Top 10 PHP Developer Skills Companies Want In 2022

by Dan Irascu

Top 10 PHP Developer Skills Companies Want In 2022

PHP was created back in the ’90s and is still one of the most important frameworks in web development. For over 25 Years, skill requirements and knowledge have been constantly evolving, and now in 2021, a PHP developer has to know way more than 10 years ago. The tech progress and ways that PHP can be used are the main reason why skill requirements have changed lately, but on the other hand, it proves that PHP is not going to disappear pretty soon. 

What Is a PHP Developer

Business owners perceive PHP developers also differently from how they did before. The job is underrated due to similar and newer frameworks that provide almost the same functionalities. However, according to  V3 Tech Data PHP is used by 79.2% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.

Shortly, a PHP developer is a skilled programmer who develops applications, programs, and websites using the DSL (dynamic script language) PHP. Due to the wide variety of new technologies similar to it, PHP developers are referred to as web developers or programmers. Yet, PHP developers are specialized including but not limited to their framework. 

What are PHP Developer Responsibilities

The number of tasks PHP developers are assigned to is relatively big, and it depends most of the time on what they are working on. However, several responsibilities apply to all. Among them are: 

  • Creating up to application deployment

  • Find and fix compatibility issues with HTML and CSS for different platforms and browsers

  • Multiple device testing

  • Create a maintenance plan and provide future performance updates

  • A detailed description of digital product specs ( website, app, software)

  • Constantly learn and improve tech skills according to new technologies and trends on the market

Everything looks pretty straight and simple, but the complexity rate of their responsibilities lies in the details. 

TECHNICAL SKILLS PHP DEVELOPERS ARE WANTED FOR

Diving deeper into the skill requirements, we looked at over 50 different companies providing PHP services from 10 countries that seek PHP developers for various reasons and at different levels. Apart from demanding several general skills that everyone should own, there are specific abilities that drag our attention and are good to know: 

#1 More than just basic knowledge & experience with PHP

Usually, companies hiring PHP developers are demanding basic knowledge and a minimum of experience before accepting a professional in this position. The truth is that in most western countries, companies prefer those with extensive knowledge of PHP and a minimum of 2 years of experience.  Apart from the Junior/Middle/Senior levels, knowledge and experience are vital for a favorable position in a company with 10+ employees.  

The acceptance border is somewhere above knowing how PHP works, and how it can be integrated with different frameworks and CMS. A novice in this framework can acquire this knowledge and experience by attending specialized courses and gaining internationally recognized certifications. Coursera and Udemy are only a few examples of platforms that can help to improve PHP knowledge via courses with practical examples. 

#2 SQL Knowledge & Experience

Some sources mention that SQL should be learned before PHP, others say the opposite but none of them deny that SQL experience and knowledge are essential when working with PHP. Even though SQL is only for databases, while PHP is way more than that, experience with SQL helps PHP devs send queries to these databases. 

This is explained as an essential part of the PHP working process, and probably SQL is one of the easiest things to learn in the skill set one should have as a PHP developer. Shortly explained, SQL is for the relational databases which PHP devs use in their working process.

#3 HTML & CSS

Well, that’s already obvious. CSS and HTML are basic skills in the digital world, and all those who read this article already know more or less what those two are. But when it comes to PHP dev requirements, HTML & CSS have to be at a world-class level. 

That’s because a big part of PHP developer work assumes working with these two. And as a matter of fact, PHP was designed to work with HTML, and such PHP can be embedded into HTML. On the other hand, PHP files can be created even without HTML tags, and that’s called Pure PHP. 

#4 Python

Python and PHP are somewhere competing for programming languages, but at the same time, they can work together. Many companies ask for Python knowledge and experience for their projects in addition to PHP. The reason is simple: You can run scripts from Python in PHP, and outputs on browsers. 

But there is another reason for it: knowing more than one language from the same niche allows you to work on multiple types of projects within the same company. And in addition, Python is a newer programming language with an improved interface which others appreciate as a more comfortable way to work. 

NON-TECHNICAL SKILLS PHP DEVELOPERS SHOULD HAVE

In contrast with technical skills, PHP developers should also have a set of social skills, which in some cases can turn the table in their favor during a job interview. Out of 50 companies, most of them demand these skills for a more comfortable work environment and project management. 

#5 Communication Skills

Most PHP developers work in teams with other employees at their job. Usually, they interact with almost everyone - from copywriters to project managers, everyone is involved in the same process, depending on the project.  This is why communication skills are a basic requirement for PHP developers but not only. 

Out of 50 companies from our research, 32 demand communication skills, in addition to other technical skills mentioned above. And in the case of other 4 companies, communication skills are an advantage. So, even if communication is a basic ability and an obvious requirement, companies still mention it when hiring.

#6 Project Management

In some specific cases, PHP developers are also project managers, especially when most of the work has to be done by them, or when a PHP developer has a better understanding of the entire project due to technical details. 

However, companies hire PHP developers with project management skills including for better coordination of the project. 

However, if this skill is mandatory in a job post for the position of a PHP developer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a project will be assigned from this point of view both in short term and long term. It may mean that this is a skill that provides added value to the employee. 

#7 Analytical Skills

In addition to project management skills and abilities, analytical skills play an important role in any digital agency or tech company. Having analytical skills is a must for most employees, including future PHP developers. Even if in many cases this skill comes “by default”, 22 out of 50 companies are mentioning it in the job post.

Analytical skills are considered beyond the basic knowledge of PHP or other programming languages, frameworks, and CMS, and are considered a separate asset to be taken into consideration.

#8 Problem-Solving Attitude

50% of all job posts from our research demand a problem-solving attitude, which is mentioned separately in addition to other related skills. In most cases, this means that the job offer may include responsibilities such as troubleshooting, debugging, or maintenance. 

Even though this ability depends on the company or project, it is a recommended asset to all types of programmers and software developers, and not limited to PHP developers only. Most of all, this skill is required in European-based companies - 17 out of 25 companies that demand a problem-solving attitude are located in Europe (Germany, UK, Netherlands, France). 

#9 Technical Writing

Describing the product, code, or technical specifications of a project for a non-technical person is a must for most PHP developers. Even though this skill may qualify also for tech skills, it still involves humanities. Writing and reading technical documentation enables more the ability to explain details using PHP knowledge and experience. 

In most cases, PHP devs help clients understand what exactly is needed for the project, or at what stage the project is. But this aspect may also concern other responsibilities of a PHP developer, such as troubleshooting, debugging, maintenance, and specific developmental stages. Since the number of non-technical clients grows compared to the number of technical clients, it is essential to translate specific moments from the dev language to a more simple and wider understanding. 

#10 Flexibility

The last on the list, but not the least important ability is flexibility. It concerns many aspects of a PHP developer: from being flexible with the schedule up to be flexible with clients, partners and colleagues. Flexibility can also include negotiation skills, and analytical and communication skills as well. However, the last two are usually mentioned separately by employers. 

Generally, this is an integrated skill that is more recommended than mandatory but 12 out of 50 companies mention it separately as a requirement for a PHP developer blog post.  In contrast with Problem-Solving Attitude, Flexibility is often met in US-based companies, rather than in European ones.
 

TECHNICAL AND NON TECHNICAL SKILLS REQUIREMENTS BASED ON COUNTRY

To make a clear view of how things work in different countries for PHP developers, you can check the table below. The data for this information was collected from several sources - the largest job platforms for IT specialists: 

Based on the above table, the top most demanding countries for PHP developers are UK, Germany, and Poland, while at the other end of the list Netherlands, France and Italy have more relaxed requirements for the same job position. US, Canada, and Spain are somewhere in the middle, having the same number of requirements but still different from each other for the same position. 

It is still important to mention that the first three technical skills are mandatory for all countries, and there are also several other requirements depending on the country and company. Others may include Laravel, CakePHP, WordPress, Drupal instead of Python, or in addition to it. 

HOW WELL ARE PHP DEVELOPERS PAID IN 2021

Since we touch on the PHP developer topic, it’s also important to find out if the job is worth being applied to in different countries now in 2021. However, a PHP developer, just like almost all types of developers have different experience and knowledge in their field, and the wages may vary depending on what extra benefits the employee can bring to the company. 

Not to complicate too much, we took the 3 standard developer levels: Junior, Middle, and Senior in all 10 countries and compared their salaries. The data was collected from Salaryexplorer, and according to the source, is also from 2021. 

CONCLUSION

Just like any other developer job, PHP requirements are much more than just knowing the framework. The truth is that it continues to be a highly appreciated job in the digital world, and most probably will continue to be so for the next years. 

However, PHP is still at its peak due to its adoption by emerging economies and Third-World countries, while western modern economies are underestimating  PHP, and slowly adopting newer alternatives. 

If you consider your project needs a professional or a company specialized in PHP development, you can find the best of them on TechBehemoths

Dan Irascu

Marketing Department

Researching, analyzing, and writing insightful stuff is what I do for a long time now at Mobiteam. At TechBehemoths, I put all my experience and knowledge work for IT companies and businesses and help them reach each other.