I’m about to make a prediction about which skills will be in demand, for Trongate developers, in the near future. Of course, I can’t guarantee any of this. Moreover, I’m well aware of the fact that the journey for the Trongate framework has not been plain sailing. Just two days ago I had a look at a couple of “Top 10 Best Frameworks” articles and Trongate never got mentioned in any of them! Even if I had nothing to do with Trongate, I’d find this to be an outrage. Trongate has a growing community and is bursting with features that other frameworks don’t have. Trongate also has a unique architecture. By my estimation, Trongate is the only PHP framework that has a ‘truly modular’ architecture. Of course, Trongate also has rock solid stability which - as I’m sure you know - is the highest priority of the framework.

Sometimes, I think Trongate is like a thorn in the side of the PHP community. It annoys people. Especially PHP developers. Some have said that the Trongate framework doesn’t follow standards. They’re right! However, Trongate’s biggest mistake is far worse than anything to do with PSR-4 autoloading or Packagist. Not only did we break the rules. We did something far worse. We accidentally built the fastest PHP framework in the world.

If people are allowed to speculate about Bitcoin reaching a million dollars then I don’t think it’s abhorrent to speculate about a potential future where Trongate becomes wildly successful. So, for your entertainment and education, here are three Trongate framework skills that will be highly in demand in the future.

Skill 1: Trainer

Before this year is finished, and if all goes according to plan, you’ll be able to sit in front of clients and prospects and demonstrate outrageously fast, live website builds. Trongate developers will be the most productive developers in the world. Nothing will come close. For several years, business owners have been getting sold on “The Agile Dream.” That dream is now turning into a middle management nightmare. A lot of money has been thrown down the drain. A lot of time has been wasted. Over the last twelve months, I’ve been up close and personal with two business owners who have made the decision to keep web development in-house. I think this is the beginning of a trend that will continue. That’s bad news for Agile managers but good news for Trongate developers.

Business owners who make the decision to handle web development in-house will find Trongate to be an attractive solution. The reason why is because Trongate is fast, it’s very easy to use, and it’s the only “stability first” PHP framework. If you’re a Trongate developer who is open to the idea of training people on how to work with Trongate, then I think you could do well from this. Personally speaking, I’ve landed one gig like this, and it involved teaching staff members in an online environment. For Trongate developers, I’m predicting more of that kind of work as we move forward.

Skill 2: Template Conversions Expert

This is another one that’s soon going to be red hot. Over the weekend, I was speaking to somebody who has purchased a theme from Theme Forest and he is now looking for somebody to turn his theme (which is an HTML design template) into his dream website.

This particular person did have a few feature requests. For example, he wanted a discussion forum, a news section and some kind of mailing list manager. In the future, you’ll be able to get features like that from the Module Market within just a few minutes. It’s not difficult.

The sticking point is the HTML template. Regardless of what happens with the framework or the Module Market, I think there’s going to be a demand for developers who can take (something like) a WordPress template, and turn it into a pure HTML template that can run using Trongate CSS.

All of this suggests that there is value in brushing up on things like CSS. In particular, I’m seeing a demand for developers who can take beautiful designs that require lots of code and who can reproduce those same designs but with far less code. Template conversions may not set the world on fire, on an intellectual level. However, I’ve seen the positive effects that this kind of work can have on things like search engine optimisation ranking. This is an area that could turn out to be a good earner, especially for Trongate developers.

Skill 3: Module Auditor

There’s a fairly good chance that Trongate will be moving into the CMS space. This basically means that instead of going after other PHP frameworks, we’ll be throwing our hat into the ring against the likes of WordPress and Drupal.

As far as content management systems go, WordPress is still the market leader. Personally speaking, I haven’t had a close look at WordPress for a long time, so I’m not in a position to offer some kind of meaningful critique. What I can say, however, is that WordPress has had a few… let’s say… issues. Yesterday on YouTube, somebody asked what steps will be taken to make sure Trongate doesn’t get subjected to the same kinds of security challenges that WordPress has had.

The answer is, The Module Market will be using a “single point of accountability” model. So, unlike NPM and Packagist, we’re not going to have inter-version dependencies and situations where multiple people, potentially from all corners of the world, can interfere with and break code.

However, over and above the single point of accountability model, I visualise there being a need for some kind of module auditing process. That basically means a human being checking over code and making sure it’s safe, before allowing it to be uploaded to the Module Market.

There are two ways that this can go:

The first possibility would be that developers who upload to the Module Market could pay a nominal fee to have their module checked over by somebody. In those instances, their code might be given some kind of virtual thumbs-up to let people know that it has been checked out and it appears to be okay.

The second possibility is a little bit more dramatic but it would involve Team Trongate literally employing somebody to be a module auditor. Given the fact that there is (at the time of writing) not a solitary paid module on the Module Market, I have to dish out a word of caution and say this is not going to happen tomorrow, if ever.

In any event, I see the role of module auditor as being something that will become increasingly important in the future. Of course, as I wrap this up, I’m suddenly realizing that there’s probably going to be a demand for people who can write custom Trongate modules. That may well even turn out to be the most in-demand skill of all!

Final Thoughts

Thank you for allowing me to indulge in this little thought experiment. I hope it has been useful for you.

John Lennon once said, “You may say I’m a dreamer - but I’m not the only one.”

But I'm not a dreamer. If you think that this article is me being delusional or out of touch with reality then you're hedging your bets on the idea that Trongate will continue to be ignored and PHP developers will never be exposed to the truth. The "truth", of course, is the (by now!) slightly boring and demonstrably true fact that Trongate has; better features, better benchmarks and better stability than any other PHP framework. None of that is an opinion. All of these things can be measured and if they can't be measured then they are literally meaningless.

Of course, I have no idea what’s coming up in the future. However, I can certainly see a whole lot of great work being done on the Trongate framework. You can go look at GitHub and see that for yourself. The work is constant and it’s good. Trongate is no longer The David Connelly Roadshow. Nobody thinks of it in those terms anymore. That's a good thing! Now, we have a growing pool of gifted and extremely talented contributors. Soon, you'll see the Trongate channel become more active on YouTube. When that happens, you'll see other people - our precious contributors - having their moment in the spotlight. This is the right way and this is how we're going to win.

Keep breaking the rules!