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How To Hire A PHP Developer

The importance of PHP lies in its role as a server-side scripting language. It allows developers to embed code directly into HTML, facilitating the creation of dynamic web pages. Developers can accomplish a wide range of tasks using PHP. They can create user authentication systems, process form data, generate dynamic content, manage databases, and interact with APIs. PHP's versatility also extends to e-commerce platforms, content management systems, social networking sites, and online forums. Its ability to seamlessly integrate with various databases and web servers makes it a go-to choice for building web applications of varying complexities.

PHP was originally developed by Rasmus Lerdorf as a tool for tracking visitors, but it quickly evolved into a powerful server-side scripting language. WordPress, one of the most popular content management systems, is built using PHP. It enables users to create and manage websites with ease. Platforms like Joomla, Drupal, and Magento utilize PHP to power their content management and e-commerce capabilities.

PHP Developers: Why are they needed?

PHP developers possess the skills to integrate server-side scripting with databases, process user inputs, and generate dynamic content. Many companies across various industries are actively hiring PHP developers due to the language's versatility and widespread usage. E-commerce giants like Shopify and Magento hire PHP developers to build and maintain robust online shopping platforms. Content management system providers such as WordPress and Drupal also seek PHP expertise.

Skills required

  • PHP
  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • MySQL
  • Git
  • Linux commands
  • Laravel

Job titles

  • Web Developer
  • Back-End Developer
  • PHP Developer (Frameworks)
  • Software Engineer (PHP)
  • Web Application Developer
  • CMS Developer

PHP Developer Assessment

The most common assessment framework for PHP Developers on HackerEarth includes

A combination of technical evaluations, coding exercises, and behavioral assessments. Here are some common components of the assessment framework:

Code completion tasks

Code completion tasks are invaluable in the process to hire PHP web developer with the right skillset. By presenting candidates with specific coding challenges, you can assess their PHP proficiency, problem-solving abilities, and understanding of best practices. Successful completion not only showcases technical skills but also reveals the candidate's attention to detail and coding style. Integrating code completion tasks into the PHP developer hiring assessment allows recruiters to make informed decisions. It can help identify and hire PHP programmer who contributes effectively to projects.

Multiple-choice questions (MCQs)

A good way to assess a developer's technical knowledge of PHP concepts, language features, and best practices is through MCQs. You can choose to include these questions in the PHP developer hiring assessment. They can help in evaluating a developer's understanding of PHP fundamentals.

Project-specific questions

You can also add questions that are specifically tailored to the project requirements. These questions can range from framework-specific concepts to hands-on coding exercises using the framework. It will aid you in finding the right candidates with the PHP developer skills that the project demands.

Language-specific questions

These questions could cover skills such as understanding PHP's data types, variable scope, and function declarations. You can also focus on associative arrays, loops, and conditional statements. Proficiency with PHP frameworks like Laravel or CodeIgniter could be assessed through questions on routing, middleware, and ORM usage. You can also ask candidates about file handling, session management, and error handling in PHP.

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Steps to Create a PHP Developer Assessment on HackerEarth

  1. Log in to Hackerearth assessments
  2. Add questions from our library and create a test
  3. Send invites to candidates
  4. Evaluate our AI-assisted report and shortlist candidates

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Sample Questions to Ask a PHP Developer

  • Create a PHP script to loop through an array of numbers and print only the even numbers.
  • Write a code snippet to connect to a MySQL database and fetch all records from a table named.
  • Develop a PHP class that simulates a basic calculator with methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
  • Implement a PHP function to validate an email address using regular expressions.
  • Write a PHP script to upload an image file to the server and store it in a designated directory.

  • Which operator is used for concatenating two strings in PHP?
    1. +
    2. &
    3. .
    4. ,

  • In PHP, which function is used to check if a file exists?
    1. file_exists()
    2. is_file()
    3. file_check()
    4. exists_file()

  • What is the purpose of the "include" statement in PHP?
    1. To define a new class
    2. To include an external PHP file
    3. To declare a constant
    4. To set up a database connection

  • How does PHP differ from client-side scripting languages like JavaScript?
  • Explain the role of PHP in web development and its position in the server-client interaction.
  • What is the purpose of cookies in PHP? How are they different from sessions?
  • Explain the concept of URL rewriting and how it can be achieved using PHP.
  • How can you prevent Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks in PHP applications?

  • Explain the concept of routing in Laravel. How do you define routes for different URL patterns?
  • How can you implement authentication in a Laravel application? Describe the steps involved.
  • How can you handle file uploads in a Laravel application? Mention any related libraries or methods.
  • Describe the process of seeding a database using Laravel's database seeder.
  • Explain the significance of middleware in Laravel. Give an example of a scenario where middleware can be used.

These sample questions provided here are for interviewing early-experience talents. For more customized assessments for candidates with higher experience, you can contact our team at contact@hackerearth.com or request a demo here.

Guidelines for Writing Job Descriptions for PHP Developers

Job title

In the PHP developer job description, begin with a clear and concise job title that reflects the role, such as "PHP Developer", "CMS Developer”, and “API Developer”. Writing these clearly can help you find PHP developer whose skillset aligns with the role you are looking for.

Job summary

In order to hire dedicated PHP programmers, provide a brief overview of the position, focusing on the essential responsibilities and objectives. Describe the main aspects of the role and how it contributes to the company's goals. Adding a summary to the PHP developer job description can give candidates an overview of the role.

Responsibilities

You should also outline the specific tasks and responsibilities that the PHP developer will be expected to handle. For example, you can include the following in your PHP developer job description:

  • Develop and maintain web applications using PHP, adhering to coding standards
  • Collaborate with designers and other developers to implement features and functionality
  • Integrate third-party APIs and services for enhanced application capabilities
  • Ensure optimal performance and scalability of applications through efficient coding
  • Create and maintain documentation for code, processes, and functionalities

It's an important part of the PHP developer job description. These key points will help developers understand the job requirements.

Skills and qualifications

List the essential PHP developer skills and qualifications that candidates must possess, including, but not restricted to:

  • Proficiency in PHP programming language
  • Experience with PHP frameworks like Laravel, CodeIgniter, or Symfony
  • Strong understanding of web development concepts, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
  • Knowledge of database systems such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, or MongoDB
  • Problem-solving skills and the ability to troubleshoot issues

Mentioning the required PHP developer skills can help candidates understand the role they are applying for. As a result you can find and hire PHP developer with the right skillset.

Preferred skills

Mention any additional PHP developer skills or qualifications that would be beneficial but not mandatory for the role. It might attract candidates with broader skillset and thus help you hire PHP developer with exceptional skills. You can also ask for experience with specific tools, libraries, or frameworks.

Education and experience

Specify the educational background and professional experience required for the position. This could range from a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field to several years of relevant experience. Mentioning these prerequisites can help you filter out the candidates beforehand. And thus help you hire PHP developer with qualifications you are looking for.

Company culture and EVPs

To hire PHP developer whose values align with your company, you should briefly highlight your company's culture, and any unique perks or benefits offered to employees. It can help attract candidates who align with your company's ethos. Sharing your company's core values can attract more candidates because they can already see a glimpse of how things work. It's also a good opportunity to pique the applicant's interest in your company.

Application instructions

Provide instructions on how candidates can apply for the position. Include where to send their resume, portfolio, or other required documents. Also, specify the deadline for applications, if applicable. It's another crucial point to be included in the PHP developer job description.

Equal Opportunity Statement

Include a statement about your organization’s dedication towards fostering diversity, inclusivity, and equal opportunity.

You can always make your job descriptions more gender-neutral by following simple steps like using gender-neutral pronouns like ‘they/them’. It is also a good practice to map your developer persons to your job profiles before you post an open role.

Download our guide for writing better developer personas

How to Conduct PHP Developer Job Interview

Skill-first hiring requires that the developer interview process be designed to understand the candidate’s skill and experience in the given domain. You can consider the following guidelines when conducting a face-to-face interview with a PHP developer:

Conduct a real-time technical assessment

Usually candidates are given a remote assessment before the interview. However, using the interview platform to assess skills in real time will tell you a lot about the candidate’s communication skills and thought process.

FaceCode is HackerEarth’s flagship tech interview platform with a built-in question library you can use to test the candidate’s knowledge of PHP programming concepts they claim to be familiar with. The built-in IDE environment can be used for assessing their ability to write clean, efficient, and maintainable code. You can also use the pair-programming method to observe their problem-solving approach, logical thinking, and attention to detail.

Understand the candidate’s project experience and review the portfolio

During the PHP developer interview assessment, explore the candidate's past and present projects. Focus on their personal contributions and the skills they used. Ask them to discuss a PHP project, detailing their responsibilities, problem-solving, and collaboration. If available, review their portfolio or code samples for coding style, documentation, and project quality.

Understand if they are a good culture and team fit

Another crucial aspect to check during the PHP developer interview assessment is if they align with your organization's values. While technical skills are essential for a developer, the significance of cultural fit should not be overlooked. The ideal candidate must possess not only accurate coding abilities but also effective communication and collaboration skills to thrive in agile and collaborative environments. Evaluating a candidate's capability to work both independently and collaboratively in a team is crucial. This assessment provides valuable insights into the candidate's problem-solving skills, communication, and adaptability, helping to determine their fit for the role and the team dynamics.

Additionally, this evaluation offers engineering managers a chance to exhibit their team culture and values, enabling them to find a candidate who aligns well with the team's ethos.

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FAQs

As a recruiter seeking a qualified PHP developer, prioritize candidates who showcase proficiency in PHP programming and are experienced with PHP frameworks such as Laravel or CodeIgniter. Look for individuals skilled in database design and querying, with a good understanding of front-end technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery. Emphasize problem-solving skills, effective communication, collaborative teamwork, attention to detail, adaptability to evolving tech trends, and a passion for continuous learning. While practical experience of 2-5 years in PHP development is a strong indicator, prioritize skills and hands-on experience over specific degrees.

In certain cases, proficiency in just one framework, like Laravel, can be adequate. For example, when the job role predominantly focuses on maintaining and enhancing an existing application built on that specific framework. However, for a role that involves varied project requirements, such as building applications from scratch, integrating third-party systems, or working on diverse client projects, having experience in multiple frameworks (e.g., Laravel, Symfony, CodeIgniter) is beneficial. This versatility enables developers to choose the most appropriate tool for different project scenarios.

The skillset of a proficient PHP Web Developer includes a strong command of PHP programming language and front-end technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery. Proficiency in at least one PHP framework (like Laravel or CodeIgniter) enables efficient application development, while adept database management skills cover design, querying, and administration. Proficient use of version control systems, API integration, and security practices are vital. Alongside these technical proficiencies, effective problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and a commitment to continuous learning are also beneficial.

To assess a candidate's real-world project-handling skills begin by reviewing their portfolio to gauge their ability to design visually appealing and responsive web applications. Provide a coding challenge that tasks them with creating a responsive webpage using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript/jQuery, evaluating their coding structure and cross-browser compatibility. In a technical interview, discuss a project where they enhanced user interfaces, delving into their design decisions and problem-solving strategies.

Test their problem-solving skills with a task focused on optimizing webpage loading speed. Through code review, have them improve a piece of HTML and CSS code for best practices. Contact references to discuss their collaboration with UI/UX designers. Assign a task where they work with a designer to implement a design into a webpage, assessing their teamwork.

The requirement for PHP skills varies significantly across different job roles in the software development landscape. For a Full-Stack Developer, PHP proficiency would involve mastery of both frontend and backend technologies to build complete applications. In contrast, a PHP Backend Developer would need advanced expertise in PHP, along with database management skills, to create robust server-side logic and APIs.

An E-commerce Developer might focus on integrating PHP with e-commerce platforms like Magento or WooCommerce to build online stores. For a WordPress Developer, PHP skills would center on customizing themes, plugins, and templates within the WordPress framework.