When I first entered the web development world, I began looking for something beyond HTML and CSS to work with, so I started to check out all the different programming languages out. I knew some PHP from school, but I’d also heard a bit about Ruby and Python. At the time, I was totally into Flash, so ActionScript won out. But I knew one thing for sure, Java sucked and was dying, so I wasn’t going even going to give it a first look.
Regardless of your opinion on Java, that was 4 years ago and I think Java is still kicking around. In fact, every once in a while I see a blog post about how Java doesn’t suck that bad and there is still a lot of work out there for Java developers. Of course, the response is usually, Java should die and people the work with it should switch. In fact, the same thing is going on with Flash. HTML5 has been killing Flash for a while now, yet I still see comments from Flash developers saying they’re as busy as they’ve ever been.
But this doesn’t just apply to languages that the cool kids don’t like. I’ve even seen a blog post or two stating that Ruby was done because it wasn’t the cool language anymore because the amount of Ruby devs had plateaued or even decreased a little. I can’t find the post, but from what I remember, the author stated Ruby was dying because people had realized Python was better and had moved on. Of course, the response from commenters was less than positive.
And if you’ve spend more than a couple of months as a web developer, you’ve worked with PHP, which is either the greatest thing ever or the worse invention in the history of humankind. I think PHP is a long way from dying but that still doesn’t stop Ruby and Python devs out there saying it’s on a slow decline. Personally, I think PHP is safe for years to come because you can pretty much make anything you need but copy and pasting code that’s already out there.