What is a Full-Stack PHP Developer

Some say a full-stack PHP developer is someone who can program both on the client-side and the server-side. The server side is programming in PHP and the client-side is programming in the browser using JavaScript.

Others define a full-stack developer as someone who can troubleshoot both the software layer and the server layer.

I like both definitions. I think a full-stack PHP developer is someone who has, at least, enter-level PHP web server system administrative skills and the ability to deal with the full programming stack.

Lets Break That Down

There are two parts to this – The software layer and the Linux PHP hosting layer.

I believe all PHP developers should have a basic familiarity with Linux. I think a PHP programmer should use Linux on their desktop (unless there is a reason not to) and have the skills to configure a basic LAMP or LEMP testing server.

The PHP web server Consists of:

LAMP stands for:

Linux – The operating system.

Apache – The web server.

MySQL – The data engine.

PHP – The programming language.

LEMP stands for:

Linux – The operating system.

NGINX – The web server.

MySQL – The data engine.

PHP – The programming language.

Notice the difference is Apache vs NGINX web servers.

The software layer consists of:

Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) – HTML is the bones or structure of the website.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) – CSS gives a website its look and feel

JavaScript, JavaScript library or framework, and AJAX – JavaScript and the associated frameworks and AJAX are used to create interactive web pages.

The PHP programming language – PHP is a server-side programming language which means it runs on the server and sends output to the browser.

Structured Query Language (SQL) – SQL is used by the developer to talk to the MySQL data engine.

There is a lot to know. Knowing and being able to work with all that has been outlined above, in my opinion, makes one a full-stack developer.

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What a Full-Stack PHP developer is can depend on who is defining what a Full-Stack PHP Developer is. There are two definitions 1) a PHP programmer that can program both on the server-side and on the client-side, and 2) a PHP developer than can troubleshoot both the client-side software, the server-side software, AND the PHP web hosting server itself.

I believe a PHP developer must have basic Linux hosting skills. This does not mean this developer needs to be a production server administrator. What I am saying is this PHP developer should be able to configure a LAMP or LEMP stack for testing.

Keith Smith

Keith Smith was first introduced to programming at the University of Arizona in 1983. From 1986 to 1990 Keith was an xBase developer. In 2000 Keith built his first website from scratch by hand. In 2006 Keith become a freelance PHP developer. Today Keith wants to teach you everything he knows about PHP programming.

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