12 Jan

The Battle for Talent – PHP vs Rails

As the world of technology has started to heat up with the large billion dollar acquisitions and IPOs, there seems to emerge an shortage of technology talent. Unlike the early days, now we’re seeing a higher demand for mobile and web development Engineers.

One of the important decisions a Tech Lead will make is, deciding on which languages and frameworks to use for their product. Often we see most start-ups adopt Ruby on Rails as the de-facto framework when it comes to backend development. But PHP seems to be a strong contended. So which option is right, Rails or PHP?

First of all Rails can’t be compared with PHP. Because Rails is a framework and PHP is a languages. We should be comparing Ruby to PHP. Both languages provided all the structures and local management, so for a competent developer either language shouldn’t be an issue.

So what about the framework? What can we compare Rails against? Well, there’ isn’t a single PHP framework that can offer that comparison. This is probably the reason why most tech leads and CTOs prefer Ruby on Rails, because that’s just one less decision to make. In recent years, we see the Laravel framework gaining a lot of traction as a solid PHP framework using most of the best parts from other frameworks such as Ruby on Rails. So the question of PHP vs Rails should be re-worded as Laravel vs Rails.

Well then, should you choose Laravel or Rails? The answer to this lies in the availability of talent. Generally Rails developers seem to have more experience, not primarily because the structure of the framework, but because developers who apply for Ruby on Rails job vacancies have at least few years of experience with some other programming language. Where as candidates applying for PHP job vacancies may not have that much experience.

So in conclusion, the answer comes down to how much existing experience you have with Ruby or PHP. The selection of the framework will not make your project success. If you have access to a lot of Ruby Engineers, go ahead with Rails. If you have access to a lot of competent PHP developers, go ahead with Laravel or a similar framework.

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