Why C# (.Net) Developers Should Learn PHP

Which is the best development and language to use when developing websites? This question has been asked by so many for so many years. The arguments have raged on, C# is best, no PHP is best. But this article is not about which is best, but more about what skills you should have.

PHP vs. C# (.Net)

PHP is widely used all over the internet. With MySQL, and Apache, it is a force to be reckoned with. Studies have shown that PHP is probably the most widely used language for developing websites.

Most likely because its is free, the database, MySQL. for all intents and purposes is also free, and so is the web server, Apache is also free, and most host on the free OS, Linux. So it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why PHP became so popular.

PHP is also OS independent, meaning that it can be used on multiple operating systems. For example, one could host a php site on a windows server running IIS.

C# (.Net) on the other hand probably had the best IDE in the development world. Making RAD (Rapid Application Development) a reality. With so many third party tools, Drag and drop and the IDE doing a lot of the code writing for you, you are left concentrating of the functionality of your site. So why learn both?


I’m a firm believer that everybody should learn multiple skills. It makes you more marketable. As a C# developer, I also possess Database skills, PHP skills, as well as networking skills and a variety of other skills. Now I know that I am not a master of all of the other skills that I possess. But having all those skills make me a top notch developer, have a good understanding how all those different aspects of developing work together.

Learning PHP will give you skills that you can use in your C# development toolbox. It will also make you a more marketable and profitable coder. Because there are so many PHP jobs, and PHP applications on the internet you never know when those skills will come in handy.

Why should you turn away a reasonable job because you lack the skills? An all rounded skill set is so much more marketable and beneficial.

Learn Skills you don’t have or have forgotten

One thing that I must admit is that C# and Visual Studio has made me into a somewhat lazy programmer. With so much RAD, drag and drop, I don’t have to think about much anymore. If I want an Ajax application I just drag and drop an Ajax panel set some properties and away I go.

Need a fancy grid, drag it onto the IDE. With some great third party software by Devexpress, Infragistics, Telerik, C# and .NET developers are spoiled with choice and great software. Making you look very good as a developer in the end product.

But what PHP teaches you is the inner workings of a web page. When you actually have to code your own Ajax application, working with XHTML and JavaScript, you learn to understand how Ajax works. Learn what the DOM is all about, how to access various objects on your web page. Learning PHP broadens your web development knowledge and skills.


It’s not about which language is best. Use the one that you are most comfortable with and the one that gets the job done faster. The one that brings in the bacon. But don’t be so arrogant to believe that’s all you need. Broaden your skill set. Become more marketable. Learn more.

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Robert Bravery is a professional programmer, Web site Developer and professional blogger for Integral Web Solutions.

  • Guest

    If you’re getting lazy try using asp.net mvc instead of web forms.
    I’m not saying you shouldn’t learn PHP, but those aren’t the right reasons.

    And what’s up with using the ajax panel?
    You shouldn’t have used it in the first place, it’s pretty inefficient, using web forms doesn’t mean you have to drag and drop everything, you can, but you don’t have to and you should’t.

  • Benjaminpaul1984

    Yea I think that if you havent learnt the inner working of a webpage through ASP.NET, MVC etc then you are definately spending to much time dragging and dropping!

  • Two_cents_tipper

    In all honesty? I have little confidence in an article when C# is considered as and IDE. Visual studio is an IDE not C# !!!