Andres Gutierrez: “I started to program when I was 12 years old, when I could fulfill my fantasy of making my own video-games”
We continue to talk with the speakers of PHP Frameworks Day 2016 conference about their life and achievements. We are very pleased to introduce you the creator of the well-known Phalcon framework and the great PHP developer, who comes specially for our conference from far Bogota (Colombia). Here we go!
- Creator and software architect behind Phalcon & Zephir Language.
- Core developer of the Phalcon Team.
- PHP and C/C++ developer for over 11 years.
- Phalcon representative in the PHP-FIG.
- I mostly dedicate my time to open-source projects and work as consultant in web and backend development. I like cats and listen to music on vinyls.
- GitHub, Twitter
How did you become a developer?
I started to program when I was 12 years old, at that moment, I could fulfill my fantasy of making my own video-games when I was just a child, it was amazing. Then I started to learn new languages and technology and put myself forward to new challenges in order to become a better developer. When I was 16 (13 years ago), I started using PHP 3.0 in college, that introduced me in the web development world.
What are the most interesting and influential topics that you have spoken about?
Most talks I have given in my life have been about web development and PHP. Recently, I also started off to give talks about Zephir, the language we created to build Phalcon and other computer science related interesting topics.
What will you talk about at the PHP Frameworks Day 2016 conference?
I’ll talk about Phalcon on its current version 3.0, its origins, its evolution, what it offers to a developer, its weaknesses and advantages, success cases, what a developer can do to take full advantage of it and what should not do to avoid unexpected surprises.
Could you recommend any websites or books how to become a PHP guru?
I recommend reading and applying the content available in PHPTheRightWay.com, It is a compilation of best practices around the modern development in PHP. In terms of books, I’d to recommend books that explain concepts that can be applied to any programming language. Classics such as: Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture by Martin Fowler and Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software are must read books for any developer. Introduction to Algorithms by Cormen/Leiserson/Rivest is also a good choice if you are starting at programming or want to approach programming from a mathematical point of view.
What do you think about the future of programming in 10 years?
I have a feeling that in the future developers will code less and will invest more time “training” machines and systems to develop according to our needs. And if that's too ambitious for only 10 years, I think that every day programming languages and their ecosystems will introduce more features that facilitate developers the creation of learning machines, to image recognition, establish predictive security or understand what users want from other aspects that we haven’t been explored widely before.
Is there anything in PHP programming language that should be changed or improved?
It is a tough question, PHP is an amazing language, I am highly productive in it and I’ve learned over time to see many of its apparent weaknesses as advantages. Since PHP 7, new features to facilitate static analysis are being introduced, which it is fantastic. I would like to see more features to create hybrid applications using static and dynamic typing.
What is your best achievement ever?
As a software engineer, I probably could say that is the creation of Phalcon framework, for many years the fastest framework available for PHP and at the same time a tool that provides very useful functionality for web developers. I also could say that it’s Zephir, a programming language that eases the creation of extensions for PHP to developers with a high degree of ease that they hadn’t experienced before. But, in fact, I would say my best achievement is gather developers around the same interests, help establish these bridges between different ways of thinking and help influence the way the developers approach the PHP programming.