I am a PHP developer. I use PHP for nearly all my server-side development. Much of my learning of design patterns and general best practices and has taken place within a PHP context.
I’ve been doing web development with PHP for a lot of years. During the past three years, I have plunged into new tools and methodologies – frameworks, MVC, source-control, modeling, layered app architecture, dependency-injection, unit-testing, automated build/deploy, schema migration, API design. It has been – and continues to be – a huge climb. I often feel like a n00b, the new kid in school who just moved from a foreign land and doesn’t even speak the language, braced to get teased in the playground during recess by the Cool Kids.
But you know what? The Cool Kids – the more experienced PHP developers – turned out to be, well, cool.
Whether it’s an independent developer based on the other side of the world starting his own project on Github, or the founder of a US-based local PHP user group, or an advisory member to several developer conferences, or even the project leads of various popular open-source projects, they have all been uniformly supportive of what I do know and amazingly tolerant of what I don’t know. These near-total strangers have invited me to local meetups, encouraged me to start my own user-groups and local meetups, have patiently and generously contributed their time to answering my – often naive – questions and pointing me to relevant resources.
The expertise that they have shared with me has proven invaluable in improving my skills. Even more notable is their warm humanity, their sharp-witted good humor, and their almost universal encouragement that moves me to ever deeper community engagement.
Upshot: This virtual community, this real community, the PHP community, rocks. It just flat out rocks.
The PHP community. My community.