Light at the end of the tunnel for Yii2 learners

Date published: Tuesday 24th of May 2016

This Yii2 business has been a challenge for me and, I'm sure, some of the rest of you. If I had my way then CodeIgniter would be thriving and we'd all be happily using HMVC forever. I can absolutely understand why people would want to stick with CodeIgniter, after all, the syntax is easier and (if you're using HMVC) then your sites are structurally sound. It's actually almost impossible to break a site that uses HMVC. They're so easy to manage and upgrade. So, I'm definitely dishing out respect to anyone who sticks with CodeIgniter.

HOWEVER, the fact of the matter is that CodeIgniter is going nowhere. I wish that wasn't the case but all evidence on the ground tells us otherwise.

Over the last year, I have seen a massive drop in the amount of people looking for Codeigniter developers. Previously, I used an app to find Codeigniter gigs. The vibe was, I'd have an assistant looking for "Codeigniter developer wanted" ads, and we'd go after those gigs. These days, my jobs app would be totally useless because on the sites that I used to go to, nobody wants a CI developer!

Also, very sadly, there's not a shred of evidence to suggest that the University of BC have made any significant headway with CI4. For a long time, I've privately been making the prediction that CI4 will never be released. Folks, this was a bold prediction to make - perhaps even an outrageous prediction, but as time goes on it's beginning to look like another one for the "David was right" file.

Now, if you're happy building sites with CI using HMVC then that's 100% cool. This site uses CI and I am going to continue to use it for personal projects. But know this:

CodeIgniter is a framework that is going nowhere. It's a technology that belongs in the year of 2011. Landing high paying web development gigs, as a CodeIgniter developer, is something that is certainly not going to be easy, but good luck if that's your vibe.

Now let's talk about Yii2.

First of all, wasn't Yii2 a great choice?

Just look at the competition! Laravel will probably be rewritten by the time I've finished this article (constant rewrites are TOTALLY uncool, by the way). As for Symfony - it's just a poor man's impression of Django. The Zend Framework is a joke. The documentation sucks and in any case, all of these frameworks handicap themselves by doing those crappy, unnecessary templating systems.

Let me tell you something. The only reason why Symfony, Laravel and Zend are using things like Twig {{ }}, is because that's the way that Rails and Django work. HOWEVER, the reason why Rails and Django use those {{ crappy }} template systems is because Ruby and Python were not built for the web. PHP was!

So, the point is, Rails and Django need to use those templating systems because the languages of Ruby and Python cannot be easily and seamlessly mixed with HTML code.

PHP on the other hand, can be mixed with HTML beautifully. As a matter of fact, I've seen some developers describing PHP as a templating language. So, why on Earth would you want to handicap yourself by using {{ Twig }}, {{ Blade }} and all that {{ crap }} when there is just no need? Of course, it's a good idea to avoid the subject of Doctrine. As far as I can tell, that's just a huge horror story filled all sorts of misery.

Don't forget, Laravel, Symfony and ZF users are going to have a hard time working with AngularJS when all those curly brackets start conflicting left, right and center. Yii2 developers don't have to worry about those kinds of conflicts because there simply are no conflicts!

The whole journey of learning Yii2 is not easy. There's no doubt that some of the code is more difficult to understand than with CodeIgniter. Nevertheless, as we move beyond video 17, I'm starting to see that things are gradually starting to get easier. Everything seems to be falling into place and, from where I'm sitting, I think the Yii2 framework is starting to make a lot more sense.

For those who go through the pain of learning Yii2, I think the rewards will be that in a couple of months time we'll be able to build custom apps four or five times quicker than in the past. Of course, we'll also be using a more up to date and in demand framework. Most importantly, we'll be in a great position to move onto white hot, super hip technologies like AngularJS and ReactJS.

By the end of the year, all of this is going to come together and there's going to be some very dangerous web developers, here at the Insider Club.

Peace, love and vegetables.


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