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Welcome to devRant :)
I was part of that scene in the early days and I'm SO glad webdevelopment matured since then!
LuxARTS17952yI used PHP in 2 proyects, not big but in that moment were complex to me. I took courses, read A LOT and today if I need to do a backend I will use PHP without doubt. Why? Because as you said, it's simple and that mean short developing time for a simple task. I learned JS (and used NodeJS in a few proyects) but I still prefer PHP for web backend.
PHP 7 is still the third fastest programming language, with the Node.js runtime environment being the second, and Go being the first.
However, PHP is way better in terms of documentation and community support - not being splintered into 1000 pieces like NPM is, and with many more senior developers backing it than Go (which is still "young and inexperienced.")
I don't use it often these days. But feel, with all its problems - past and present - it's a great way for new developers to wet their chops, and very well supported as an industry standard that will live on over the next decade... something we can't necessarily say about some JS frameworks.
bdriesen7022yAmen! I don't like to "discuss" which language is better. Because it's like comparing apples with pears :p.
PHP is indeed simple to learn and that's why it's here to stay :) PHP 7.x was I think one of the most upgrades it ever got!