Despite the fact that it is more than a couple of decades old (it officially made its debut back in 1995), PHP remains one of the most in-demand programming languages today. And there are a few reasons why it has continued to be popular. First and foremost, it is easy to use and when utilized properly, it builds websites that are not only user-friendly (on the part of site visitors), but also easy to maintain (for site owners and administrators). And its popularity has fostered a strong community of PHP software developers across the globe, all eager to put their skills to good use for anyone willing to pay for their programming skills.

Which brings us to the main point of this post — what do business owners (especially those with a small businesses only) need to know if they want to hire a PHP developer?

Make sure the skill set is there

What type of skills must a good PHP developer possess? In the simplest terms, the job of a PHP developer involves the writing, testing, and maintenance of the code for web pages. For those business owners who are already familiar with programming jargon, they will likely expect a skilled PHP developer to be quite adept in using various web frameworks like Joomla, Laravel, CakePHP, Symfony, Yii, ZEND, or Codeigniter, just to name a few.

Just to be on the safe side, a qualified PHP developer must be proficient in the PHP programming language, JavaScript, HTML/CSS, managing SQL/MySQL databases, SVN/Git, object-oriented programming, and CMS such as WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal.

Testing and sample work

Of course, any applicant can just list the qualifications above in their resume. This is why it is important to test a candidate’s knowledge of PHP and HTML programming. Giving a potential hire an assignment could be an example of such a test, or if you can help it, try to give them a more challenging homework.

You can also ask a sample of their work, or request to see a project that they have successfully completed in the past. If you are up to it, you can draw up a sample website that they have handled, and at the same time, ask the candidate to explain briefly how they went about tackling the project.

Evaluate the developer’s communication skills

Skills and technical know-how are one thing, good communication is another. After all, if you and your PHP developer can’t seem to be on the same page on anything, the project will be more challenging than it has any right to be.

It goes without saying that having decent English communication skills is a very big plus for a PHP developer. But equally important is the ability to use various communication tools available today, be it emails, chat, phone call (audio and video), and even social media.

Work ethic and attitude

This can get tricky, simply because those applying for a PHP software developer job will always put their best foot forward during initial interviews and meetings. Still, you can get an idea of your potential hire’s work ethic and attitude by throwing scenarios at him, and asking him how he would respond or handle the situation. These scenarios could range from problem-solving situations, or simply questions designed to offer some insight into the developer’s attitude towards work and professionalism.

So where can you find PHP developers?

Now that you know what to look for when hiring a skilled PHP developer, it pays to also know where you can find them. Because PHP is such a popular language, there is an ocean of practitioners out there. As of 2013, it was estimated that there were more than 5 million PHP developers across the globe. It has been half a decade since 2013, so the current population will surely be bigger by now.

So basically what we are saying is that they are everywhere. Business owners probably can find them within their city, very likely within their state, and surely within their country. For those willing to look elsewhere, they can even find PHP software developer talent offshore.

So let’s talk about offshore software development

There is nothing wrong about getting domestic PHP developers, but know that US-based programmers don’t come cheap. Per Indeed’s numbers (as of July 2018), the average annual salary is over $84,000. No problem for those business owners who could shell out eighty grand every year, but for those who can’t, they might want to explore other options.

This is where offshore software development comes in. You may have already heard about offshoring, but for those not in the know, it simply means setting up a team in another country, where labor costs are typically lower (than, say, in the US). The difference between outsourcing and offshoring is that the former means you delegate a job to a third party (who can be based in America or in another continent), while the latter involves creating an extension of your company, literally offshore.

Offshore costs

Of course, the costs of an offshore team of software developers may vary depending on which country. Suffice it to say that offshore PHP developers from western countries like Switzerland will cost more than those from, say, the Philippines (often a favorite source for inexpensive IT outsourcing).

But generally, offshoring allows for more cost savings because you get to do away with some of the overhead costs that come with hiring a full-time in-house PHP developer. These costs include fixed costs (office space rent, electricity and Internet bills, office equipment), perks, and other benefits.

Choosing the offshoring option often involves partnering with a company that will facilitate the hiring process, as well as the management of software developers that make up the offshore team. Some of the advantages of this arrangement include having to pay only a flat monthly fee to your staffing partner, and while you get to work closely with your team, you need not inconvenience yourself with the HR, administrative, and accounting tasks directly associated with your offshore personnel, because the staffing partner takes care of that.

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We specialize in recruiting qualified software programmers who possess the skill to help our clients’ business. Headquartered in Lehi, UT, but with offshore operations in Cebu, PH, we can work with you in building your own team of PHP developers. Read more about our staffing services now, or better yet, contact us directly and tell us what you need.