With 2009 over, it gives us a chance to look back at the previous year and at some the good things that happened and at how the PHP community as a whole grew and shifted dramatically during the year.
First I'll start with some of our own statistics - we had over 2100 news stories added during 2009 with over 80 job postings, 330+ mentioning the Zend Framework and, yes, even about 80 mentioning "the cloud". We also blew past our ten thousandth post mark and are already up into the 13k range!
The PHP community saw some of the usual happenings - the conferences like php|tek, the Dutch PHP Conference and the TestFest - but there were also a few surprises like the CodeWorks touring conference and the coining of the term "funemployment" to define the large group of PHP community members making changes in their jobs.
This year also saw the release of one of the most important versions of PHP in a good while - PHP 5.3. This update included a lot of what had been previously predicted in PHP6 and wrapped it all up in a nice little package. There was also a renewed interesting in code quality, metrics, unit testing and code deployment. It wasn't just about the code anymore, it became more about the ecosystem it lives in.
The community itself also saw a big change and a broadening of scope. Frameworks were no longer seen as a novelty and started to take root and really be the foundations that applications were built on. The community accepted this and other great tools as essential to their development. On the whole, the PHP community really matured this past year - PHP has come up from being the plucky little language that could and has grown into an enterprise-level (and very capable) language that is flexible enough to not only contend with "the big boy languages" out there, but has also been known to give several companies a leg up. The community has been there to respond and several sources are predicting that the demand for good PHP developers in 2010 will be high.