On 10-07-29 01:36 AM, Nathan Rixham wrote:
Hi All,

I find myself wondering about the state of the PHP community (and
related community with a PHP focus), so, here's a bunch of questions -
feel free to answer none to all of them, on list or off, or add more of
your own - this isn't for anything specific, just out of interest and
sure I (and everybody who reads the replies) will learn something +
doors/options/contacts may come of it. The only thing I can guarantee is
that I'm genuinely interested in every reply and will read every one of
them + lookup every tech and link mentioned.

in no particular order:

What other languages and web techs do you currently use other than PHP?
- if you include html or css please include version, if js then
preferred libs, and whether client or server side.

What's your previous language/tech trail?

Early high school I used to program in basic on a TRS-80. Oh how I loved saving my programs to audio cassette. Later in high school I learned pascal and then later qbasic. Later still I studied computer science and was exposed to many different languages C, C++, Smalltalk, Java, Scheme, Prolog, Perl, JavaScript, HTML, VRML, SQL that I remember. When I finished university I walked straight into a PHP job knowing not an iota of PHP. I came up to speed the first week and fell in love with it. That was around March 2000. The company there always used Java also, as part of a desktop suite to manage the web content. Towards the end of 2002 they began an effort to create a Java based web framework to parallel their PHP framework and so I used Java more at that time. Then the dot com crash caught up with them and layoffs ensued.

Are you considering any new languages or techs, and if so which?
   - names / links

I'm considering more mobile based development languages/platforms.

Is PHP your hobby/interest, primary development language, just learning or?

For the past 10 years PHP has been all of the above.

How many years have you been using PHP regularly?


How many years have you been working with web technologies?

About 14.

Did you come from a non-web programming background?

My initial enrolment in university was before the Inernet took off. I remember using Mosaic in my first year, having an email address that only other university students communicated with. As such, my initial intent has no consideration for the Web. By the time I finished school though, the Web was all the rage.

Is your primary role web developer or designer?

I am almost never a designer, though I can give critique >:) Primarily I am the systems administrator, software architect, and software developer. At times I am also the project manager.

In your developer life, are you an employer, and employee, contractor,
freelancer, part of a team of equal standing members?

These days I have a finger or two in all of the above.

Do you tend to work on jobs for geo-local clients, clients in the same
country, or do you work internationally 'on the web'?

I don't really care for whom I do work (with obvious moral qualifications). But my experience has been international having done work for Canadian, U.S., and British clients. Most importantly, I like the flexibility of working from home where I can concentrate on the task at hand uninterrupted for hours.

How do you get your projects? do they come to you, word of mouth, do you
hunt and bid for projects, code call, visit clients, target clients
individually you think you can help, or?
- not looking for trade secrets, just to get enough for an overall picture.

Almost all work has been word of mouth. Often, after I've done work for someone, they return for more. Some relationships are spotty in that it's a bit of work here, then a bit of work there, and so on. Others it's an ongoing relationship to evolve their needs. I have often taken over a predecessor's mess and had clients tell me how it runs X times faster since I've worked on it. Sometimes this is simply adding a bytecode cache, sometimes this is optimizing table indexes, and sometimes this is correcting serious problems in coding and application design.

Do you have any frustrations with the PHP community, do you find you
want to talk shop but can't, or find people to work with but can't, have
projects in mind you want to do but can't find people to do them with etc?

For the most part I love the PHP community, but admittedly I only interface with a small portion of it (mostly via various mailing lists). I don't currently have time for personal projects. Three kids and a full plate of work makes my spare time a fleeting concept.

Do you network with other PHP'ers in real life - meetups etc, do you
tend to shy away, or do you find you circulate in other web related but
non PHP focussed communities?

Not really. I'm primarily introverted (not a social pariah mind you), and tend to find some quick web searching turns up answers to anything for which I have questions.

Are you a member or any other web tech communities, opensource efforts,
or standardization bodies - again, if so which?

I follow several mailing lists PHP (obviously), MediaWiki, FCKeditor, Mplayer, Joe. I follow others on a more ad-hoc basis such as MySQL, Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, JQuery, Apache, FengOffice, etc. From time to time when I need something if the package I'm using doesn't have what I need I will crack it open and do what needs to be done. This can be any language since they all pretty much have similar idioms and it doesn't usually take long to start stabbing it into submission. Often I'll submit a patch if I think the patch is of any use to anyone else and is reasonably competent looking :)

Are there any efforts, projects or initiatives which are floating your
boat right now and that your watching eagerly (or getting involved with)?

I'm watching the social media and mobile platform snowballs gain traction with great interest.

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