Freelance IT engineer: Is PHP old? A thorough explanation of the current language demand and future prospects


Along with Java, PHP is probably the most promising and in-demand programming language in the world of web engineers. It’s been more than 20 years since this language was introduced, but it continues to be in high demand. Will the demand for PHP continue to grow in the future?

History of PHP

PHP is a very popular language in the 2000s, but it was actually born in 1994. Canadian programmer Rasmus Lerdorf developed the language. PHP was developed based on the C language, and was originally developed for the purpose of checking the access history of Rasmus’ resumes published on the Web. However, the commercial demand for this language increased, and in the 2000s it became the language with the highest demand in the web industry. In particular, the growth in demand for the five years from 1995 to 2000 was tremendous, and currently, a wide variety of web services are being created with PHP.

Why PHP is considered obsolete

PHP is a language with a long history for website development, so some people point out that it is outdated. The reason for this is as follows. Its functions are easy to use even for beginners, so it has become the mainstay in web services and server-side applications, but compared to Python, there are many other languages available. Even in mid-career recruitment, the market value of things like python is increasing, and people with a proven track record in services are being hired and playing active roles. Although it ranks high in the popularity rankings, is its value in the market decreasing? maybe.

execution speed is slow

PHP is an interpreted programming language, so it runs much slower than compiled programming languages. The interpreted type executes the program while running the compiler. Therefore, the execution speed is inevitably slower than the compiled version.

alternative programming languages

Web languages are said to be particularly innovative. PHP is a programming language necessary for web development, but new programming languages are emerging with the times, and more and more companies are using Ruby and Go. Furthermore, Ruby can be developed efficiently using a framework called Ruby on Rails, so it is said to be the end of PHP.

What is the average annual income for PHP?

For your reference, we have summarized the average annual income of salaried employees, temporary employees, etc. in the job box. As you can see from this, the point is that the average annual salary of a programmer is not a big deal. However, when you become a freelancer, the story changes.

Source : 求人ボックス

The average unit price for PHP freelancers is around 600,000 to 700,000 monthly income. Therefore, if you make it to annual income, you will be able to aim for around 7 million yen, so it will be a significant increase in annual income compared to office workers. However, there is a point to note, and it is important that you have some practical experience and are at a level where you can proceed with the work on your own. If you become a freelancer without experience, you will not get this monthly income.

Skills required for PHP programmers

The skills required for a PHP programmer are as follows: PHP is used extensively in the latest projects, but if you want to learn and master the working environment, please be aware of the following points. This will provide you with the necessary skills to continue working and get jobs. Even if you have no experience, learning specialized areas will be useful in the field, so please consult with us if necessary. According to research, there are more job openings for PHP than for maintenance, etc. on free job change sites, so it is possible to be successful even if you have no experience.

OS, Framework, Database

The skills required of a programmer are not limited to just coding in a programming language; they also need knowledge of operating systems, frameworks, security, and even databases. Once you can do a complete set, you will finally be recognized as a full-fledged person, so it is better to be able to do it. Program grammar and writing are easy to deal with, so try your hand at a wide range of other skills.

Web industry business knowledge

As a trend, the systems involved in PHP programming are generally fixed, and rather than being large-scale, they tend to be web applications, e-commerce site construction, or web-based business systems. In any case, having business knowledge in the web industry will make your job a lot easier, so it’s best to understand and remember both of them as they are each important. Consider acquiring additional qualifications for your future. By improving and increasing your skills, your work will increase.

Experience with other programming languages

If you have experience with other trending programming languages in app development, such as front-end and server-side, you can work in a wide variety of fields. If you can already have some basic skills such as C# and Javascript, you will find it useful and will be able to delegate tasks to others, which will enrich your work and greatly increase its value. If you can do multiple things, you will be able to grow significantly and you will not have to worry about finding a job.

The future of PHP

The future of PHP looks very bright. This is the same whether you are an employee or a freelancer. PHP will be a system that runs on the web, but since it is in demand in every field and industry, you will never have trouble finding a job. However, it will be difficult to do with PHP alone. There are many related technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, MySQL, etc. in addition to PHP for the development of programs that operate on the Web. Acquisition of relevant technology is therefore essential.

Job openings are on the decline

However, there are some concerns. In fact, the number of PHP jobs is decreasing year by year. We are still able to maintain high demand, but in the case of the web industry, innovation is rapid, so it may be difficult to maintain high demand for a long time.

Market share is taken away by other languages

As explained above, there is a possibility of losing market share to other languages. It is also true that support for web development in other languages is expanding, and the traditional sanctuaries of PHP are being eroded. If other languages continue to expand their functionality in the future, there is a possibility that we will be in a pinch.

Smartphone apps and AI

PHP is not suitable for fields such as smartphone applications and AI. This is because PHP is a language specialized for developing web applications. Smartphone apps and AI are fields that are at their peak right now. PHP will continue to maintain the existing demand around the web, but if other languages continue to expand their functionality in the future, it may not be able to maintain the current demand.

Demand for PHP programmers

PHP programmers are in high demand. There are also people who work abroad because the demand is so high all over the world. Even if you become a freelancer, PHP has a huge number of projects, so it is relatively easy to find a job. If you register with several freelance agent companies, you will never have trouble finding a job. Since there are many long-term projects in PHP work, the annual income tends to be stable, so freelancing is highly recommended.

Systems where PHP is used

There are many systems that use PHP. This is because many systems have been developed using PHP. For this reason, PHP is often used in operational work. Compared to new languages, it has a certain amount of history and has many users, so demand remains high.


WordPress was created with PHP. Currently, WordPress is said to be used by more than 40% of the web, and unless this high demand changes, there is no chance that the demand for PHP will decrease.

easy to learn

PHP is relatively easy to learn, even for those with no experience with programming languages, and you can already write code within a few months. Since it is an interpreted language, it is easy to check and modify operations, and it is very easy to learn, so the number of users will never decrease.