I work on PHP at my day job (in a public company), before this, I came from Ruby, and .NET before that.
I'm convinced the reason so many successful projects use PHP, is not because of any inherent nature of the language. I think it's the people who use it. They just don't care. A successful project needs to be started by someone that cares just enough, but not too much.
If you're programming in PHP, you're not running around talking about "convention over configuration" giving talks, or trying to make your code beautiful. It's a garbage language, and you know it. But it allows you to get something up and running, so dang quick. You're failing while the other guy is still updating his gem file. You're advertising while the other guy is trying out some fancy new deploy script. You're incorporating feedback while the other guy is just starting to get to work. When he finally fails, he's used up half his runway, whereas you, the guy who didn't give a fuck about your code has gotten past that first failure, and are finally getting some traction.
Hopefully, the next guy to join the company will clean up your shit. The other guys code may not look like shit, but it doesn't solve any useful problems... so they never got the chance to hire that next guy.Author: swalsh