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Top 10 Expert PHP Developers to Hire in 2020
CEO, Electrical Product Startup
“For a developer to pick up a legacy system code, understand it, and run with it that quickly was pretty impressive.”
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The answer to this question depends on several factors such as your project requirements, and the hiring channel you choose.
Many businesses continue to use PHP in their web development projects. Although there are quite a few PHP developers in the market, the demand is also high. As a result, you could find it hard to hire experienced PHP developers at short notice.
DevTeam.Space has a large community of experienced PHP developers that you can onboard in a very short space of time. Simply, fill out a project specification form and we will match you with the best ones.
PHP is easy to use which is why it is still such a popular language. However, it’s also a powerful language that helps you to implement complex functionalities if your project demands them. If you are building anything more than a simple eCommerce or WordPress-like site then you will need senior coders.
Keep in mind that PHP is a dynamically-typed language that offers significant versatility. However, this can also make debugging harder. Programming errors arising out of variable type-related issues are harder to debug. Senior programmers are a must here. DevTeam.Space recommends that you use at least experienced mid-level developers for any project to avoid such mistakes.
We recognize that the usage of PHP goes far beyond creating content management systems (CMSs) like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. Organizations have used it to create successful web development frameworks like Laravel, etc.
Having seen a wide range of projects where this open-source language is used, we recognize the importance of senior PHP programmers. This is why DevTeam.Space provides both mid-level and experienced PHP programmers. Moreover, our vetting process ensures that you only get high-quality developers who are up-to-date with all the latest technological developments.
DevTeam.Space allows you to easily hire individual developers or field-expert development teams. We recognize that project managers have different developer needs depending on the complexity of their project, so we have shaped our service accordingly.
We also recognize that hiring individual developers from multiple channels and integrating their work can be challenging. Field expert teams work cohesively and they can negate such challenges. Therefore, we remain flexible to whatever hiring needs you might have.
As soon as you onboard a developer, DevTeam.Space will assign a dedicated account manager to work with you. The account manager provides management oversight and ensures that our developers deliver the project successfully. Project managers are also part of the service that we offer. Alternatively, we can undertake the entire project development should you require it.
How to Interview and Hire PHP Developers
The 1st release of PHP was way back in 1995. That’s quite some time ago when it comes to the software development industry. However, in this time, many developers and organizations have achieved a lot with it. Magento, the popular eCommerce platform uses PHP as its underlying technology. CMS platforms like WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla use PHP as their foundation too.
By its very design, PHP makes it easy to accomplish a number of web development tasks. For example, developers have built PHP scripts that allow you to put a Skype live chat box on your website with ease.
Many developers know PHP, so you might think that hiring PHP developers is easy. Indeed, you can find lots of PHP developers on freelancer platforms. However, the hiring process can be quite problematic for various reasons.
To negate these problems, you need to analyze your project requirements carefully. This will help you to choose the right hiring models. We will get to this later.
Let’s start by looking at how you can evaluate PHP programmers? We suggest that you look for the following skills:
1. PHP programming skills
When you interview PHP developers, you should look for the following:
- The programmer should have in-depth skills in PHP. While this programming language has many strengths, it also has certain limitations. You need developers that know how to use the strengths of PHP to your advantage while managing the limitations.
- You might have planned to use one of the popular PHP frameworks in your project. Laravel, Codeigniter, Symfony, and CakePHP are a few examples. You need programmers that have several years of experience in your choice of framework.
- You need developers that have in-depth knowledge in modern SQL databases like MySQL and PostgreSQL. You should also look for experience in popular NoSQL databases like MongoDB.
- You should look for developers that know how to create database schemas.
- Effective PHP developers know how to integrate various data sources and databases into one application system.
2. Other skills that are important to developing web applications using PHP
You should look for a few more skills, however, these aren’t necessarily tied to PHP. These are as follows:
- A good understanding of the “Model-View-Controller” (MVC) design patterns;
- Object-oriented programming skills;
- Server-side development skills;
- The familiarity with common source code management tools;
- The skills to develop scalable web apps.
Note: Depending on the features you offer in your web app, you could also use other modern technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), Analytics, etc. You need to evaluate such skills separately, e.g., Python for AI development. In this guide, we focus on skills primarily needed for web development using PHP.
3. Other software development skills required for PHP web development
To ensure a successful final product, you need developers that have some other skills too. These are as follows:
A. The skills to secure web applications
Most web apps process some amount of sensitive data. These will vary from application to application. An eCommerce application will process payment data, whereas an online learning web app will process user credentials, etc.
No matter what kind of sensitive information you process in your app, you need to secure it. Data security and privacy have emerged as a key focus area for almost all businesses, and governments have stepped up to ensure it is protected. Depending on the industry you serve, you might need to comply with stringent regulations concerning data security and privacy.
You need developers that know how to code secure apps. Consider the following:
- The knowledge of key application security risks and how to mitigate them;
- The knowledge of tools and technologies like multi-factor authentication (MFA) and encryption;
- The maturity to understand the importance of compliance and security testing, which makes developers collaborate proactively with security and compliance testers;
- The knowledge of securing 1st party APIs that you might develop.
B. The knowledge to develop 1st party APIs
APIs have made a big difference to modern software development since they allow the front-end of an application to access the backend using a consistent framework. You can scale up your software development process using APIs.
For a few non-core features, you can use leading 3rd party APIs. However, using too many 3rd party APIs can cause many dependencies. We always recommend that you develop 1st party APIs for your core features.
The de-facto standard for API development is REST (Representational State Transfer). We recommend you develop RESTful APIs when developing PHP web applications. You should look for the following skills:
- Developers should know how to host APIs using cloud platforms.
- They should know how to use modern databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MongoDB to build the backend.
- Programmers should know how to use relevant tools for API development and documentation.
- You need developers to know how to create API endpoint URLs intelligently. They should also be able to create effective rules for API requests and responses.
- Programmers should know how to secure APIs. They need to use various tools and techniques like authentication token, encryption, quotas, throttling, and secure gateways for this.
C. The knowledge of working with cloud platforms
You could use cloud platforms to expedite your project. For web application development, “Platform-as-a-Service” (PaaS) platforms can help.
Reputed PaaS platforms manage the cloud infrastructure, networking, storage, operating system, middleware, and runtime environment. You can focus on development instead of infrastructure management.
You can use the DevOps tools and auto-scaling solutions offered by the PaaS platform. PaaS platforms also help you to integrate APIs. Look for coders that know how to work on reputed PaaS platforms like AWS Elastic Beanstalk.
D. The knowledge and experience of successfully delivering software development projects
Delivering software development projects successfully requires more than technical skills. You should look for the following:
- Programmers should have lots of experience in reviewing code. While testing is important, it can’t unearth all defects. Code review is crucial to detect some types of defects, and application security vulnerabilities are prime examples of this. Code review can also detect defects early in the cycle. You should look for experienced programmers since they typically have code review experience.
- Successful programmers know how to code in line with the UI design. They know how to implement the intricacies of a great UI design in their code.
- While software architects choose the architecture pattern, effective programmers should know how to code in alignment with the architectural decisions.
- Great programmers know how to work in a team. Take the example of establishing a CI/CD environment. Effective collaboration between developers, testers, and DevOps engineers carry as much importance for this as DevOps tools. Look for the ability to collaborate.
4. How to find the best PHP developer?
You now know the skills to look for when hiring PHP programmers. It’s time to start the hiring process, which involves the following:
1. Choose freelancer platforms or a development company?
Choosing the right hiring platform is an important factor. Hiring incompetent people from the wrong platform can derail the project,. Turning a troubled project around requires lots of hard work and money.
Think through your project requirements carefully. This can help you to choose the right hiring platform. General-purpose freelancer sites make it easy to hire PHP web developers. You can interview the candidate directly. Unfortunately, it requires lots of time to vet them.
Also, remember that freelancers won’t work full-time in your project. Managing the project schedule can be hard if you have part-time developers.
These platforms don’t offer any management oversight. If you are in the USA and managing a freelancer from India, for example, then time differences and general management processes become important!
Software development-focused freelancer sites have stringent screening processes. They allow only the top developers into their communities, therefore, they will likely provide you with experienced PHP developers with robust skills. The downside is that they don’t provide any management oversight, and you need to mitigate the risks of working with freelancers.
Software development companies such as DevTeam.Space allow you to hire dedicated PHP developers from their vetted communities. We offer a transparent and simple contracting process, which is aimed to help save time. All of our developers are expert in their field and have industry experience too.
We implement physical, technical, and procedural safeguards to secure your sensitive data.We get our developers to sign a “Non-Disclosure Agreement” (NDA). This proactive approach to data security is a big advantage.
2. Interview the shortlisted candidates
Now that you have decided on the right hiring platform, assuming that you have not hired from a software company, you will need to start the interview process. If you are a PHP expert, then you should be able to interview the shortlisted candidates.
If you aren’t an expert, then we suggest that you get interview questions from the Internet. You can also ask a friend or associate with PHP expertise to conduct the interviews.
Ensure that you cover the skills we have highlighted. Take time to understand the project experience of the shortlisted candidates.
Remember that projects like eCommerce development are relatively easy, therefore, look for more complex PHP projects in their portfolio. Review the testimonials in their portfolio. Don’t make the mistake of basing your decision on them alone.
Ask how they dealt with complexities and what kind of development processes they have used. Check their knowledge on coding best practices and find out how they debug complex errors. Focus on application security and find out how they would mitigate key security vulnerabilities like injection, broken-authentication, etc.
Explain your project requirements to the shortlisted candidates. Ask for their view on the project and how they would go about it. Don’t satisfy yourself with high-level responses, delve deeper and ask for specific points about how they would approach your project.
3. Provide detailed information about your application development project
The PHP developers you select need sufficient information to succeed in your project. Explain the project background to them and provide detailed documentation like requirements, technical solutions, architectural decisions, etc.
They will need to work closely with the rest of your team so introduce them to your team so they can get to know each other. Establish a communication process. The developers you select need access to the technical environment of your project, therefore, grant them the relevant access. Show them your code repositories in GitHub.
You need to establish accountability. Give a detailed overview of the roles and responsibilities. Explain your project plan including sprints. Describe the various milestones and acceptance criteria. Describe the review process and how you will approve milestones. You are now ready to start.
Submit a Project With Zero Risk
PHP is a powerful and versatile language. While it allows you to do a lot, remember that software development using PHP can get complex. You need programmers that know how to navigate such complexities.
Why not take a few minutes and fill out this DevTeam.Space product specification form? A dedicated account manager from DevTeam.Space will then get in touch with you. They will show you how our experienced PHP developers can help you and what benefits you can get from our unique platform.