I started learning PHP a few years ago in order to build a ‘data-driven’ website. I had little technical know-how, but I knew that I had to learn ‘server-side’ scripting. Like many programmers I chose PHP because it and the software it is typically bundled with are all open source and free. The documentation is good and the user base has created tons of tutorials for tackling common problems. I have messed around with other languages including: python, perl, actionscript 3, Java, VB for applications, and C#. PHP is what I am most comfortable with.
In the beginning much of the code I created was ‘spaghetti code’ with programming logic, html, database calls all written in the same files. Today I use PHP’s Object Oriented features including inheritance, static functions, and interfaces. Moreover PHP classes allow me to build reusable code that I can use in multiple projects.
I have also adopted the use of the MVC paradigm for organizing my code and I know how to use PHP frameworks like CodeIgniter which saves me from writing a lot of basic utilities.