Where I began with Laravel

There are some standard places to start learning Laravel.

  • Laracasts┬áhas tons of videos about the framework and how to use it.
  • The Laravel documentation is also really good and generally provides examples of practical uses for the various functions.

While I used both of these in my journey into Laravel, I found that the videos could sometimes go too fast, or would discuss topics I wasn’t familiar with or didn’t yet have the vocabulary for, or would present on a slightly different version of the issue than I was struggling with.

My favorite tutorial is one that I went back to over and over to review the basics and make sure I was doing things right. Even now, after working with Laravel for the better part of two years, I still find myself referring to it.

I also spent a lot of time on Stack Overflow and the Laracasts’ forum. The Laracasts’ Slack group also provided a lot of help. These could be intimidating, especially as a newbie programmer. Just the Stack Overflow text on posting a question made me question multiple times if I was doing it wrong. However, the Laravel community is very supportive and encouraging, and I never faced backlash for any question. I love that about this group of people!

One thing asking questions has taught me is that it’s a good way to realize the problem myself. As I try to explain what I’m trying to do vs. what is actually happening, I frequently stumble over the answer.

As time has gone one, I’ve also realized I’m unlikely to be the first person to encounter a particular error or to want to do a particular task. My Google Fu is generally pretty good with just the bare bones of the error message and a rough stab at what I was trying to do. And packages are great! While they run the usual risk of anything open source eventually being abandoned, there are still useful packages with active and interested maintainers. I especially love Spatie’s┬ásuite of packages. They also periodically post “easy for new contributors” issues on Twitter for those looking to start contributing to open source software.

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