You can almost feel it in the air. You can almost sense that PHP hasn't even come close to hitting it's peak in the world. Jobs man, I'm talkin jobs. I remember 3 years ago getting my daily emails from monster.com on PHP positions open in my area and maybe I was lucky to see one every couple of weeks. Fast forward to today and there are no less than 5-10 per day! I mentioned this on the PHP podcast interview I did last with with Marcus and I noted how this quick explosion in PHP positions could be troublesome if trained coders aren't there.
Yahoo, McAfee, Panasonic... all big time players looking for skilled PHP workers. All looking for on-site PHP workers. It's really great to see PHP take off like this and if you caught the wave just right you're doing quite well in this job market. However, I know from having to hire PHP developers that in most cases the skill levels just aren't there yet. So for you up and coming PHP'ers here are some tips from someone who has interviewed quite a few PHP developers on what can set you apart from the pack. While these tips won't automatically get you hired, they will definately help you rise above.
1. get your Zend Certification - becoming a ZCE gives you an immediate boost over non certified engineers, studying for it will bring your back to the nitty gritty bits of the language itself.
2. contribute to an open source PHP project or have a project - this shows you have a general interest in programming and you're passionate about what you do. It also helps show you can work on team projects.
3. know what you've abstracted! - This is a biggie for us all. Almost everyone gives some sort of PHP test these days and alot of questions are basic questions that we've written wrapper functions for long ago. So if you're interviewing for a postion make sure you know how you could work a database without an abstraction layer behind you, open files, all those little tasks you forgot the syntax for :)
4. get on google - If I search for your name and don't find anything it makes me worried. Why a web programmer would be invisible on google? Having alot of hits relating to PHP with your name attached is a big big plus. Show's your know how to get to the community, get answers, help give answers and a general good feel for the PHP world.
5. interviews, major php contributions, etc - Shows people value your opinion on PHP and so should I. Offer to write for some of the PHP magazines or PHP websites out there.
It may not be possible to do all of those things but any combo of those items will really help your resume stand out from the crowd.