NOTE: This is an update to a post originally published in May 2014. We encourage and welcome suggestions from our readers about whom to include on this list! Please send your ideas to @NewRelic on Twitter, using hashtag #phpexperts.
PHP is an incredibly powerful and versatile scripting language. PHP is also an essential skill for most web developers: it’s used today by four out of five websites and by more than half of the world’s top 1,000 sites. As a result, the PHP community\ is large, active, and vibrant, and it’s a magnet for smart developers and technologists.
The following list—in alphabetical order—includes some of the most prominent PHP source and framework committers, project leaders, teachers, visionaries, and entrepreneurs. Follow their blogs, Twitter feeds, and other communication channels to get a front-row view of what matters to the community today, where it wants to go, and how you might be able to get involved.
Be sure to check back occasionally: We plan to update this list in response to reader feedback and suggestions.
Owner of Nineteen Feet, a UK-based Zend Framework consultancy. Current Zend Framework Education Advisory Board member, and a prolific contributor to Zend Framework as well as other PHP-related projects; author of Zend Framework in Action (2009). A regular speaker and presenter at PHP conferences and other public events.
Stack Overflow: https://stackoverflow.com/users/23060/rob-allen
Co-founder and Principal Consultant of The PHP Consulting Company, and a pioneer in PHP quality assurance. Creator of PHPUnit, an industry-leading testing tool integrated with most modern PHP frameworks and CMS platforms; author of nine English- and German-language books on PHP-related topics.
Co-founder at Nelmio, a Switzerland-based web application development firm. Co-author of Composer, a widely used application-level package manager for PHP. Symfony2 core team member; lead developer for the Monolog PHP logger; and a frequent speaker and presenter at industry events.
Co-founder and CTO of Acquia, an open source company that leverages the Drupal CMS. Creator and project lead for Drupal, as well as a co-founder and board member of the Drupal Association.
Senior Director of Product Management and Community Development at Acquia. Current Drupal core co-maintainer and past Drupal Association board member; also Development Manager for Drupal Spark, a Drupal distribution focused on user experience enhancements. Co-author of Using Drupal, 3rd Edition (2016).
CTO at enterprise language coaching firm Lingo Live, and a Zend-certified engineer with expertise in security, performance, and object-oriented programming. Developed the new, more secure password API in PHP 5.5; writes extensively about security in the PHP ecosystem and is a prolific creator of instructional videos and other resources for PHP developers.
Member of the Fictive Kin software engineering and design collective, and a co-host of the Development Hell podcast. Creator of multiple projects in the PHP ecosystem, including PhpSecInfo auditing tool, the Inspekt input filtering library, and the FUnit testing framework. Also the creator of Open Sourcing Mental Illness, a campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues in the developer community.
Platforms Engineer at MongoDB. Core Developer and Release Manager for PHP 7.2. Core Committee Member for the PHP Framework Interoperability Group, helping to develop PHP standards recommendations. Also created the first formal PHP Language Specification; contributed to multiple areas of the PHP core runtime; authored Extending and Embedding PHP (2014, with online updates), a highly regarded guide to writing extensions for PHP in C/C++.
Co-founder and CEO of Zend Technologies (acquired by Rogue Wave Software in 2015). Co-creator of PHP 3 and of the Zend Engine, the core of PHP 4; directed Zend’s development of the PHP 5 and PHP 7 releases. Co-author of PHP5 Power Programming (2004); emeritus member of The Apache Software Foundation. Currently General Manager at Amazon Web Services.
Emma Jane Hogbin
Technical Project Manager for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Prominent as a long-time Drupal developer, author, educator, and community advocate. Co-author of Front End Drupal (2009) and author of Drupal User’s Guide (2011).
PHP teacher at Treehouse, Inc., and an independent web and application developer. President of the Cascadia PHP conference. Other interests include the phpMyDirectory web portal application, and leading workshops focused on PHP development concepts.
Creator and Founder of the PHP project in 1994. Author of the first two PHP versions; a prominent contributor to all subsequent PHP releases and to ongoing PHP development, and a noted speaker at PHP and open source events. Currently a Distinguished Engineer at Etsy.
CTO at Happyr.com, an employee recruiting platform provider. Currently a member of the Symfony core team and of the Symfony CARE team, which is focused on creating a more diverse and welcoming Symfony developer community. Also a board member at Symfony Sweden; a key contributor to the Symfony New Relic bundle; and a contributor to the PHP-cache, HTTPlug, Guzzle, PHP-Geocoder, and PHP-Translation projects.
Matthew Weier O’Phinney
Principal Engineer at Zend. Current Project Lead for Zend Framework, in addition to Apigility (an API builder written in PHP), and Expressive (a PHP middleware microframework). A Zend-certified engineer, and member of the Zend Framework Education Advisory Board, writer, and noted speaker at PHP events.
Creator of Laravel, a popular open-source PHP web framework built using Symfony components. Also the creator of several other products within the Laravel ecosystem, including Spark (standard components for rapid application development using Larvel), Forge (automated server deployment and configuration), and Envoyer (a comprehensive application deployment system).
A student in computer science and physics at the Technical University of Berlin who is already a prolific contributor and creator within the PHP ecosystem. Projects include PHP-Parser (a PHP parser written in PHP!) and FastRoute (a fast request router for PHP), in addition to contributions to various PHP 7.x and 5.x releases.
Stack Overflow: https://stackoverflow.com/users/385378/nikic
Co-founder and CEO of SensioLabs, a business solution provider for PHP and Symfony projects. Creator and current Project Lead for the Symfony open source PHP Framework project; and owner and CEO of Symfony (an open source business based on the Symfony project). Also owner and CEO of Blackfire.io, a PHP application performance testing firm.
PHP Engineer and Evangelist at MongoDB. Author of Xdebug, a widely used PHP debugging tool. Author of PHP/Architect’s Guide to Date and Time Programming (2009), and co-author of PHP 5 Power Programming.
Developer and part of the management team at Liip, a Swiss software firm. A key developer for Symfony, and an expert in relational databases within the PHP ecosystem. Previously the co-manager for the PHP 5.3 release.
Developer Evangelist at Twilio, a cloud communications platform provider, whose PHP-related interests include Symfony and Laravel. A well known speaker on the PHP community conference circuit.
Senior Application Engineer with Medidata Solutions, a life-sciences technology provider. Creator of PuPHPet, a GUI configurator for the Vagrant automation tool designed to simplify the task of provisioning and maintaining virtual environments.
Stack Overflow: https://stackoverflow.com/users/446766/juan-treminio
CTO of Marketplaces at OpenSky.com. A frequent contributor to Doctrine, a set of PHP libraries related to database storage and object mapping, and to Symfony.