Learning Laravel

I recently decided to start to learn Laravel. I had heard a great introduction to server-side languages and frameworks on Episode 6 of the StartHere.fm podcast, and decided it was about time I figured out what this ‘framework’ thing was all about.

I was originally gravitating towards learning Node.js, since I have been spending more time with the JavaScript community by attending the PhillyJS Meetups. I started on some Node tutorials, but got quickly lost. I felt like I was in over my head, and that I was missing some fundamentals of JavaScript. I downloaded Eloquent JavaScript, and was working on the exercises, but I lost interest, as I felt there wasn’t anything immediately applicable there.

In the meantime, I had been working on this blog, which runs on WordPress, and therefore had been spending a lot of time in the PHP world. Looking back at my previous projects, I saw that most everything I’ve done is in PHP (either WordPress or plain, vanilla PHP). Rather than spend time learning the ins and outs of another language, I decided to stick with what I know, and chose Laravel as my framework of choice.

At first, I had the same over-my-head feeling by reading through the documentation. I was beginning to feel frustrated with this mental roadblock. After a little bit of googling, I discovered laracasts.com, and have worked my way through the Laravel 4 from Scratch series. Jeffrey Way does an excellent job of explaining the basics, as well as more advanced concepts. I now have a general knowledge of MVC frameworks, and RESTful architecture.

Having completed the series today, I am excited about starting a project on Laravel. I few ideas I have include a task manager or a grocery list maker. I might even resurrect my Project Bass project, which is a student and asset manager for music teachers. I was very excited about this project at the time, but gave up due to it’s complexity. I think using a framework would make building the project much easier.

I look forward to starting a real project beyond the tutorial, and posting my progress here.


  1. It’s great to read about your process. I think you made the right choice, going with Laravel.

    For your next project consider choosing a few Laravel features to focus on so you can build deeper skill and understanding. If you can work on a couple projects that focus on different elements of Laravel you’ll be ready to dive into work for others very soon (refer to episode 8 for ideas about that).

    Keep it up!

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