The first day of Laracon 2015 has been amazing. My friend and I stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Louiseville so the walk was only a couple blocks away from the Kentucky Convention Center, which is pretty amazing.
As soon as we walked in the front door we were greeted by friendly faces and smiles. There were tables setup where we could grab our name tag and grab some awesome swag such as stickers, pins, and t-shirts.
After hanging out for about a half hour we all migrated into the main room where Laracon was held. This place was amazing. It was like sitting in a theater.
After everyone got seated and situated, Taylor Otwell comes on stage and welcomes everyone to Laracon 2015.
Taylor talks a little bit about how much Laracon has grown and how many people are here at Louiseville for Laracon 2015. He says that they have a lot planned and that he is really excited to be here. He then introduces the first speaker. Matt Stauffer.
Matt talks about Leveraging Laravel. He touches on how you can use Laravel for Rapid Application Development. He says that "When you think of an idea for an app and there's not one available, you can easily use Larvel to create that app". Matt is well known for hosting the Laravel Podcast and he also has his own Podcast called "The Five Minute Geek Show".
After Matt's talk we do a short bathroom and snack break and then we come back to the next speaker, Eryn O'neil.
Eryn Oneil gives us a great presentation titled "How to cope when things go wrong." Eryn talks about project problems like planning, clients, budgeting and technological problems such as bugs. To handle a lot of these problems Eryn says to organize and plan, she also says that everyone is going to make mistakes so just make sure not to make those same mistakes again. She says that we are all human & we need to not be afraid, forgive, and learn from our mistakes.
After Eryn's presentation we have another quick break, and waiting on stage for us when we come back is...
Jeophpardy is exactly what it sounds like. It's Jeopardy for PHP developers. The host brought on 6 members from the audience to play against eachother. It was a really fun experience and a fun way to learn new things. There were questions about PSR coding standards, PHP functions, podcasts, and of course Laravel. There were 2 finalists who will be continuing to the next round tomorrow where they can compete for a new iPad. There was a ton of laughs, awesome sound effects, and a hilarious host. Good times for sure :)
Then we all break for lunch. We do some mingling, eat some delicious sandwiches, and down a couple beverages. After lunch we migrate together in the main conference room to listen to a talk by Adam Wathan.
Adam Wathan has a talk called "Chasing Perfect". He talks about keeping our code well organized and maintained. He talks about naming our functions and how to make our code more readable without having to use comments. He also walks us through some of his coding practices and teaches everyone some good techniques.
Next up was Ed Finkler with a change of pace to talk about mental health in the developer community.
Ed talks about mental disorders, anxiety disorders, and depression. He takes a fun twist in talking to everyone about mental health issues and awareness. The talk was light hearted and kind of humorous. It was definitely a change-up from all the other talks. Maybe the percentage of programmers with mental health issues is pretty high... I dunno... Maybe the talk was necessary... I dunno...
Either way it was still an entertaining and knowledgeable talk.
Getting back into the development stuff, Gemma shows us a presentation called navigating your git repository. She starts off talking about SVN and how subversion has some bad techniques. Then she goes into GIT & comparing it to subversion. One comparison is that GIT stores everything local as opposed to SVN, where everything is not local. She goes on to say that SVN is a file-based system whereas GIT is a graph based system and this graph based system is what we need to know in order to navigate our GIT repo. She then continues to talk about how branches, merges, and rebases work throughout this graph.
Understanding how to navigate your GIT repository effeciently can help you retrieve old copies of your code, revert to previous commit, and become a GIT pro.
And next up... The man himself.
Taylor Otwell (Keynote!)
Taylor starts it off with a bit of inspiration. He talks about how a developers profession is unique, after a developer finishes their day job they go back home and continue working, maybe on a side project. Whereas, with a profession like the medical field, there is probably no one who leaves their day job and goes back home to work.
He talks about how building and launching really drives us as developers. He talks about how the creation of something can also be a pleasure in itself. Being passionate about what you are building for so many reasons, such as working from home or resolving a problem with your app.
Taylor talks about how we can ease the process of creating an app even more. Even though he's done this already by creating this amazing framework, he's has now introduced:
Laravel Spark is a foundation for building a SAAS application. When you install laravel and spark, you automatically have Authentication, Billing, A bootstrapped front-end and dashboard, Billing Management, Teams, and so much more. Spark will be available next month for free!
Now, when you have a late night idea for an app you can wake up the next day and start building your app right away and you'll already be half way there by leveraging the power of Spark. Checkout the awesome demo of Laravel Spark that Tayler showed during his keynote below: