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I don't think it's a good idea to advice newbies to learn the hardcore way. I'm exactly like you, started with PHP, had to do everything manually, etc... except I have a different opinion.

The reason you and I and all the others like us put in so much effort in solving problems in PHP like CSRF, XSS and SQLI was because we were passionate enough to learn about that and then implement solutions for it.

Developers who don't care about security measures like that - they're the ones who store plaintext passwords, still - won't care either way, no matter if they're using Rails or PHP. Frameworks like Rails solves it for them, but if it weren't for Rails, their apps would have all these security problems, and they would only be addressed once disaster strikes.

Those that do care will be passionate about their work. They are the ones that read up on XSS and CSRF out of interest, not necessity. I'm sure they look at the generated HTML source once in a while, and then wonder why they add that token there. Using Rails, newbies are exposed to the solutions from the start, encouraging them to learn about it. As a PHP newbie, you're never exposed to the problem or the solution, until you start reading about security on your own or you get into trouble.

The point was that a good programmer is a good programmer regardless of their tools. And a bad programmer will always be a bad programmer no matter how much their tools do for them.

Spend time becoming a good programmer, and you'll be better off in the long run. If you don't want to spend that time, go find another profession...

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