The P in LAMP is booming in Cape Town

The P in LAMP can stand for PHP, Python or Perl, and it’s good to know that this week sees the launch of a PHP user group, as well as a Python user group in Cape Town. The acronym CTPUG is already in dispute!

The PHP meeting is Thursday 7 September, at 18h30 (more info), while the Python meeting is on 9 September at 13h00 (more info).

I’m still pretty desperately looking for some contract PHP programmers to work onsite, and am even mulling over going back to the Krypto Plus model (K+ being a highly-innovative company I worked for from 1997) of running a training course (it was Perl in those days) and then hiring the best developers. With the demand for good PHP developers seeming to greatly outstrip the supply, anything that encourages PHP programming in Cape Town can only be good. The tertiary institutions certainly aren’t (COBOL anyone?)

For those more interested in the LAM part, Cape Town also boasts a MySQL meetup group, next meeting 2 October, and of course a Linux Users Group, next meeting 12 September. I’m not aware of a local Apache user group!


  1. _Good_ PHP programmers are probably always going to be scarce. Very few programmers are willing to put up with PHP, warts and all, when trying to do more heavy-duty applications in it. And those that are good aren’t going to be on the market long.

    I’ve put up with it for four years now. But I’m having increasingly more frequent homicidal thoughts.

    I hope you come to the Python meeting – I’ll be doing a quick overview of TurboGears. It’s the long-promised salvation I’ve been seeking. 😉

  2. I tried building my site in PHP, simply because Hetzner doesn’t have Ruby on Rails hosting, but gave up because the PHP clone of RoR, called Cakephp, is just complete crap.

    Objects become arrays, and then multi-dimensional arrays depending on where you’re trying to access data from, and it’s just not natural to work with three representations of the same data when you don’t need to.

    I worked in Perl and PHP in the beginning, but now I focus on Java, Python, and Ruby. When you start programming it’s exciting to learn complicated languages and beat them, but when you get older and wiser you just want something that gets the job done with the least pain.

  3. I agree with Neil’s sentiments on PHP. With the myriad of Web App server choices in Python there is little reason these days to choose PHP, with its security and other issues, for new projects. Muti itself uses CherryPy which is one of the components of Turbogears. I chose not to use the full Turbogears stack as I wanted something minimalist and I have no fear of writing my own SQL statements 🙂 (Of course many people use CherryPy with SQLObject, yet another component of Turbogears). Check out Django as well, which looks very promising.

  4. I’ve been a PHP programmer for almost 5 years now. I’ve done great things in PHP and I like it for the kind of power it gives me over some other languages. However lately, most of my hacks have been heavily focused on Java (J2ME essentially) and Ruby on Rails. I love RoR for the great things it can do and how much simplified the development process is when using it. However I got quickly tired of it as it did not have the whole Java/PHP feel. I am now heavily focusing on Python and I am loving it to bits. PHP still rules though. But in my view, Python is a super-great competitor.

  5. php may not be the best way to go – but I am stuck with it. Programme almost completed but as Neil put it my programmer not only had homicidal thoughts – but actually went there and left the development incomplete. I am in Cape Town (Durbanville) and urgently need the assistance of a php programmer to help finish the complicated project.

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