On March 14, 2015, DevCon, with the sponsorship of Globe Telecom, held a Laravel Code Camp which is a free seminar and workshop. Although they were not giving certificates, you can still benefit a lot because of the good topics you will learn especially for development with Laravel.
In the first part of the Code Camp, they discussed an intro of Laravel, some brief history about it, an introduction to Homestead, and some cool sample projects that are also available on the web. As for promotion, Globe also introduced their development api for their services which also seems pretty useful.
Some experienced Laravel users immediately became mentors which also made the Code Camp more lively as they were able to guide first time users (like me) through using Laravel. It was also great because I was able to ask some questions and gain some ideas in using the framework.
This is one of the topics I had to skip in working with my laptop to keep up with the training because I would need to set up a virtual machine but I believe this is still very important especially when you are going to develop for a cloud server like AWS or Digital Ocean.
Base on that I understood, Homestead is a “Vagrant box”. As for vagrant, it is a software that lets you create development environments. Homestead includes all the software you need for developing laravel and other PHP apps as well which I believe somehow would try to mimic your production server. It would reduce the chances of having developer problems like “It works on my machine but not on the server”. Since your development environment is similar to the server and you can be prepared to any problems that your code might encounter in the server.
At the point of this writing, Laravel 5 was just released a month ago. So I can’t blame the on the spot mentors and speaker if they are also having difficulty in using it whereas they recommend to use Laravel 4.2 for the meantime.
The folder structure has changed … a lot. I mean coming from a different framework user, I find it also hard to navigate because folders like modes, views, or controllers have been moved to different places. There has also been some changes with the api as well. But I think most of the changes would mainly apply to the directory structure and I believe they had a reason to do this.
Despite of that, while using Laravel 4.2, I was able to adapt into using it. I liked the dynamic DRY templating system it is using called blade.
The ORM was also good actually and very easy to use which I found the active record much simplier than other frameworks like Codeigniter or CakePHP.
To further conclude, the Laravel Code Camp turned out to be great as a lot of information in regards to development and best practices as well such as using Homestead as development enviroment.
I have also learned from the Laravel professionals that their company is also using it and they claim it to be a very good framework. It has also allowed them to develop systems faster.
As for Laravel 5, since it’s new at the point of this writing, not much tutorials and books for Laravel 5 can be found (although I might consider youtube). The documentation is also a good resource though.
Other Useful Links:
forge.laravel.com – an admin tool that lets you connect to your existing cloud server which allows easy managent rather than using a console ssh tool.
Laravelsnippets.com/laravel-tricks.com – Some good resources to find codes
Burnmsg.com – a website created using laravel. Lets you compose messages that will be immediately be deleted once read.
developer.globelabs.com.ph – promoted development api by Globe. Offers free initial load for to new users.
cheats.jesse-obrien.ca – cheatsheet for getting around with the Blade templating system.
laracasts.com – a website that offers video tutorials exclusive for Laravel. They describe this as a “netflix for developers”