Blog by nikic. Find me on GitHub, StackOverflow and Twitter. Learn more about me.
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About Me

Hi! My name is Nikita Popov, but you’ll mostly meet me as nikic on the internet. I’m a senior software engineer at Red Hat, working on LLVM, Clang and Rust.

Before that, I worked at JetBrains as a core developer for the PHP project. I studied computer science and physics at the Technical University of Berlin.

Feel free to contact me via Alternatively you can usually find me on the LLVM Discord.


My most popular open-source projects, sorted by stars:

  • PHP-Parser – A PHP parser written in PHP
  • FastRoute – Fast request router for PHP
  • scalar_objects – Extension that adds support for method calls on primitive types in PHP
  • iter – Iteration primitives using generators
  • php-ast – Extension exposing PHP 7 abstract syntax tree
  • PHP-Fuzzer – A fuzzer for PHP libraries

I also maintain the LLVM compile-time tracker.

Accepted PHP proposals

PHP 8.2:

PHP 8.1:

PHP 8.0:

PHP 7.4:

PHP 7.3:

PHP 7.2:

PHP 7.1:

PHP 7.0:

PHP 5.6:

PHP 5.5:


  • PHP 7: What changed internally? [IPC’15]
  • PHP 7: What changed internally? [PHP Barcelona’15]
    (slides, video)
  • PHP 7: What changed internally? [Forum PHP’15]
    (slides, video)
  • PHP language trivia [PHPKonf’17]
  • Static Optimization of PHP bytecode [PHPSC’17]
  • Static Optimization of PHP bytecode [phpDay’17]
  • Typed Properties and more: What’s coming in PHP 7.4? [PHP Russia’19]
    (slides, video)
  • PHP performance trivia [PHP Barcelona’19]
    (slides, video)
  • What’s new in PHP 8.0? [PHP fwdays’20]
    (slides, video)
  • Just-In-Time Compiler in PHP 8 [betterCode PHP’20]
  • What’s new in PHP 8.0? [SymfonyWorld’20]
  • Opaque pointers are coming [LLVM CGO’22]
    (slides, video)

Theses and Papers

  • Spinor formulation of Lanczos potentials in Riemannian Geometry [Bachelor Physics]
  • Optimizing PHP Bytecode using Type-Inferred SSA Form [Bachelor CS]
  • The Tradeoff of Latency, Reliability and Rate for Spinal Codes [Master CS]
  • Static Optimization of PHP 7 [CC’17]
    (pdf, acm)