Web developers are normal people. Do you agree? Most probably if you are reading this article I am talking about you. So look in the mirror…are you normal? If you are a developer you would know about, or at least have heard about PHP. PHP is now being used by hundreds of thousands of developers, and it’s installed on several million sites across the Internet. We’re talking over 20% of the domains on the Internet people! So, how do you think technology like this was created then? Do you think it was built by a team in the massive building of a large company? Wrong…You are completely wrong. It was made by a single person (he happened to come from Canada if you feel that is relevant) who was just trying to make a simple set of Perl scripts that would see how much traffic was going to his online resume. Can you believe it? This is how technology evolves my friends. Normal people like you have tasks they need to complete and using a little bit of ingenuity, new ways of doing things are born. These small new ideas then help humanity to go forward as a whole species…in this case because now it is much easier to create a website on the Internet.
Having a language like PHP means that you can use a large number of databases, run it on all of the most popular web servers, and can use it with many different operating systems. This flexibility means that PHP has a wide installation base across the Internet. Can you believe that it all started with one single person like you who had a problem and worked to find a solution? PHP acts as a filter which takes a file containing text and converts it to another form, which is mainly used to hand web servers a file consisting only of html. This lowers the barrier to entry on the Internet, giving more people an opportunity to join in this unbelievable human phenomenon. So do you know how the PHP story goes next?
Like many of the coolest technologies throughout the history of the world, other people came along and further evolved the original idea. Take a look at the Model T Ford, then a Formula 1 Ferrari racing car. What happened? The greatness of people is what happened, and it’s the same with PHP. Two guys came along (they happened to come from Israel if you feel that is relevant) and they took this infant technology to the next level. You see, the first guy (he was named Rasmus if you care about such things) was nice enough to make the decision to release the source code for PHP for everybody to see, so that anybody could use it. This means that other people could fix bugs in it and improve the code. In essence, he employed the rest of humanity for the job of furthering his ideas. Smart guy…It’s called ‘Open-source, right? What a cool way to give evolution a kick in the butt!
These two super-heroes…I mean normal people (I’m getting carried away aren’t I?) worked for a huge company and were paid millions of dollars to work on PHP. No, not really. Again, they were just like you and me. Gutmans and Suraski (sounds like those guys you play basketball with on Sundays, doesn’t it?) were just trying to develop an eCommerce application they were working on for a University project. They found that the first PHP didn’t have enough power and so they did a complete rewrite. Bingo! This was the first sign of the language that we now use today.
Normal human beings like you (Are developers and programmers normal?) are the ones who have changed the world over time for the better. Whether it’s the technology that has made it easier for people to build websites on the Internet giving them a place to express their ideas or share their services, or the people who are making those really cool sites, it wasn’t only geniuses and whiz-kids that have helped human society to evolve. Anyone with one small idea is all that’s needed to start a ripple-effect throughout the world, to start a revolution in the way things are seen and done in the world today.
If you use PHP to develop websites, you’ve got to know that you’ve got something of great significance at your fingertips. You’ve got human progress. You’ve got an Internet that is now more accessible for people to become part of. You’ve got a language that was created by the people for the people. My question to you is not, ‘Are you going to develop a website that changes the world?’ My only question is, ‘When are you going to get started?’
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