Advice needed: looking for PHP experience

I know PHP, actually have a four year college degree in programing, and seem to actually be able to write coherent code (an oddly rare thing for those that have a degree). Unfortunately I’m out of practice and need to brush up on my PHP skills. Any suggestions for how to get that experience (preferably while getting paid without spending lots of time searching for jobs)? My ultimate goal is to start a (one person) company based off of PHP programing/web development, preferably my projects/plugins/scripts vs customers. I have a day job as an Apache administrator so I cannot really switch jobs for another ~4 months until I finish saving up money.

Suggestions? Obvious advice?

Pick any theme you’re interested in, visit specialized forums and look what people want. Then just code it.
The most important thing - it should be fun for you. Otherwise nothing will happen.

When i was in similar situation i just started to write my own opensource CMS. It was in 2007.
In 2010 it began to make some profit (with paid plugins), i quit from job and founded my “one person company”.
So, that is real, i can prove :smile:

What megazoid said. You could definitely try to make some kind of paid plugin in the meantime for Wordpress or Joomla, or do some premium themes. You can always put them up on Themeforest or Codecanyon. Another way to find things to do on the side while you’re figuring things out is check out the postings on Elance and Odesk.

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