General Question

Fujitsu's avatar

As a specialist PHP/MySQL programmer at my (not so fun to work at) job, what's my future?

Asked by Fujitsu (29points) October 24th, 2010 from iPhone

I’m looking to quit my job sometime in the near future. I can’t figure out whether it would be a good move for me or not, seeing as how my skills are heavily invested in mainly PHP/MySQL and not much else. How is the current market for PHP and database programmers right now + what should I start studying to complement my value in the programming business?

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8 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

It depends if you want to continue doing programming or not. If you have good people skills, and good business sense, you could get PMP certified, or learn VersionOne and move to the business side of projects. If most of your work is waterfall, there is often a huge knowledge gap on the business side. We also prize business analysts with SQL knowledge in order to manage data and metrics.

YARNLADY's avatar

If you quit your job without already having another one in this economy, be prepared to be unemployed for at least 6 months if not more.

ETpro's avatar

Where do you want to go with your career? With PHP/MySQl if you want to move toward independent Web developer, you obviously need to learn XHTML/HTML5 and CSS plus develop at least passable drawing ability with Photoshop and top-notch image editing capability in the same. If programming is your love, you might complement the current skills with Ruby on Rails and JavaScripting. Hard to say what to study till we know what you’d like that education to turn you into.

lapilofu's avatar

I recommend Python and Django instead of Ruby on Rails. They’re similar, but I like Django’s feature set more. Either way, a solid rapid-development framework would do you a world of good. You’ll see.

Fujitsu's avatar

I hope to remain a specialist in some field of programming. But along with that, I’ve noticed that it’s just not enough anymore. I don’t want to be a generalist, but have a wider set of skills that can make my business more valuable in terms of what I can accomplish on my own (without being the know-it-all guy.)

@lapilofu You say Django, that’s interesting. I’ve discussed this with a few of my contacts and several of them also suggested that framework. I’ll look into it, although I have to ask… Being the PHP programmer I am, would Python/Django serve as a replacement, atleast in some sense, for PHP? I’d love to begin working with a framework, but would that genuinely be a good choice for me, or do you know of any equally powerful frameworks for PHP? I’m just asking because I’ve never used one. I always just assumed that most scripting languages were pretty similar (with regards to the actual language itself.) So my question is: other than Django, is Python an alternative to PHP or a complement to one of its programmers?

ETpro's avatar

@Fujitsu If you want to leverage off your PHP skills, see this list of frameworks. But feel around and see what potential employers offering the sort of work you cherish are looking for.

lapilofu's avatar

@Fujitsu I learned Python/Django and I never want to use PHP again. (I do come from a PHP background—like many web developers.) I still do use PHP on occasion, but only if a particular project or hosting environment necessitates it. If I’m starting a project from scratch these days, I almost always go straight for Django. So, yes, Python/Django would largely replace PHP.

Back in my PHP days, I used a framework called CodeIgniter. It’s nice, lightweight, and comes with a lot of useful classes—but it’s nowhere near as powerful as Django. I find my development with Django is significantly faster. I’ve heard a bit about CakePHP, but never tried it myself. Might be something to look into. A lot of people are looking for Drupal developers, but I think Drupal’s gross and won’t have anything to do with it.

DocteurAville's avatar

In a situation like that you should look for another job. But then this is not a economy for working people, and you could get yourself in more trouble than you think you are.

It could be worst. Imagine suddenly your boss bring in an intern an tell you to train the guy…

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