Hailing from Wolfratshausen, Stefan Priebsch is a software consultant and the co-founder of thePHP.cc– a leading consultancy for PHP and Open Source technologies.
Last week, I had the opportunity of interviewing Stefan. From my brief interaction, what I learnt was that apart from being a leading expert in the technical field, Stefan is a courteous and accommodative person.
Stefan has authored several books and spoken at various conferences. And today we’ll take a look at what he has in store for us. 🙂
Over to you Stefan!
Tell us about Stefan when you take PHP out of the equation? How do you like to spend time when you’re not solving complex PHP problems.
My name is Stefan Priebsch. I am an IT consultant, well versed with PHP and surrounding technologies. I help companies with successful software development. I have published various books, often spoken at conferences and delivered lectures at the Rosenheim university.
Apart from that I love to cook and I try to spend a lot of time with my wife and two kids. My busy professional life leaves me with less free time. Maybe that’s one thing I would wish for.
There’s a story to every successful company. How did PHP.cc happen?
I started offering PHP training in the year 2008 along with Sebastian Bergmann and Arne Blankerts. In the training we were often asked if we could also provide consultation. That’s how we came up with the idea of forming a consulting firm. So thePHP.cc, was then started in the year 2009; it stands for – The PHP Consulting Company
Isn’t it obvious? Each language has advantages and disadvantages, strengths and weaknesses. I would not agree with the statement that other languages per se are better than PHP.
There is a wide range of alterations/innovations in PHP 7. It has a special overhauled backend because of which PHP 7 not only works fast but also is resource-efficient.
Out of all the projects you’ve closed over the years, which ones stand out the most interesting and the most challenging?
Over the years, I have partly accompanied various firms and helped them establish the PHP development department so that an existing e-commerce solution could be replaced with a custom solution. There were some very exciting projects with many interesting and challenging tasks to complete.
However there were more professional and personal differences than technical issues. Successful development is largely dependent on how you deal with people. Technical skills are also very important but they are easier to learn as compared to social skills.
Do you advocate using a framework in projects? Which framework(s) would you recommend and why?
Every software project needs a framework. But the question here is, how big should the framework be? By framework I mean inversion of control container, which encapsulates the basic request cycle.
My colleagues and I create our own micro framework. That means anyone in the team can extend and customize it, whenever needed. Additional third party components can then be applied as required, with respect to dependency inversion- the D in the acronym SOLID.
You have advocated that PHP can be used in enterprise projects. Typical enterprise clients prefer Java or .NET. Is it really possible to deliver a project of enterprise scale in PHP?
Certainly. There are a number of large enterprises like Yahoo, Facebook, Etsy or Trulia, who have proven this. Many big and popular companies in Germany also rely on PHP for enterprise scale applications. In fact selecting a good technology is not as important as selecting a competent developer.
You are an incredible software architect with an enviable resume. One piece of advice that you may have for all aspiring software architects out there?
I would suggest looking beyond recent trends. Most new technologies and solutions are happily considered as universal remedies. But good solutions are simple and avoid complexity. One can simply be a bit conservative instead of blindly following each and every trend.
For API based applications what is your advice for developers? Should we use micro frameworks ?
I would anyday consider micro-framewoks as a better choice than a heavyweight full-stack framework. It would simply be best if you could build your own framework. That way you can really understand what happens when.
If you weren’t a PHP developer, what career path would you have chosen?
Technically, I am not a developer anymore but more of a consultant and trainer. An alternate for that? I believe I would become an inventor and would try to improve the world a little bit everyday.
Stefan, it was a pleasure talking to you. Thank you for your time. 🙂 Your insights on PHP and software technologies are invaluable to any and every developer. You can connect with Stefan on Twitter @spriebsch or through Xing.