I've got a small private project that basically consists of adding server logic to a bunch of static HTML pages. PHP looks like the best tool for the job because this is exactly what it was originally designed for (I know that inserting <? ?> blocks inside HTML is not how it's done today but for the task at hand, this looks good enough).

What stops me is PHP has such a tremendous stigma associated with it. "Everyone knows" that only brainless code monkeys or penniless students in sweat-shop jobs at the bottom of the food chain are worthless and desperate enough to touch this cesspool of horrific experience, and they are going to have no hope of anything better ever in their life since PHP's design is so rotten that it makes anyone working with it mentally incapable of doing things well.
(And looking through PHP question at Stack Overflow only cements this impression. I didn't see such a concentration of square wheels in any other tag.)

So I'm afraid that if anyone learns that I did any work in PHP, they will not take me seriously ever again and/or instantly write me off as "defiled forever", unsuitable for anything other than the aforementioned "sweat-shop jobs". Worse even, anyone who's jealous could use that against me, and decision makers will listen to them since, well, "everyone knows"... Hiding this is also not an option since I wouldn't be able to look otherwise good people in the eye knowing that I must be hiding something that would change their opinion of me forever.

Of course, I can write such people off as stupid and unreasonable but that won't work if they are the majority (I don't know if they are) so I would have to gradually write off everyone that way.

How justified are the above concerns? Can you back it with facts rather than just opinions?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Dukeling, HorusKol, TheGirlHasNoName, gnat, Steve Jun 1 at 14:57

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 6
    For someone asking for answers to be backed up with facts, there's not many facts in the question. "Everyone knows" - do they? "It would change their opinion of me forever" - would it? "They will not take me seriously ever again" - what makes you think that? Has this happened to you or anyone you know? Why do you believe it is common that one project will taint someone forever with all future employers? You seem to be asking our permission to use PHP for a personal project that in all likelihood no-one but you will ever see or know about. What benefit do you think our permission will provide? – BittermanAndy May 31 at 22:53
  • By "private", I meant done for a private person, not for myself. – user105304 May 31 at 22:55
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    This question seems more like a rant against PHP than a legitimate question. If you would be so ashamed of using PHP, then don't use it. Although you shouldn't care what other people think (regarding this particular choice, at least). – Dukeling May 31 at 23:05
  • @Dukeling I'm not "ashamed of using PHP", I'm afraid of being rejected for no good reason because of it. I've always been a target of jealousy and fought it by doing everything flawlessly. With PHP, that won't work 'cuz PHP itself is a potential exploitable flaw. I'm basically asking how much of an exploitable flaw it really is. – user105304 Jun 1 at 10:41
  • @Dukeling It does matter what other people think if they decide if I get some project or opportunity or not. – user105304 Jun 1 at 11:07

Companies, especially software companies, want people who

  • are smart and
  • get things done.

If you were a carpenter you might use a small handsaw to fix a sticking door. Sure, tough guys use 20-horsepower skilsaws. But craftspeople choose the right tool for the job.

Doing a project with technology xxx is not the same as getting an incurable disease. The idea that tech stacks stigmatize their users is nonsense.


Having experience doesn't make you less desirable. A lack of experience makes you less desirable.

You may not use PHP in any job you get, but I don't see how having the experience would be harmful.

If you don't want people to know you've worked with PHP then don't mention it. Simple as that.

I once used Front Page Server extensions for a web server. Do you think that if people find that out that they'll shun me? They won't. If they're not hiring me to implement Front Page Server extensions then having that experience isn't relevant. If they are hiring me to implement Front Page Server extensions then having that experience is directly beneficial. Either way, having the experience isn't harmful to me.

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    Very much this. I've used technologies I never want to work with in the future. Some were on a previous resume to bootstrap my way into the next job but have since been removed from it likely permantly; others have never been and never will be on it because they don't lead anywhere I want to go in the future. None of that stopped me from using them when needed for the job I was doing at the time. – Dan Neely Jun 1 at 1:03
  • Good advice that I learned the hard way. Your resume doesn't have to be comprehensive. It should focus on the things you want to sell you for the jobs you want. If you don't want to work with a technology don't drop the keyword in there. – JohnFx Jun 4 at 2:56

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