The other night another dev friend of mine texted me, asking for 3 reasons why I think new developers should learn PHP. I thought this was a cool moment to look back on my experience with programming and PHP. I'm a bit biased so the answers came rather quickly.
The language has been around for quite some time. There are a lot of examples and frameworks to learn from. All at this point are tried and true since there's been years of contribution and LTS (long term support).
PHP can be used to write a quick and dirty script to accomplish one task or fine tuned to scale large platforms. What I like is how close it can work at lower levels of the server. Once you have access to a LAMP stack your possibilities are almost endless due to argument 1.
While I came on when things were already turning over in the PHP community, I can say that in the past 10 years the language itself has made some really great steps forward. Adapting new concepts to stay current but true to it's nature not stepping into the fad spotlight.
A great example of this is looking at the Laravel framework, what it's done for the community and the dozens of advocates of the platform surrounding it. Very forward thinking and shaping a new community.
Due to a lot of that legacy LTS code, there are plenty of PHP positions. They range from the super lean hip startups to the corporate world. The salaries for mid-senior level positions are well worth the investment to learn the language.
PHP actually gets a lot of hilarious hate in the programming community. Really developers are extremely anal and opinionated people, so basically we hate everything. A good source for dev laughs, PHP included, is /r/programmerhumor on Reddit.