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java developer but should I learn php?

2:14 pm on Jun 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have a chance to do some freelance web development. I'm a J2EE developer by profession and I'm able to develop sites quickly using java/jsp (i have a few of my own and Ive built up loads of base code etc). However if i was to market myself as a freelance web developer I keep thinking I should ditch the java (unless a customer asks for it) and use php instead. This is mainly because with jsp i couldn't develop an existing website unless they were prepared to move to a hosting company that supports jsp.

Perhaps I could use jsp/java to stand out from the crowd in some way?

thanks for any advice

5:53 pm on June 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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hi abersoch windsurfer

Welcome to WebmasterWorld!

I started to teach myself php and found it to be pretty interesting to work with.

Only you can really make the decision on this yourself. You can listen to others input in regards to a route to take. In the end though, it is something that you need to figure out if it is going to benefit you in the long run.

IMO I would say go for the php. Do you know any (x)html or css?

6:37 pm on June 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If you are a Java developer I doubt you will find PHP particularly difficult to learn, though the less OO approach might take some getting used to. I think a freelance who can tout proficiency in multiple languages is going to benefit from that. I don't know what languages/technologies are considered more desirable to businesses, uptake of open source platforms is supposedly slower in the UK than in the US so a bit of research into where the demand is in your area/country might benefit you financially!
That's my unbiased view, from a biased perspective I love PHP, so I defiantly think you should learn it!

ps. Getting familiar with JavaScript (and AJAX) would also be useful I think, websites are making increasing use of AJAX technologies.

O, and welcome to WebmasterWorld!


[edited by: Little_G at 6:37 pm (utc) on June 25, 2008]

11:24 pm on June 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Thanks guys for welcoming me to WebmasterWorld! Its a great site and I hope that I can contribute rather than just reading and asking questions.

I think I will try re-implementing some of my web stuff in php. Im sure I'll find alternative non-object oriented ways of doing things. If clients are happy for me to host the sites I will probably stick to the Java.

Im pretty good at the old Javascript and have lately done some Ajax as well. Ive just re-designed two of my sites to use tableless layouts. Very frustrating at first but I think I get it now! Im very wary of browser side technology thoug ever since I spent 3 months within a team finding work arounds for bugs that existed within different browser versions for a cutting edge DHTML ecommerce site. If they'd have changed the design and let the server side do the work there wouldn't have been any problems. It was about 6 years ago though so maybe I should relax a little as things have moved on a bit since then.

To be honest I think my biggest problem is going to be making websites look good visually. I just dont have an eye for it. At the moment Im looking into templates and wordpress skins (i think thats right). I'll get better with practice I suppose and Im open to outsourcing designs if necessary.

anyhow thanks again