Polcode supports the PHP Foundation

Supporting the PHP Foundation - an interview with Polcode CTO

Polcode Team
5 minutes read

Polcode joins the list of companies in support of the PHP Foundation, ensuring the future of this essential programming language which powers 78% of the web. The new organization will protect and advance the development of the open-source PHP language via funding allocated to PHP core developers.

What was the purpose of creating the PHP Foundation initiative?

Jerzy Zawadzki (Polcode CTO): The idea of founding an “organization” behind PHP arose some time ago from countless discussions with developers about a noticeable lack of structure in advancing the language in a more formal way. Despite the worldwide popularity of PHP, the group of people pioneering and sustaining its growth is relatively small.

Other popular open-source languages are supported by a diverse and international community, who are responsible for advancing, promoting and protecting the language—and PHP should be no different. The PHP Foundation was urgently needed, as one of its primary contributors, Nikita Popov, will soon depart from contributing to PHP to focus on LLVM.

The PHP Foundation was created to ensure the future and prosperity of the PHP programming language, ensuring that PHP core developers have a source of annual funding and fair salaries for their commitment to helping the language survive and thrive.

Why did Polcode decide to support the PHP Foundation?

J: Open-source code is a matter of public good. It is made widely available for free, completely transparent, and any collaborator can modify or redistribute its usage. The web wouldn’t be what it is today without open-source technologies, and PHP in particular still powers much of the modern web.

However, the world of open-source programming has faced underfunding and lack of financing for many years. Most key members of the community who develop these types of technologies do it pro-bono in their free time, which is extremely limited. Sustaining open source software requires not only the time spent on coding itself, but also viewing reports, analyzing bugs, and code review on other contributor submissions.

Polcode began as a small PHP agency, and it remains one of our core technologies even as we've grown to a full-stack software house with 150+ developers. It’s only natural that we support the PHP Foundation, as their mission aligns with our open-source views, and our sense of duty to care for the PHP language.

Does Polcode (as a company) or developers (even privately) contribute in any other way to the development of PHP or its frameworks?

J: Of course! Some of our developers are contributors to PHP frameworks, such as Symfony. What’s great about open-source contributions is that every little bit matters. Sometimes developers within our company will find time to develop entirely new functionalities, based on discoveries they made during work with a client. Other times, the contributions submitted are seemingly small things, such as a bug report or reproduction.

Any kind of support or contribution to PHP and its frameworks is welcomed, as it benefits every member in the community. After all, we are the people who use these technologies on a daily basis. It’s important that we influence their future in meaningful ways.

Why choose PHP and not another programming language?

J: At Polcode, our projects primarily involve web development, making PHP a strong natural choice. As far as open-source technologies go, PHP is robustly supported by frameworks for virtually any application, and comes equipped with a whole range of ready-made solutions for CMS, ecommerce, ERP, and many, many more areas of industry. But the secret is this—PHP has never let us down after all these years.

PHP has existed for 26 years and still powers nearly 80% of the web and seems to be doing quite well. How does a professional with many years of experience see it?

J: Yes, PHP is doing quite well because it is tried and true, making it one of the most reliable programming languages available. The last several years have given us 2 great versions (PHP 7 and 8), which continues to bring this mature language into the modern scene. Thanks to changes (mainly in version 7), it is also one of the most efficient languages for web development.

The PHP Foundation is critical to its growth, especially as one of the major contributors will soon depart. This situation can be very dangerous for the future of an open-source language. Luckily, I feel reassured that we will continue to see PHP thrive, as there will be more funding available to those dedicated to its success.

Are there other ways to support PHP development aside from the PHP Foundation?

J: The practice at Polcode is to openly share our knowledge of PHP by showing its capabilities to the community of developers, as well as our clients. We are currently working on a special ebook dealing only with this technology, and feel confident that the publication will be valuable to non-technical professionals as well. It is important for the future of PHP that programmers aren’t the only ones who understand its value. It can offer great advantages to key business goals and market-readiness, which will hopefully convince clients to trust in this excellent open-source technology.

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