PHP Developer Skills Companies Want
PHP Developer Skills Companies Want

The Evolution of PHP Development: Skills and Trends 


In the ever-evolving landscape of web development, PHP has remained a stalwart since its inception in the ’90s. Over the past 25 years, the demands placed on PHP developers have continually shifted, reflecting the dynamic nature of technology. In, the role of a PHP developer encompasses a broader skill set than it did a decade ago. This evolution is driven by both technological progress and the versatile applications of PHP, highlighting its enduring significance in the field of web development.

1. Defining a PHP Developer

The perception of PHP developers has evolved over time, influenced by the emergence of similar and newer frameworks. Despite competition, PHP remains a dominant force, powering 79.2% of known server-side programming language usage, according to V3 Tech Data. In contemporary terms, a PHP developer is a proficient programmer specializing in applications, programs, and websites crafted using PHP, often referred to as a web developer or programmer due to the extensive range of technologies they work with.

2. Responsibilities of a PHP Developer

PHP developers shoulder a diverse array of responsibilities, the specifics of which vary depending on their projects. However, several core tasks are common to the role, including:

  • Application development from inception to deployment.
  • Identifying and rectifying compatibility issues with HTML and CSS across different platforms and browsers.
  • Rigorous testing on various devices.
  • Formulating maintenance plans and providing ongoing performance enhancements.
  • Precisely documenting digital product specifications (websites, apps, software).
  • Continuous learning and skill improvement to stay abreast of evolving technologies and industry trends.

While these responsibilities may seem straightforward, their complexity often lies in the finer details of execution.

3. Technical Skills in High Demand for PHP Developers

Delving deeper into the skillset required for PHP developers, we analyzed the demands of over 50 companies across 10 countries. Beyond the essential foundational skills, there are specific proficiencies that stand out:

1. Mastery of PHP Beyond Basics: In most Western countries, companies seek developers with extensive knowledge and a minimum of 2 years of experience. This extends beyond a basic understanding of PHP, necessitating expertise in its integration with various frameworks and content management systems. Aspiring developers can acquire these skills through specialized courses and internationally recognized certifications available on platforms like Coursera and Udemy.

2. SQL Expertise: SQL knowledge and experience are indispensable when working with PHP. While PHP is versatile, SQL enables PHP developers to interact effectively with databases, a fundamental aspect of the development process.

3. HTML & CSS Proficiency: Proficiency in HTML and CSS is essential for PHP developers since a significant portion of their work involves these technologies. PHP was designed to complement HTML, with the option to embed PHP within HTML or work with pure PHP files.

4. Python Integration: Companies increasingly seek PHP developers with knowledge of Python. This synergy between the two languages allows developers to run Python scripts within PHP, providing additional functionality and versatility.

4. Non-Technical Skills for PHP Developers In contrast to technical skills, PHP developers should also possess a set of social and interpersonal skills that can enhance their performance in a professional setting:

5. Communication Skills: Effective communication is crucial for PHP developers who often collaborate with diverse teams, including copywriters, project managers, and more. Out of 50 companies surveyed, 32 emphasized the importance of communication skills in addition to technical proficiency.

6. Project Management: Some PHP developers also assume project management responsibilities, particularly when they possess a deeper understanding of the project’s technical aspects. Companies value PHP developers with project management skills for better project coordination.

7. Analytical Skills: Beyond technical prowess, analytical skills are highly regarded in digital agencies and tech companies. Approximately 22 out of 50 companies explicitly mentioned the importance of analytical skills in their job postings.

8. Problem-Solving Attitude: Problem-solving skills are a common requirement in PHP developer job listings. These skills often involve troubleshooting, debugging, and maintenance tasks, and they are particularly sought after by European-based companies.

9. Technical Writing: Describing technical aspects to non-technical stakeholders is a crucial skill for PHP developers. They play a pivotal role in helping clients understand project requirements and progress, translating technical jargon into layman’s terms.

10. Flexibility: Flexibility is a valuable trait for PHP developers, encompassing adaptability to schedules, clients, partners, and colleagues. While not always mandatory, 12 out of 50 companies specifically mentioned flexibility as a desirable attribute for PHP developers, particularly in U.S.-based firms.

5. Skill Requirements Across Different Countries

To gain insights into the varying skill requirements for PHP developers across different countries, we collected data from prominent job platforms for IT specialists. Here is a breakdown of the skill preferences:

  • The United Kingdom, Germany, and Poland have the highest skill demands for PHP developers, while the Netherlands, France, and Italy exhibit more relaxed requirements for the same position.
  • The first three technical skills, including PHP expertise, are universal requirements in all countries, but specific skills like Laravel, CakePHP, WordPress, or Drupal may also be emphasized depending on the country and company.
6. Compensation for PHP Developers,

PHP developer salaries vary based on experience, knowledge, and additional benefits brought to the table. We categorized developers into three levels: Junior, Middle, and Senior, comparing their salaries across 10 countries using data from Salaryexplorer:


PHP development is a multifaceted domain that demands more than just a cursory understanding of the framework. Despite the emergence of alternatives, PHP retains its significance, especially in emerging economies and Third-World countries. While Western economies are gradually adopting newer technologies, PHP’s enduring relevance in the digital world is unmistakable. As technology continues to advance, PHP developers will need to evolve their skillsets to meet the demands of an ever-changing landscape.

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