Tomorrow, it will be the 10th anniversary of the first release of PHP.
I started with PHP/FI 2.0 some time in 1996 in my free time during my studies at the ETH Zurich. A fast internet connection and some unofficial, but free hosting there helped a lot in getting into the whole Web/PHP-thingie. After using perl for my first programming experiences, PHP came like a godsend and I appreciated all the features it had
every beginner enjoys still today. I was not a programming-expert back then, was happy to be finally able mixing HTML (urks ;)) and includes of headers and footers, including a search and so on, something which was a big pain to do in perl (maybe I just didn't know better). The end result of that was “ Phant!“, which
was one of the first concert agendas on the internet for Switzerland. I never really took part in the whole PHP community, until I got a job offer by “nomad online agents” (now beatmap) just before the end of my diploma thesis (I knew them through my work on Phant!). Since I wasn't sure, if I really wanted to
work as an environmental engineer and writing reports for some customers all day long, I gladly accepted the offer. That's where my real involvement in the PHP community began, first with some PEAR packages, later with providing patches for domxml and now I'm here, having my own company relying on PHP and its XML support, going to cool places for
conferences and meeting other great people from around the world ;) Looks like Rasmus really changed also my life, and not only Zak's. And I can't say it better than Zak, so I just quote him here:
Rasmus really did a great thing by inventing, sharing and nurturing PHP. While many, many people made it all happen, Rasmus (and, indirectly, Rasmus' wife Christine) is the baling wire and duct tape that held it all together.