In a study released by PHPClasses, the number of PHP developers originating from India has been steadily growing in the last tree years, and the website is anticipating that it will dethrone the United States as the main provider of PHP development workforce around the Globe.
Since industry giants like Facebook, Yahoo!, Google, Joomla, Wikipedia, YouTube, WordPress or Digg have switched to open source technologies like Linux, Apache or Memcache, a major boom has been noticed around the programming community regarding PHP development. People started paying more attention to the 14-year-old scripting language due to the huge media coverage it got.
PHP communities started flourishing around the web, powered by the hype it received. Immediately, on freelancing websites, the number of PHP jobs began to grow, and professionals started taking it more and more seriously. Huge repositories of PHP-driven applications and scripts sprung around the web, and, of course, on Softpedia's scripts section
PHPClasses has a community of more than 785,000 users, and more than 5,500 submitted PHP classes and packages. Currently, based on statistics from PHPClasses, the USA are still ranked first, overall, in the numbers of developers registered on the website, but given the way the number of Indian developers has been growing lately, it is anticipated that they will surpass the US in the next two to three months.
At this moment, US-based developers account for 11.83% of the total number of users on PHPClasses. India closely follows with 10.47%, and at a huge distance behind them are Brazil and Germany with 5.22% and 4.66%, respectively. This is an important growth, knowing that three years ago, India accounted only for 3% of all developers on PHPClasses, and the USA ruled the charts with a huge 20% of all users.
Similar trends have also been noted on e-freelance websites like Elance, GetAFreelancer or Rent A Coder, where the number of Indian-based companies has grown to such an extent, that someone might think that the whole website is Indian-based or -operated.
Trying to understand this trend is not easy, but the fact that developing fees are almost half of what US or EU companies charge might be a good explanation for what is happening right now on the market. Actually, it's very logical, since the cost of life in the US or EU is very high, and salaries are also held at a higher mark. This is not felt in India, because of its developing economy status that has made it possible to provide an educated workforce at lower costs than other countries.
Some people may argue this, saying that Indian developers are solely regarded as work-horses and not programming gurus, performing all the simple and repetitive tasks in PHP development projects. This may also be sustained by some other statistics from PHPClasses, the all-time list of the PHP Programming Innovations Awards, handed out monthly by PHPClasses for successful and innovative programming packages and classes. On that list, the USA lead the top with 342 points, followed by Brazil and Italy, with 206 and 168 points, respectively. India is ranked only eighth, with 122 points. But even skeptics can't ignore the fact that India has lately led the 2009 top ten with 47 points, followed by the US with 35.
Other statistics that support the opinion that Indian programmers are not a high-quality product, and only a force by numbers, is the PHPClasses list of certified professionals. In a list provided by Mauricio Garcia for PHPClasses, it clearly shows that the most actively certified developers are located in the US (25% from the total of certified professionals), followed by a pack of EU countries like Germany, with 10.2%, Netherlands, with 8.2%, and the UK, with 6.6%. India ranks only seventh, with 3.2%, from the total of certified PHP programmers.
India is leading other lists on PHPClasses, like the one for the most PHP developers actively available for jobs. From the total number of professionals willing to work, India holds 15.7%, followed by the USA and Brazil, with 8.7% and 6.8%, respectively. In a list of countries with active PHP communities and groups, India is ranked second after Brazil and before the United States, with 10.5%.
Studying traffic statistics from Alexa
, it can be seen that a quarter of the daily visitors accessing PHPClasses are from India, and about 15% of all visitors on Softpedia
are from there too.
In an interview given to PHPClasses by Sandeep Kadam, a leader of the PHP community in India, he had the following to say about the current status of Indian developers on the market: “In my opinion, India is one of the outsourcing destinations which is well known worldwide. [...] Many PHP programmers are being hired by the outsourcing firms for Web development activities and for their businesses. […] All sorts of companies can easily hire PHP professionals as an offshore service by companies that are providing these services at affordable prices.”
The rest of the interview and some statistics can be found here