I’ve been itching to learn a new language or new “something” for ages, normally client work gets in the way and I end up focussing on that. I’ve been fortunate enough to come off the end of a group of projects in recent days and due to the impending arrival of child number 2 haven’t taken any new ones on, perfect timing for tinkering.

I’ve also been given a nudge by my colleague Ross, who has got his side project up and running really quickly so that I can tell everyone when our latest arrival arrives (If you haven’t seen do go and taken a look!).

Laravel was something I took a look at a while back for a client project and quickly realised it would slow me down on a client project if I was trying to learn it at the same time, this time there’s no deadline and no budget (other than my time) so I’ve got the luxury of being able to learn, tinker and play at my own pace.


There seemed to be so many ways to install Lavarel and get it up and running, I’m not going to cover any of these here for the simple reason that everybody has a different development environment.

I’m fortunate to be running a full LAMP installation on my Mac, so didn’t have to deal with MAMP or anything, the only gotcha I had was that I needed the mcrypt extension for PHP (as it no longer comes with OSX). I also went down the route of doing a composer install of Lavarel, in hindsight I might have considered cloning the git repository, but there’s always next time. There’s also pre-packaged Laravel Vagrant “box” called Homestead that might be worth a look.

Getting Started

I’ll be honest, I thought “I’m a developer, reading the quick start guide and the documentation is the way forward”. It was quickly apparent that I’d need a bit more knowledge under my belt before I got digging into these docs!

I did some late night tutorial browsing and pretty much felt the same way, and wondered whether I might have let myself in for a world of pain, a lot of it was way too deep for me starting with a framework.

This morning I set some time aside to sit down with Jeffrey Way’s Laracasts, in particular the series Laravel 4 from Scratch. I’ve learnt a lot, and I’ll be honest I’m fascinated. I think I’ve got just enough knowledge under my belt to understand where the “Login with Twitter” tutorial is coming from, but that’s a game for another day!