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  1. #1
    The Jellophonic Autobrain CHeeSeBLiND's Avatar
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    PHP for a living...

    when i finish college i want to do webdesign as a living with an emphasis on PHP. I was just wondering what other languages i could do with learning, like javascript etc, and how much money (on average) id be looking to make. The other thing id like to know is, do i need to goto uni or is it mainly based of how much experience you've had?

    Thanks alot

    PS. sorry if ive posted this in the wrong forum.
    hmm...

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru DenverDave's Avatar
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    I think that the choice of PHP depends on the way that you want to make a living. If you want to be an employee, PHP jobs are few and far between. Hopefully, this will change, but for now, as an employee, I would recommend ASP and maybe ColdFusion.

    However, as an independent, looking for opensource tools, PHP has my attention.

    Best of luck.

  3. #3
    Mlle. Ledoyen silver trophy seanf's Avatar
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    If you want a job as a web programmer I would look at Java

    Sean
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  4. #4
    The Jellophonic Autobrain CHeeSeBLiND's Avatar
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    java or javascript?

    and why?
    hmm...

  5. #5
    Mlle. Ledoyen silver trophy seanf's Avatar
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    Java as there a lots of jobs available, but they require lots of experience

    Sean
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  6. #6
    Dumb PHP codin' cat
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    Well its all in how much effort you want to put forth, I managed to score a job making 50k+ plus per year doing only PHP, they can be found. Also if your experience level is good enough and you can prove it, then uni is just an added bonus IMHO, I never went. But yes for a good wide selection of jobs, Java is a good bet. But that is really for general programming jobs, as I think more and more employer will be looking for someone whose specialty is web scripting. You wouldn't want to pay an expert Java Programmer 150k per year to do web scripting, I sure wouldn't.
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  7. #7
    Mlle. Ledoyen silver trophy seanf's Avatar
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    Louie would you mind giving us an outline of your PHP career?

    Sean
    Harry Potter

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  8. #8
    The Jellophonic Autobrain CHeeSeBLiND's Avatar
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    well i was planning on just sticking to web programming as its what i know most about and enjoy more

    my plan was:

    take a year out and learn as much PHP and whatever i can in that year then decide if i need to goto uni (which is looking doubtful) and then possibly work for myself or start with a few friends (i have quite a few friends who are into webprogramming)

    the languages and stuff i currently know(ish) are

    HTML
    Flash
    bits o Javascript
    PHP and MySQL
    CSS

    and im quite good at using stuff like Photopaint etc

    i was just wondering what else i could do with learning or do you think i should just continue to learn more about PHP and MySQL and learn more javascript? cos that was my plan for now.
    hmm...

  9. #9
    Node mutilating coot timnz's Avatar
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    Consolidate on what you've already got a foundation on, but always look towards the horizons as new and emerging technologies and languages develop. It would also be wise, even though you are going to concentrate in PHP and SQL db's, to have enough knowledge about all the other options out there, so that you can easily convince any client that a PHP + MySQL solution is the best one for their needs.
    Oh no! the coots are eating my nodes!

  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard Mincer's Avatar
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    Getting a job as a 'php programmer' in the UK is pretty much impossible at the moment. Because of the unfortunate predudice against php as a free package(and hence percieved to be beneath commercial packages), there is simply no call for it in the general marketplace.

    Perhaps your best option would be something along the lines of what I do. D) Find yourself a job as an internal intranet developer for a large UK or multi-national company. That way you can both develop a site, and develop your skills (any large company worth their salt is going to be able to send you on fairly expensive training courses).

    If you want to go it alone, then good luck to you. But before you start, work like hell night and day building up a portfolio of work of you'll have no chance of getting that first real client that will provide the project that will pay the bills.

    Best of luck.

    Matt

    (ps, remember Louie's example salaries are in US dollars, not pounds )

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Mincer
    Getting a job as a 'php programmer' in the UK is pretty much impossible at the moment. Because of the unfortunate predudice against php as a free package(and hence percieved to be beneath commercial packages), there is simply no call for it in the general marketplace.
    There are quite a few jobs appearing that list PHP as a prefered or needed skill if you look in the right places, but then again they also usually want 2 or 3 years professional experience too.

    Incidentally I may be looking for a UK PHP developer in the near future to work on some contracts for the clients of my other business.
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    PHP jobs are quite scarce these days. The best approach would be to hop on a job search engine, computerjobs.com or monster.com and do some research. If you are focusing work around your area, do some research on what companies are there and what do they do.

    I was fortunate enough to be hired as PHP developer right after high school. I've probably spent studying PHP for about a year while as a senior and PERL as sophomore/junior year.

    Most companies aren't looking for an individual who's talent is just only PHP. They are looking for those who can perform various tasks, especially for a small company. A larger company would probably take in a well dedicated PHP developer, but you'll need alot of stuff to show off on your resume. . .

    JAVA is a sure bet of a language that would help you to get somewhere in my honest opinion. It may not be as simple as PHP, but it can do far more better things which would translate into the time spent doing it. With JAVA, there is JSP which deals with server side coding.

    ASP & CF are big time at the moment, but I despise it mainly since the company I work for was once founded on CF development, but alot of our clients did not want to pay for the extra licensing fees that overlayed the cost of development. PHP was the route cost wise, but most companies are unfamiliar with *NIX systems and are going to develop only on a NT platform. I have grudge against NT personally due to the lack of security it has to offer, however that is a totallly different story

    With your plan, if you are starting a company, a could sales pitch would be that PHP doesn't require any special licensing fees.
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Zealot theFinn's Avatar
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    I've made a living doing PHP for just about 2 years now. My first job our of college was doing PHP for about $30K US a year, I left that after 3 months because I was offered a better job doing PHP (for $53K CDN/year). However when the .com thing went all to hell my company went out of buisness and I went out of work

    Now, in the current situation where there arn't many people investing money in buiding big websites the PHP jobs are hard to come by, most likly you will have to relocate. For example, I live in Canada and to find a PHP job I'm going to have to move a couple thousand miles away (granted its to the Caribbean so I'm not complaining heh).

    You can still make a decent living doing web development but you better be pretty good and/or have really good job finding skills if you wanna land a good position. I'd say if you're interested in programming you learn some of the 'core' languages first (C/C++, Java, etc etc) and try and make a go of that first.

    Good luck
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict AbelaJohnB's Avatar
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    I, like James (theFinn) above, have been at it for about 2 years as-well.


    I do all Free-Lance work!!

    The first year (while I was learning the core of PHP) I only made around 17k USD.

    This last year, however, I've been able to bring in 135,00 USD.


    However, it has come at a great price....

    I've traveled, relocated, and worked in four (4) diffent USA states... and have driving in/through about 15 or so states to do other minor jobs.


    All in all... it has sucked!

    Yea, 100,000+ is nice....
    But, I've got no life, no wife... not even a dog!!

    Just me, my laptop, my truck, a lot of air-time, and a cliental list the size of my grandmothers Christmas mailing list!! (yuck!!)



    My suggestion would be:

    Get into System Admin'ing.... in my travel, it seems those guys have a much more stable live then us programmers do <sigh>



    Later.
    John B. Abela
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  15. #15
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    I'm having a nice job in a web agency as web application developer in germany.
    My advice for you is :

    Try to get into object oriented programming by making your next scripts in PHP intentionally class heavy.

    Then get yourself "thinking in java" by Bruce Eckel and try some Java programming.
    Java/jsp development will not be that big a problem once you did a lot of programming in PHP.

    If you want to work in the internet business you will need more than one programming skill.
    You would't have to be a java expert for web development though. You will learn what you need just by doing it mostly.
    Important is that you already know how to handle the user Interface(HTML/ SHTML /javascript ...).
    So jump over the chapters in your java book that you don't need (swing/awt) and stick to servlets and jsp.
    (Don't bother with applets for starters you almost never ever use them anymore)

    If you are not that much a tech freak but have some graphic skills too, go for Action scripting and flash and/or shockwave/lingo scripting. You will get a job easily if you can do that.

    PHP and flash is getting along very well together so its really a good thing to know both.

  16. #16
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    what i forgot:

    Javascript is considered as something as basic like html that you will just have to know anyway. But don't bother to much with it. As long as you can handle the basic things youre ok.

    (You always try working around javascript and only use it if theres no f'ing other way, because it sucks)
    Last edited by MeisterPetz; Jan 4, 2002 at 05:50.

  17. #17
    What? Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CHeeSeBLiND
    java or javascript?

    and why?
    Because with Java you can create script, large apps, really anything you can think of.

    Javascript is a small scripting language that has its place in web dev but isn't considered an important language to be hired for. Most people who know another language can grasp enough of javascript in 2-4 weeks to do some of the dynamic things we all love
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  18. #18
    SitePoint Addict exhale81's Avatar
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    i'm trying to earn a living with php as an independant and it looks like it's not that impossible. first of all i'm selling a few full-featured scripts and they sell well. it requires some good basics in marketing and other stuff but if you have a good script, that can really save time, people will pay for it (and for the hardcore php freeware scripts: i actually give my scripts for free to non-profit websites). you can also make a good amount of money if you explicitely say you are available for custom scripts writing.

    i also have a web design site that used to traditional and it didn't work, so i changed its focus and now i say clearly that my speciality is dynamic database-driven websites and i show it on my portofolio. i don't know how it will work but i think there is demand for such things. what is especially good is that most of the little wannabe web designers don't know how to write php/mysql code (however they do know how to make flash intros, javascript, blinking text and other horrible things) so it removes a good amount of competition (that some might call 'unfair'). i also think that, as the web mature, companies will be looking more and more for this. at the moment they are happy with their non-interactive web venture but when they will see a competitor with a neat database-driven site or a shopping cart system, they will want that too!

    what i recommend, and i'm going to do it soon, is to learn asp too because there are many corporations who prefer to stick with microsoft products and from what i have seen, asp isn't that different from php and so not that hard to learn once you know php. by sticking to a single programming language, you necessarily cut yourself from a part of the market. i don't know if i will learn cgi though, it seems too messy :b
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  19. #19
    SitePoint Guru DenverDave's Avatar
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    I am finding it a serious challenge to make a living as an independent web developer. I call myself a webmaster service provider, hoping to generate recurring income from my clients.

    One of the secrets seems to be to learn how to market using some of the methods of traditional companies. I've joined a leads group and am trying to find the right chamber of commerce.

    Turnkey tools: I've been working on collecting a tool kit that can be applied for clients. Things like bulletin board software, chat, content management and calendars. It takes a long time to evaluate each product and I would be very interested in discussion candidate applications.

    Best of luck - I'd dread going back to a regular "robot" job, hope we can make this work.

  20. #20
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Originally posted by Mincer
    Getting a job as a 'php programmer' in the UK is pretty much impossible at the moment. Because of the unfortunate predudice against php as a free package(and hence percieved to be beneath commercial packages), there is simply no call for it in the general marketplace.

    Perhaps your best option would be something along the lines of what I do. D) Find yourself a job as an internal intranet developer for a large UK or multi-national company. That way you can both develop a site, and develop your skills (any large company worth their salt is going to be able to send you on fairly expensive training courses).

    If you want to go it alone, then good luck to you. But before you start, work like hell night and day building up a portfolio of work of you'll have no chance of getting that first real client that will provide the project that will pay the bills.

    Best of luck.

    Matt

    (ps, remember Louie's example salaries are in US dollars, not pounds )
    Im finding this out as well.

    I've been doing webdev on the side for a few years now but in the last 6 months moved fully into it. Ive been doing this freelance but am trying to get a position in an established firm (which isnt easy as they all seem to go bust).

    Its very true PHP is seen as a freebie and not worth anything but I think codered has opened a few peoples eyes.

    One good thing I found is :

    www.clydesdalebank.co.uk

    A high street bank that uses PHP.

    Rikki

  21. #21
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    I have only been working with PHP for about a month. It started when I installed a BB on my website and looked at the code. Then I built a site for a client using php and mysql for his online catalog. Works pretty damn well. Next thing is to make it into an ecommerce site.

    I've knocked together lots of little daft things very quickly over the last 4 weeks :

    o Online catalog for client database driven with web accessed image uploading, catalog additions, removals and editing.

    o Guestbook for one of my hobby sites with IP loggin, 20 entries per page, time and date stamp, admin panel to view IPs and remove unwanted entries.

    o Simple download counter for another of my hobby sites.

    Everything is just so logical, you think your head "ok this should do this" and it works.

    Long live PHP!!

    Rikki

  22. #22
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    Originally posted by Karl


    There are quite a few jobs appearing that list PHP as a prefered or needed skill if you look in the right places, but then again they also usually want 2 or 3 years professional experience too.

    Incidentally I may be looking for a UK PHP developer in the near future to work on some contracts for the clients of my other business.
    Where would I look to find these PHP jobs advertised ?

    I tried monster and s1jobs but found nada.

    Rikki (Scotland)

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy Karl's Avatar
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    Go to WH Smiths and get some of the industry mags such as Computing, it comes out weekly and always has loads of jobs in it, quite a few offering PHP work usually.
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  24. #24
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    might be an idea. although I would have thought they would advertise online.

    Rikki

    PS: Ive found a lot of web dev companies saying on their own sites "we do not use agencies" so maybe it would be better to send off emails pointing to a demo site ?

  25. #25
    PHP Programmer QReyes's Avatar
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    You guys are amazing! Here in our country, web developers earn at about $500 per project.
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