PHP developers to get training, go-to-market aid

Two new sites aim to provide Malaysian Web application builders training in PHP development and help in marketing their PHP skillsets.
Written by Edwin Yapp, Contributor

KUALA LUMPUR--PHP software developers looking to deploy applications on Windows-based platforms have received a boost with the launch of two online sites designed to help them get trained and to better market their skillsets.

The new sites, PHPAcade.my and the PHPMarketplace.my, will help developers receive training in the PHP scripting language, as well as identify opportunities to monetize their skills and knowledge based on an online bidding process. PHP is a general purpose scripting language widely used to create Web applications.

Currently in beta, the sites were created with the support of Microsoft Malaysia and funding from the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), the custodian of the government's Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia.

Speaking to the media here Monday, Ahmad Amran Kapi, president of PHP.net.my and creator of the two online sites, noted that there is great demand for PHP scripting skills since the language is gaining acceptance in the realm of Web development.

"According to a survey we conducted late last year, 70 percent of respondents said they would use a Microsoft platform to deploy PHP applications," Kapi said. "This is why we've created these platforms together with Microsoft and MDeC, as we hope to meet this need."

While he acknowledged the majority of PHP users still build applications on Linux platforms, he said the new initiative aims to offer these developers a chance to address new market opportunities from companies that require PHP coding on Microsoft platforms.

Putting skills to market
PHPAcade.my is an online, self-paced training facility that Kapi said will provide comprehensive, easy-to-follow instructions for deploying PHP on Windows platforms. Available to all developers globally, the site features Microsoft content and course materials and is designed to help developers pick up PHP scripting skills online. There are currently three modules offered in PHPAcade.my, with more planned in the pipeline.

Developers who sign up have one week to complete their courses after which, they will be awarded a certificate. The cost of the course has not been finalized but it is expected to be between 100 ringgit (US$30.2) and 200 ringgit (US$60.3), Kapi said, adding that fees collected will be used to defray administrative and operation costs.

PHPMarketplace.my aims to help graduates from PHPAcade.my bid for jobs by advertising their skills on the Web site. Winning bidders will be selected based on their credentials, experience and pricing.

The program on PHPMarketplace is also opened to companies and individuals interested to use the platform to go to market.

Kapi is expecting PHPAcade.my to attract 50 users by May, and is hoping to award 1,000 certification by June 2011. He is also targeting to secure 30 job advertisers, with 200,000 ringgit (US$60,302) worth of projects advertised on the PHPMarketplace by year-end.

Mohamad Rizatuddin Ramli, director of global profiling and portfolio management for MDeC, said the government will continue to support such initiatives as these will allow local professionals to monetize their knowledge and skills.

MDeC is investing a total of 190,000 ringgit (US$57,287), of which 50,000 ringgit (US$15,075) has been disbursed.

Edwin Yapp is a freelance IT writer based in Malaysia.

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