I started learning PHP about 6 years ago, back in the heyday of Drupal, Wordpress, and phpbb (then in the 2.0 series). At that time the style of PHP was mostly procedural, with a typical app consisting of a few dozen PHP files, each of which contained a snaking nest of HTML, PHP, and SQL, used conditional includes for flow control, and was littered with global state.
Some of the wiser folks in the php community knew this was not the right way to do things. This highly-coupled code was hard to test, hard to change, and hard to reuse. The more elegant solutions to these problems took a few years to build, and were spurred by the addition of namespacing to PHP’s OOP model, the race to build MVC frameworks to compete with Ruby on Rails, and the emergence of git and github as the de-facto standards for open source.
Now on the verge of 2014, there’s a new breed of PHP applications and libraries. They represent the current State of the Art in PHP development. They’re built on the work of Fabien Potencier, Jordi Boggiano, Jonathan Wage, Sebastian Bergmann, and others.
If you want to be taken seriously as a PHP developer going forward, you will have to master these tools and practices. Change is hard. But the road ahead has been paved for you.