Dearth of good PHP programmers

We (at SANIsoft) are screening a lot of PHP programmers these days to fill a few vacancies. It looks like there is a dearth of good PHP programmers particularly in Nagpur and generally in India. So what are the reasons for this scarcity? I think the root causes are…

Lack of awareness :

PHP is still an alien language for an average college student. I have met a lot of students who have never heard of PHP. Let alone students, the professors/teachers of technical institutes themselves don’t know what is PHP. Until the college students are unaware of what PHP is – its popularity as a career choice and in turn students becoming good PHP programmers is not possible. There are ofcourse few exceptions where students are fully aware of php and are thriving to learn and become good php programmers.

Going with the herd :

And the herd generally opts for Microsoft Technologies. If i see a lot of my friends opting for .NET as a career choice then it will be my natural tendency to go with .NET. Students need to overcome this tendency and move away from herd.

Lack of good trainers :

Unfortunately in India you need a trainer for learning programming languages. No one is willing to learn on his/her own. As soon as a student goes to university, (s)he starts to search for training institutes. There are very few training institutes offering PHP courses and I will say none of them are good (at least in Nagpur). The sole reason is that the trainer himself/herself is not adept at PHP.

Money Matters :

No matter what, money is the most important thing when one chooses a career. Unfortunately very few MNCs (Multi-National Companies) work in php in India. And those who work, none of them reveals this to general public. You will find newspapers full of ads for jobs in MNCs but none of them mentions php. I think they are afraid of associating themselves with php publicly (reason is unknown). Since only MNCs can offer good salaries (which is fast changing) and they don’t work in php, students don’t opt for php as a career. After all no one wants to earn less money. But if you do find yourself in a pinch, you can sign up for the Citrus North payday advance.

Fear of PHP getting vanished in few years :

Everyone wants a stable career and opts for a technology which is everlasting. I see increasing fear amongst newbies that php might vanish after a few years. They think php, being an open source language, won’t survive amongst other closed source alternatives. Their impression is that a technology which has a corporate backing lasts longer and is more secure.

PHP is not the only victim of above mentioned facts but many other languages like ruby, perl and python have the same plight.

[Update 2009-08-28]
Above points are just the problems PHP is facing in India. It is not at all meant to frighten budding PHP Programmers. In my next few posts I will be discussing the solutions for these problems.


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  • […] for the open-source Coppermine gallery project, writes with mild frustration about the seeming shortage of talented PHP programmers in India. He cites a number of reasons, one of which is a lack of good trainers: Unfortunately in India you […]

  • This is my last year of education(i m doing MCA), i will be in industry next year. PHP is one of my favorite language as i love web development. Though i m very new to it, but still i love to play with PHP (specially wordpress).
    But seriously, the points that you quoted here are frightening me from choosing the PHP as a carrier option (i was thinking of same points that you quoted here like why infy or other MNCs dnt work on PHP (do they really work ?? ) and whats the payscale of a normal PHP programmers n whats the future of PHP, etc etc)

    I spent my 8year in studying computer science (from 11th standard i have computers or IT as one subject then BSC in comp. sci and then MCA) i dont want to earn less or dont want live like a normal person. I want to be very good developer with nice payscale etc etc. (starting salary doesn’t matter)

    so will you please guide me about what exactly the current situation of PHP in industry ?? why dont you write a post on it. waiting for it. I am very much interested in working with PHP but above points.. 🙁


  • @Chetan – My post was not intended to frighten new comers but to highlight what misconceptions regarding php are floating around. I will be coming up with posts which will describe how to tackle each of the said points. This post is just to mention the problems – the solutions will be coming next :).

    I will be glad to guide anyone who needs help in php. Just stay tuned and my next few posts will tell how to deal with each of the above mentioned points.

    Thanks for responding.

  • […] my earlier post, I had mentioned a few points as to why there is a lack of talented php programmers in Nagpur. In that post I have discussed only the root causes of this paucity. The solutions to […]

  • […] my earlier post on shortage of good PHP programmers… Going with the herd : And the herd generally opts for Microsoft Technologies. If i see a […]

  • This is also the same situation we face in Philippines. Most universities never teach PHP and so, students are not aware of that path until maybe someone tells them of the freelancing career as a php programmer. In order to atleast spread the news about the language, the php user group phil created a Roadshow program wherein volunteers visits universities to talk anything about php. Maybe your user group can also do something like that to help spread the word. I don’t think we can rely to Universities because there is just no company backing PHP at all.

  • Thanks Rachel for sharing your thoughts. We are also planning to visit colleges and introduce PHP to students. We are also planning workshops at colleges.

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