Despite the fact that many new languages flourish every year, I would not hesitate to say that PHP (besides JS) is one of the safest languages in the world in terms of jobs, and will securely guarantee an enormous job market around the world for much longer than 5 years. Here is why.
- PHP adopts new ideas slowly. It may sound as being a weird reason for a programming language to keep up with the contemporary development trends. In fact, what happens is only proven, polished and time-checked ideas find their way into PHP. As a result, it is often said that PHP is always late with introducing what has been used in other languages for some time, but with the benefit that only usable and most demanded subset of new ideas are embedded into PHP. This keeps language very simple, which means a lot of people will prefer it for small and medium projects.
- PHP has low entry level. This means that it is one of the easiest languages to start coding for newbies ever. Then, once it is adopted by newbies, it often turns out that this language is enough for a lot of people that do not need genius, complex, mathematical and scientific features. Result – they just keep using PHP.
- Giants use PHP to make lots of money every day. WordPress, which is made in PHP, is a free framework, but WordPress.com is a commercial WordPress hosting and makes money out of it. Then, there are tens others like it. Then, there are thousands of websites selling WordPress themes and templates. Then there are WordPress commercial plugins, and plugins for those plugins. Now multiply this business volume by number of other big PHP projects, like shopping carts, CRMs, issue tracking systems, web analytics… There should be very devastating processes that last very long (actually for years) before it could be possible to ruin such a successful and giant PHP-based industry.
- The number of programming jobs is raising considerably year by year. So not to worry about the raise of popularity of other languages – in numbers, PHP usage is raising too.
- 20/80. Only 20% of features solve 80% of the problems. PHP is exactly those 20% in programming languages that covers 80% of all development needs. There will always be plenty of simple tasks that need to be done cheaply: landing pages, wedding websites, CV websites, websites for downloadable products, prototypes of web applications, simple one-page saas services, and so on. These all are good candidates to be programmed in PHP.
- Servers accessibility. The cheapest servers / VPS for web projects always support PHP. PHP has one of the lowest minimal requirements to the memory / processor speed.
- In conclusion, a lot of effort, money and time is still being invested continuously into the PHP ecosystem worldwide day by day. PHP developers form a solid layer in the coding workforce; new PHP frameworks, plugins, themes and tools are being developed and businesses are being built around them.
- PHP is currently in version 7,2. Compared with the traditional version 5, v7 brought a dramatic increase in performance and possibilities!
This strongly indicates that PHP will be around for much longer than 5 years.