I am Fabien Potencier, creator of Symfony (PHP Framework). Ask me anything!

Hi all,

I created Symfony in 2005, one of the most popular PHP frameworks. Currently, I run blackfire.io, sensiolabs.com, and the Symfony company. Ask me anything related to:

  • Creating Open source projects
  • PHP
  • Symfony
  • Performance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • and more

I will be answering questions live on 4th Feb, 2019 at 2 PM ET (7 PM GMT / 11 AM PT).

Comments (73)

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Emil Moe's photo

I'm sure Symfony reached a broader audience after Taylor Otwell created Laravel based on it. From my standpoint it seems Laravel keeps tight bonds with Symfony, but simplifies for certain, but common, scenarios. What do you think about Laravel and do you have any influence on it?

Thanks for creating an amazing framework :-)

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Emil Moe's photo

Software Engineer & Consultant

Thanks for a good answer. The influence must be related to myself then and assumptions it would apply to more than me, but it's an undocumented statement, so you are probably right. In fact I didn't know Drupal was built upon Symfony as well.

I am wondering what your part in PHPs existence today might be. A lot of people think that PHP is too loose, but these frameworks mentioned, in my opinion, really brings the missing structure in PHP lacked for years until v7.

The addition of the command line library is just amazing for maintenance :-)

Azhovan Asadi's photo

Hello Fabien,

  • How do you balance between life and your job as a greedy developer, you are developing more than 15 years and almost you wrote all the codes

  • what is the difference between good PHP developer and a perfect PHP developer?

  • are you expert as much as your PHP skills in other skills like a database?

  • what did you do wrong as PHP GURU, in your career?

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Ilyos Olimov's photo


Benny Elgazar's photo

Dont you think that the popularity among Php and php users decreases every year? What do you think about the future of PHP in general?

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Benny Elgazar's photo

Data-Engineer @ gett

Who told ya php has better performance than Go/Nim/Java or even python

Girish Patil's photo

My first object-oriented programming language was PHP. It took a whole lot of time to wrap my head around a few things. Later I got into C++ in college. I started digging into mvc, mvcc patterns and into the source of Symphony and Slim. Although my stack no longer has PHP now. But It kinda kickstarted things for me. I just want to thank you for your wonderful work, dedication and time you have taken for all these years. Knowingly or unknowingly I believe you have helped many in this way.!!!

Question: Are you still completely into PHP? or exploring any new things? If so, what are you most intrigued about now?
Thank you

Fabien Potencier's photo

CEO Symfony/Blackfire

As I answered elsewhere, I've never used PHP exclusively. Nowadays, I'm doing a lot of Go. Go is very complementary to PHP. Everything I would do with PHP is not a good fit for Go. And the other way around. Having PHP, Go, and JavaScript is probably enough for most of my projects.

Ehui's photo

What does it take to be proficient in PHP?

What is your mindset as a programmer that help you face adversity to keep thriving until you become soo good and make you believe strongly in this project?

Are you going to adopt Symfony in GO language?

What is your thought on the mental health issue side of programming?

And last but not least, what advice would you give to your younger self when you first started?

Fabien Potencier's photo

CEO Symfony/Blackfire

Being proficient is the same for all languages and technologies: you need to read a lot of code. Symfony was my first PHP projects. As such, I made a lot of mistakes. But I learned everything I know by reading other's code, in many different languages. I read Java Spring's code... even if I've never written a line of Java. I read Ruby on Rails code, and Django one. I got inspiration from a lot of great Open-Source projects.

Being proficient means coding. Coding a lot. For fun or for profit. It takes time. Project after project, try to learn something new.

My advice: be pragmatic. Don't listen to people advocating design patterns at all costs. Don't try to make your code perfect. Learn to love fixing other's code.