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Post by Rich Moy on Sep 12, 2016 12:00:00 PM

Unless your company has no intention of conducting any business over the Internet, you’ve likely felt the impact of the work of PHP developers do on a daily basis. PHP is an open source language that’s maintained by a group of volunteers, and although you can technically write PHP code in a simple text editor, it’s a powerful technology that many organizations rely on for everything ranging from creating user interfaces to accepting usernames and passwords on a website. Considering that the applications they build are vital to many teams across your entire organization, it’s no secret that they’re in high demand. To help you stand out from the competition, here are a few things to keep in mind when you're hiring PHP developers.

Know Where They Spend Their Free Time

PHP developers are no exception to the fact that technical candidates just don’t spend a lot of time on popular social media websites. It’s also no secret that knowing where they go to learn and share their information is a great place to start when you’re trying to get a leg up on the competition. They turn to sites like the PHP Developer’s Network, PHP Freaks, and the PHP Builder forum to stay up to date on the latest trends and commiserate with other programmers who are tackling the same challenges. Additionally, the PHP tag on Stack Overflow is one of the most frequently used on the entire site, thanks in large part to a vibrant and active community.

As always, avoid being too aggressive about recruiting developers on these sites. Start by taking a sincere interest in what they’re working on, and ask questions about the PHP topics and trends they’re discussing. Building this level of rapport will pay huge dividends whenever you need to hire a PHP developer.

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Know the Challenges They Tackle Everyday

We’ve given you a basic understanding of what a PHP developer thinks about on a daily basis. However, you can start even more engaging conversations with candidates by going even further to know the unique challenges their teams rely on them to tackle. Don’t put too much pressure to learn every single detail, but here are a few things that you should know about the day-to-day challenges they face.

  1. Creating outstanding user interfaces. It would be easy to assume that front-end user interfaces fall squarely on your design team. However, PHP developers are responsible for writing the code that makes everything that looks amazing on an application work just as well.
  2. Finding ways to store new types of data. We no longer live in a world where data consists of only letters and numbers. PHP developers are often responsible for finding ways for databases to recognize and store new types of information, including the ever popular emoji.
  3. Security. Considering that PHP developers build apps that require users to submit sensitive information, it’s up to these programmers to write code that’s fast and secure enough to support it.

Know What Gets Them Excited About Coming to Work

Knowing the basics we've covered will go a long way towards equipping you to recruit and hire a PHP developer. Knowing what they look for in new jobs will help set you apart from the competition even further. We spoke to Ben Hamment, a Senior Web Developer at ApplinSkinner, about what’s important to him when he considers new PHP roles.

  1. The company’s tech stack. Hamment told us that a company’s technology stack (and how they use it) is one of the things he considers most important. He adds, “I have a rough guide in my head for most frameworks and what it means to me if a company is using them.”
  2. Company culture. “I want to work for a company that consistently looks for more effective ways and supports its team members,” Hamment says. “Equally, I think it is important that the company shows a willingness to learn from me, as well.”
  3. Team culture and work style. Hamment says that as a web developer, he wants to focus on developing. He adds, “Knowing that a company has a project management system means it’s less likely there will be unrealistic deadlines and direct client feedback to contend with.”

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