Should I learn PHP in 2021?

It’s funny how every day I see some form of this question being asked online.

Yes, I do spend a lot of time around Twitter but still… it’s kind of weird, don’t you think?

For me, being so much into PHP and knowing pretty much everything that’s going on, it makes me wonder… why would anyone think otherwise?

Usually, this question comes from people looking to get into IT (or programming more specifically) for the first time so it’s a legitimate question to ask.

The idea is to be as effective at getting that first job as possible, and for good reason.

I also see many people responding to it with things like: “no, PHP is an old ugly language that is getting obsolete”.

Is it?

Most of the people who express themselves in this way are talking about a picture they saw of PHP in the early days (back at version 3 or even 4).

I’ve been there and yes, PHP was a mess back then.

But things got WAY better over time.

For me, the birth of PHP 5 (especially 5.4) was a tipping point.

Something broke there… in a good way 🙂

From there on, every new version brought us more and more cool features, new ways of expressing our algorithms, and also great performance improvements, making current PHP comparable to any other modern language out there.

Of course, keeping backward compatibility has always been a challenge and it would have been much easier to simply take it all apart and start fresh.

But that would also have meant leaving almost 80% of the web without support… I don’t think anyone wants that 🙂

So, back to the original question: yes, you should definitely learn PHP in 2021.

In fact, one of the great aspects of PHP is it’s huge and friendly community.

There are plenty of resources from where to learn.

I know for some people not being English-Fluent is a barrier, that’s why I create most of my content in Spanish because I know of the potential PHP has and I think it’s a shame great programmers get left out because of their not-so-great English skills.

So, in summary, being so close to New Year, go ahead and put “Learn PHP” into those resolutions.

You’ll thank me later.