A business without a digital presence or user-friendly applications is as good as obsolete these days. Therefore, it is worthwhile to invest in building a viable digital website or application for any business. But you need someone to develop the software product from scratch using basic information about its functional and design aspects.
The back-end developer plays a critical role in implementing this. A back-end developer connects your web application to the server and takes care of data collection from the end user, data storage & security. They focus on writing scripts and codes to communicate to the user’s browser from the server side.
Now, there are several programming languages and frameworks that aid in back-end development. PHP is one of the top ten technologies developers want to work with, and almost 80% of websites on the internet currently use PHP as their server-side scripting language. Major tech giants and content management system providers were built using PHP. It is also one of the top 7 most in-demand programming languages.
Read on to learn more about the language and how to hire a PHP developer.
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Why is PHP a good language?
PHP, short form for Hypertext Preprocessor, is a programming language that enables the generation of user-friendly dynamic webpages. It has a solid friendship with HTML, which is used to structure all web pages. PHP can easily embed into it and perform certain advanced features. With PHP 7, websites load and operate substantially faster than other scripting languages. Also, since the language is open-source, there are no expenses for software purchases and licenses.
Moreover, it can handle many other tasks, such as collecting data using user forms, working with databases, sending and receiving cookies, etc. It encrypts user data with its hash functions, making it secure and reliable to work with. With PHP, desktop graphical user interface (GUI) applications can also be created.
Regarding flexibility, PHP works on all platforms: Windows, Mac, or Linux. All major servers support PHP, and there exists a highly supportive online community that aids in the development of the language, with its latest version being PHP 8.1. After the fifth stable release of PHP, it can now support Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) as well, which helps improve the programmer’s software quality and productivity.
Considering all the above reasons, PHP is a powerful scripting language and a good choice for small or large enterprises.
What does a PHP developer do?
A PHP developer focuses on writing executable code for communication with the server. Their chief responsibilities are as follows:
- Analyzing the website and application requirements
- Integration with front-end developers
- Work with data storage and processing tools
- Build efficient and usable PHP modules
- Troubleshoot and manage existing code
PHP developers can build a new software product from scratch or aid in the development of websites. Additionally, they test and maintain the written codes and ensure the website runs smoothly.
What are the skills to look for in a PHP developer?
When it comes to scripting, one needs more than just knowledge of the PHP language. A candidate with relevant and trustworthy certifications can be a basic criterion to filter from several applications. Some additional technical skills required in a PHP developer are:
- Working with databases (SQL, MySQL, etc.)
- Knowledge of PHP frameworks (Laravel, Symphony, YII2, etc.)
- Familiarity with CMS (WordPress, Joomla, etc.)
- Hands-on experience with OOP (Object Oriented Programming)
- Knowledge about Control Systems (SVN/ Git etc.)
In addition to technical skills, a developer should possess the ability to analyze the project requirements and translate them into a working code. The following soft skills are needed in a good PHP developer:
- Good communication skills
- Capability to collaborate and work with front-end developers
- Ability to think from the user’s perspective
- Quick understanding of complex problems
- Adaptability to updates in the language or project requirements
- Project management skills
While soft skills can be evaluated with personal interviews, a good skill assessment test will help you find a technically strong candidate. Use a reliable tool to assess a PHP developer effectively. Testlify offers a PHP test to gauge their knowledge of the language fundamentals. You can also ask the applicants to elaborate on their past experiences and how they derived solutions for issues in their projects through the custom question option in Testlify.
For roles requiring more experience, a candidate with experience in web development, as a whole, would be more helpful. You can also test their knowledge of various other programming languages and frameworks using Testlify.
How to hire a PHP developer?
As is essential for any hiring process, evaluating the needs and setting financial & technical criteria required for the project is crucial to find the right fit for developing your product.
To hire a PHP developer, you need to develop an effective hiring plan and concentrate on the following:
- Fix the end goal – whether it is to create an application or a webpage
- Decide on the budget and time constraints
- Assess whether the role requires a full-timer or a freelancer
- Understand if the work necessitates a team of programmers
- Evaluate the level of expertise that would be needed for the project
- Create a clear and detailed job description
- Reach out to PHP developer communities or job forums
It is a good idea to be flexible and provide remote work as an option for full-time roles, as it enhances productivity and enables cost savings.
Decide on the type of PHP developers required – full-time or freelance
You can hire a PHP developer – full-time or freelance, depending on your comfort and necessities. But before you decide on one, keep in mind the following:
- Freelancers can be hired from communities. The main advantage to this is that you get to see the kind of work that they have experience on. You can also involve in a discussion and agree to the timeline for the completion of the project. But freelancers are only obliged to finish the product within the deadline and have the right to work with multiple clients simultaneously. They have the liberty to work from any location and at any time. On the flip side, this can make it easy for you to get in touch with the talent pool internationally.
- Alternatively, full-time PHP developers can be hired from job forums like Indeed, LinkedIn, etc. People applying to these places seek a long-term work commitment and stable pay on par with industry standards with perks and benefits. For posting in job forums, you need to put out the roles and responsibilities of the applicant and assess them using tests and interviews to narrow down the large applicant sample.
Know the average salary of a PHP developer
A PHP developer’s salary varies depending upon their location, years of experience, and the type of work structure they adhere to. If you wish to hire a PHP developer with a cultural fit, you should go for someone in your country. But if your budget is lower and you need someone to build the product within this budget, you can go for hiring from other countries.
Based on inputs in multiple job forums, the average yearly salary of full-time PHP developers is the lowest in India and highest in Australia. It varies from $3000 to $12,000 in India and $90,000 to $127,000 in Australia depending on experience.
Also, freelancers operate on hourly rates, the lowest in China and the highest in the United States. Junior and Senior freelance PHP developers charge $10 and $65 per hour in China and $40 and $160 per hour, respectively, in America.
These rates also vary between full-stack developers and back-end developers. Full-stack developers are capable of working in both front-end and back-end. They can be more resourceful but charge higher compared to back-end developers.
What are the steps to hire a PHP developer?
With your project requirements finalized and the salary you will be able to offer fixed, you can start with the process of hiring PHP developers to develop your websites or applications.
Stage 1: Receive applications and filter
After you put out a vacancy in your business or company, chances are that many potential applicants will approach you. Filter out profiles that seem relevant or have experience in your industry. Hiring a junior PHP developer with a background in the industry your business focuses on is better than hiring a senior one with no exposure to your industry.
Step 2: Assess a PHP developer using skill assessment tests
Many testing tools are available to measure a candidate’s technical skills. Check what they offer and use one of them to evaluate their knowledge objectively. Ask for details about past projects and the challenges they faced in those. Additionally, you can assess their analytical and communication skills using aptitude and language tests.
Step 3: Conduct an interview
A candidate with clarity in thoughts and actions is easier to identify in an interview. Ask some in-depth questions related to PHP and its functionalities.
Step 4: Discuss what you expect
One of the most common mistakes you can make during the hiring process is not elaborating on the expectations of a developer they have hired. Before finalizing a candidate, conduct a candid interaction on the type of work they will be doing and your company’s way of handling and distributing projects. Setting your expectations clear upfront can help the developer assess themselves for the work they will be doing and if they can fit into your work style.
It is a slow process to hire a PHP developer. Your requirements and limitations must be carefully considered before finalizing the skills needed. The foremost factor that helps in this process is to have clarity on what your business model is going to be.
When you are clear about what skills you need, it becomes easier to communicate them to the technical team, resulting in more effective product development. If a dynamic web page is vital for your business, PHP is the right fit due to its ease of use, portability, and commonality.
Making the recruitment process easier is the best way to hire a PHP developer or for any other requirements per your timeline. A good talent assessment tool goes a long way in simplifying the technical process of hiring. It helps you focus on evaluating whether a candidate would do a good job handling your project. Testlify is a great tool to assess an individual’s knowledge and technical prowess, with its objective subject matter expert questions. Coupled with a fantastic candidate experience, it can do wonders to boost your company’s growth and identity.
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