You’ve decided to take the plunge and start coding. Congratulations. If you are like most new developers, trying to find your first programming language might dampen your enthusiasm.
PHP is a scripting language started by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994. It currently powers more than two-thirds of the web (https://haydenjames.io/80-percent-web-powered-by-php/). Here are four reasons PHP should be your first programming language.
PHP is easy to install
You are new to programming. You have chosen your first programming language, and you are trying to set up the appropriate environment. After you are asked to install this, unzip that, rewrite an htaccess file, and do that other thing, you might have an understandable urge to beat your head against the wall.
PHP removes all of these steps. You can simply download a LAMP stack environment and install it. The installation wizard will guide you from beginning to end. Popular LAMP stack environments include WAMP, XAMPP, and MAMP.
It gets better. Most web apps require a database. Rather than trying to install a database engine and workbench on your own, the LAMP stack comes equipped with databases such as MySQL and MariaDB.
PHP is a loosely typed programming language
Most programming languages require the developer to identify the data type of every variable. Knowing your data types is good and will only make you a more powerful programmer. However, as a beginner, you just want to get coding! If you don’t understand what any of this means, you are actually proving the point.
PHP is a loosely typed language. This means you can declare variables without specifying the data type. Rather than pulling your hair out because “2 + ‘2’” is not working, PHP allows you to start coding right away.
PHP is both a procedural and object-oriented programming language
If you haven’t heard of object-oriented programming before, it is simple. It is a coding convention that forces the programmer to create a blueprint of the software before they can start coding. The main advantage of object-oriented programming is that the blueprint can be used more than once in the same application, or in other applications.
The bad news is object-oriented programming is a complex concept. Most of its conventions require abstract thinking. If you are new to programming, this might be difficult to grasp.
While programming languages such as Java and C# are strictly object-oriented, PHP allows you to do both object-oriented and procedural coding. This means you can start out doing procedural programming and eventually advance to OOP when you have the basics in hand.
PHP is a programming language
Think about it. All the time you are stressing, trying to find a suitable programming language, is time you could be coding. If you learn one language, picking up another is much easier.
Sometimes, the best thing to do is pick any programming language and run with it. PHP is as good a language as any.
PHP is a scripting language that has dominated web development for nearly three decades. Its easier learning curve makes it a popular choice among developers. If you still cannot decide on a programming language, close your eyes, and pick the first that comes to mind.