PHP: What you need to know to play with the web — by Christian Heilmann

What Is PHP?
PHP is a server-side language that has become a massive success for three reasons:

  • It is a very easy and forgiving language. Variables can be anything, and you can create them anytime you want.
  • It is part of the free LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) and thus available on almost any server you can rent on the Web.
  • It does not need a special editor, environment or build process. All you do is create a file of the .php file type, mix PHP and HTML and then put it on your server for rendering.

From DSC:
Christian makes this sound so easy. However, in my experience, programmers have a different skillset that is not easily mastered or obtained.  They have a different way of thinking, and the syntax of coding languages is not something many people enjoy working with. That is why there seems to be two camps: web designers (who focus on the front-end of the web) and web developers (who focus on the back end of things such as application development/programming and database integration). Sometimes, a person can bridge those two worlds…but rare is the person who can stay up-to-date and do both sides of the house well…and consistently over time.