PHP is a general-purpose scripting language originally designed for web development to produce dynamic web pages. For this purpose, PHP code is embedded into the HTML source document and interpreted by a web server with a PHP processor module, which generates the web page document. It also has evolved to include a command-line interface capability and can be used in standalone graphical applications. PHP can be deployed on most web servers and as a standalone interpreter, on almost every operating system and platform. PHP is installed on more than 20 million websites and 1 million web servers.
PHP is my strongest programming language. I have been using it for years, it was my first programming language. I first started using PHP when I needed a very simple if/then statement, and I was amazed at all the things you could do with it. PHP includes make a coders life so much easier since you can call certain certain code multiple times, but store it in one place, making updating and expanding much easier.
Because it is a server-side-script, the user’s computer sees only what I want it to see. All of the magic takes place on the server where the website is hosted. This allows me to craft pages for specific users, either by region or specified access level. Combined with a database like MySQL I can make a personalized site or product management system.
For the first few years when I was moving from private, personal websites to paid professional development; I was coding entirely by hand. I learned how to use header information, date features, and made custom functions for just about everything I needed to do. The online community was a great resource because many coders freely distribute information and mentor early coders. I was able to learn advance functions and features from the ground up. These days most of the PHP coding I do is modifying existing scripts, but the foundation that I picked up in the early years carried on; now I can look at straight code and see exactly what does what and how I need to modify it.
If there is anything that I need to do within a complex website, I can either modify existing script or write custom script for a unique solution. Much of my contract work involves modifying, updating, or finishing work that was started by another coder; and I find it very useful that I can go into another person’s code and quickly ascertain what is broken and figure out how to fix it.