It’s been 20 years since Rasmus Lerdorf launched the first version of PHP called Personal Home Page tools. 20 years! Feeling old yet?
For PHP’s 20th birthday, Ben Ramsey issued a call to everyone to post how they started out with PHP and tweet the story under the hashtag #20yearsofphp. So here’s mine…
Long, long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…well, almost, in the city of Bucharest, which might as well be a different galaxy for most of my readers, while I was in my first year at Uni studying computer science, I stumbled on a PHP tutorial on the – now defunct – Chip.ro Magazine. That was my first ever encounter with web development, at uni and in school I was studying C++, Java and more “serious” stuff. Remember that in ’99 web development was still seen as something you do as a hobby rather than “real” programming. Those were simpler times: Nokia 3310 was the leading phone that only the cool kids could afford and I had a Motorola brick that could only make calls and could only store 200 phone numbers in the memory. To go online I had to use a 56k Modem at night, when the phone was cheaper, and used mIRC to chat with my friends.
Although by today’s standards, that tutorial had all anti-patterns and security holes known to mankind, I was fascinated by it. I was upset at first when my online shop – the exercise in the tutorial – did not work, but I wasn’t discouraged. I managed to get it working and soon after started my first true PHP project, a portal for kindergardens that’s still online today. The rest is history. Not ancient history, but history.