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From the artistic heritage of the Netherlands, Amsterdam Cees-Jan Kiewiet is a Senior Software Engineer at MomentiveAI. Cees-Jan has been a part of WyriMaps, ReactPHP, PHP-FIG, highly interested in asynchronous programming and generic maniac. We’re delighted to have him with us today as he talks about his background, his PHP journey, and much more.
Shahzeb: Hello Cees-Jan, thank you for taking time out for this interview. Before we start, how about you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
Cees-Jan: Hi my name is Cees-Jan, the C is pronounced as a K, and I’ve been doing PHP for years. As long as I’ve been programming I’ve always ran my own servers to host my projects/websites on. As a result of that I have more recently transitioned into becoming an SRE, and now I’m doing PHP, TerraForm, YAML, and anything that crosses my path.
Shahzeb: So, when and how did you start your career with PHP? Any interesting stories that you would like to share about your journey? What were the challenges you faced in the beginning, and how did you overcome them?
Cees-Jan: Career or when I started learning PHP? PHP itself was learning it around version 4.2 – 4.4, when I was still in school. And it’s just pure random luck it became PHP because the script I found for a toplist was in ASP, and there were no free hostings offering ASP, PHP however was offered by plenty of hosting companies. This was nearly 20 years ago, 5 years or so later I started my first job doing PHP. Two days into the job my direct boss had quit and I was the sole PHP developer.
That job taught me a lot, especially that what your code’s users say does not parse what they want. And that what they want is not possible, per se. Communication skills are something to foster and build throughout your career. Learning how to say no without saying “No.” is an artform that took me years to master, but turned out to…
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