focus on Yourself Before Focusing on Code

Perseverance isn’t just about pushing through a project, though. Becoming a stronger coder also means developing a sense of where you can go to for help when you need it. There isn’t a single successful coder who hasn’t turned to Stack Overflow or Google when they needed help on something.

Learning how to identify useful information and apply it to your own personal goals is a fundamental step toward becoming a strong coder. The benefits of learning how to find, validate, and use information span further than coding. It can help you with any challenge you ever face!

Only Writing PHP Makes Webpages Boring

The language is fundamental for creating dynamic websites that help people connect with everyone around them. The way the code fetches and applies information revolutionized web development. Instead of creating volumes of HTML and CSS to build good websites, people could write PHP instead.

The language changes the way servers handle information and gives users new ways to interact with content on a website. Yet, there needs to be content on a website in the first place. PHP handles all the work behind the scenes; it can’t handle anything displayed on users’ screens.

That’s why it’s useful for PHP developers to pick up other web development languages, and especially new ones! If a PHP developer can also write HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and JQuery code — they become massively more valuable to employers. And since they know how the languages that create content work, they will write better PHP to handle it.

PHP Benefits Server-Side Development, Not User Experience

Just because you may learn how to write HTML or CSS doesn’t mean you’re suddenly a web designer, though. Content-driven languages are easy to pick up but difficult to use. Creating a web page that speaks means learning about design principles and current web design trends.

Web designers are not web developers, and just because you can code in content-driven languages doesn’t make you a designer. Instead, it means you have a deeper understanding of websites and other projects. And with that knowledge, you will be able to write better PHP code.

Don’t learn content-driven languages to become a web designer. Instead, pick up those skills as a way to complement the ones you already have.

Networking Isn’t Just About Connecting Servers

To PHP developers, networking means something different than it does to most people. To developers, networking means delivering packets with minimal loss, and connecting servers with the best possible code. To most other people, networking means connecting on interpersonal levels.

All PHP developers — and developers as a whole — should learn how to network in their industry. They should learn how to advertise themselves and their skills to potential employers and clients. If you know how to connect with people, you will be able to distinguish yourself from other developers competing for the same role.

The best way to develop networking skills is to practice among friends and colleagues. Try telling them about how your unique skills can help them on their own projects, and ask questions about their careers. Those kinds of conversations transfer well into professional networking situations.

Eventually, you’ll find yourself connecting with people like a pro!

Business Communication Matters More Than Tech Talk

Most employers and business professionals aren’t worried about the technical details behind code. It’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole about tables or protocols during a conversation. Yet, using technical jargon and explaining how your projects work may alienate people.

It’s better to focus on what your work actually does. By focusing on what your projects do instead of how they function, you will seem knowledgable and approachable at the same time. And that will catch an employer’s attention.

Be a Better PHP Developer

There’s no such thing as a perfect PHP developer — there’s always room to improve. Even if you’ve mastered the actual code and understand it like the back of your hand, you can still learn more. You can try to develop skills in tangential coding languages, or hone your interpersonal communication skills.

Your career is more than just your expertise in a single coding language. It’s a journey through your capability to learn new things and apply them in new ways. It’s impossible to have a fulfilling career with just one specialized skill set, and it’s impossible to be successful alone.

For help finding employers or employees, and for taking that next step toward a successful career, contact us here. We will connect you with people who have the skills you need for any project!

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