We bring you a ringside view of the enterprising and creative careers in PHP development.
Companies are now expanding their business realms and increasingly moving online to build a strong customer base as well as augment their cash flows. In an effort to garner more website traffic, which means boosting revenues, organisations are increasingly hiring PHP professionals to design customised and eye-catching Web portals. Backed by an open source ecosystem, PHP (PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) development has turned out to be not just cost-effective, but also the most preferred choice in the business circuits. Statistics reveal that almost 40 per cent of the portals online (like Yahoo, Wikipedia, Facebook, Flickr, etc) use PHP as a server side scripting language. As the market in PHP development is expected to offer a wide range of opportunities in the years to come, a career in this domain can be extremely fulfilling.
PHP development: A popular career option!
While IT companies are increasingly adopting policies to recruit and retain the best PHP development talent, IT training institutes across the country too are witnessing a healthy rise in the number of queries received for a course in this domain. The training institutes are making the most of this trend and offering relevant courses to meet the growing requirements. Isha Malhotra, director, Tech Altum, Noida, says, “The increased career opportunities in PHP development have evoked a certain amount of interest in the aspiring IT students, and the influx of aspirants joining this course in our institute bears testimony to the fact. Not just that, if you take a cursory glance at the online job postings, you will discover vacancies on PHP development appearing every two days.”
So what makes PHP Web development one of the most sought after career options? Any programming language that is easy to learn, execute and operate naturally appeals to a novice programmer and that explains why PHP is a hit in the recruitment landscape, feels Ram Kumar, manager, Operations, Beeflex Education, Bengaluru. “Compared to ASP.net, Java.net, C, C++ or any other software language, it is easier to develop Web apps on a PHP-backed environment. That apart, PHP scores over other languages in aspects like requiring less time to create scripts, its versatility, and the efficiency with which it copes with the challenges of Web development. Besides, it is cost effective. Moreover, success stories of enterprising Web developers minting money by designing peppy websites drive prospective programmers to make a career in PHP Web development” says Kumar.
According to industry experts, the last few years have seen a swell in the demand for PHP professionals, as more small and medium-based businesses that hired Web developers have switched to open source platforms to cut costs. Rahul Mehra, CEO, UGS Academy, Noida, says, Open source technology, which was not considered a hot option till a few years ago, is now the driving force in the IT marketplace. That explains why around 20 million Web applications, including popular content management systems like Drupal and WordPress, are built on PHP. The wide scope in the PHP terrain automatically boosts one’s chances of employability.” Mehra feels a common myth that is doing the rounds in the community is that big companies don’t hire PHP professionals, but according to him, that is not quite true. Though there is minimal requirement for PHP developers for upmarket brands, companies like Accenture and Capgemini do hire them. But smaller companies recruit them on a larger scale and pay them reasonably well. Small and medium-sized enterprises in our sector come to us and tell us about their requirement in PHP development. We provide training to our students and help them get a job in these companies,” says Mehra.
Minimum input, maximum benefit
Another major reason why students make a beeline to the various training institutes to learn this course is that a mere degree along with training in PHP development can help them get a job quickly. Sivakumar, CEO, Siva Soft Training and Development Institute, Hyderabad, says, “When it comes to the job market, one can reap the maximum benefit after undertaking a course in PHP development. Of course, knowing more programming languages apart from PHP has its own advantages, but it is definitely not a prerequisite. There is a huge demand for skilled PHP professionals in the market and companies do hire them. In our institute, we have students with four years of Java experience, but they undertake an advanced course to specialise in PHP. Even if one is looking to freelance, PHP is the right option.”
So, what can one expect in terms of remuneration? Ravi Ranjan, director, TGC Multimedia and Animation Institute, New Delhi, shares his views: “The starting salaries may not be that great for a novice PHP programmer, but if one has the right skill sets, salaries do touch record highs within two years. A good PHP programmer can earn up to Rs 200,000 to 300,000 per month. There are people who hesitate to embark on a career in PHP because of lower starting pay packages. The myth needs to be busted and spreading awareness among these new aspirants will definitely help. Joining a good training institute will serve the purpose.”
Do certifications help?
The next big question is whether Zend PHP certifications boost employability? Namita Misra, a Zend-certified senior software engineer at OSSCube, Noida, elaborates, “It’s not only certification that helps, but also the way you do coding and the way you apply logic while writing a program, even the interviewer views you in a different way. Certifications add credibility to your resume and your package gets a boost. Certifications also convey a message that the candidates have a strong inclination towards this domain and are serious about their careers.”