[nycphp-talk] State Of The PHP Economy 2009

Leam Hall leam at
Wed Jan 14 06:24:34 EST 2009

Brian Dailey wrote:
> How has the economic apocalypse left the PHP world?

Funny you should ask, I've been struggling through something personal 
and related for a while now. Would appreciate any wisdom you folks can 

I see a great need for PHP skilled people as small businesses realize 
COTS costs them, locks them in, and they still need skilled people to 
implement. What I've seen down here is that someone who knows enough PHP 
to savvy things like Joomla and make web pages more useful are needed. 
That may be a case of situational perceptions as I'm not a real PHP 
programmer but more of a systems guy that understands PHP at the 
Apprentice level.

For the next 3-5 market years my bet is that contract/freelance work 
will provide the stability, if you have a good reputation and diverse 
client set. This is not just PHP but in the server market as well. As a 
systems engineer the clients seem to not have funds for a full timer 
unless there's a big multi-year project well funded. More that there's a 
short term business case that has 2 months of budget for a finite task. 
For that it's "get in, get the job done, and leave your business card 
and a good reputation".

Of course, this is my theory as I sit here still looking for work. 
Charlotte is a financial town and we're hit heavy by the BoA and 
Wachovia problems. My personal struggle is in re-defining work skills to 
meet the needs. Dreams of being "a top coder" or "Linux guru" are nice 
but my character is the "helps other people do well" and "knows enough 
to make things work". I could live in the juncture between the business 
case, the technical specs, and the executive summary; shuttling and 
translating details to meet each need. Just need to find folks who need 
that done enough to pay for it.

PHP is a great tool for enabling communications because the web has 
become so integral to our concept of communication. There are probably 
better languages for other software projects but PHP rules for 
presenting global data in a few useful pages.

I would strongly recommend a few reads. Here they are in some semblance 
of order:
  	The 7 habits of Highly Effective People -- Covey
	What color is your parachute? -- Bolles
	Tribes -- Godin
	Web 2.0 -- Shuen
Entrepreneurship is heavily on my mind and there are some reads for 
that. Some are providing a mix of advice and encouragement; handy to have!

For my personal suggestions to the group;
	look to your self for an employer. You will only work for yourself 
anyway, no matter who pays the bills. Chart your career for the next 3-5 
years, list the things you'd love to do and the skills you need to have. 
Pursue both.
	look to your character as marketing tool. There are lots of people able 
to do any job! To get hired by more than dumb luck you need to deal with 
the fact that humans make hiring decisions and your humanity is your 
resume in motion.
	look to serve. Even if you can't monetize everything directly, 
contribute in ways that communicate your skills, personality, and goals. 
Help others and know you made the world a better place.


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