Throughout almost 20 years in the industry, I have have been exposed to a diverse range of development languages and frameworks. This includes a range of client side and back-end technologies, from Angular for JavaScript driven desktop driven web applications, IONIC for cross platform mobile app development and both .NET & Laravel for backend development.

Originally when I first left university back in 2003 with my computer science degree I had no idea which direction I would take, the world was my oyster and I could take various career paths as the scope of degree presented various opportunities. However I lacked any real world experience and all that I knew was that I wanted to head back home with my family who had recently made a big move down to Cornwall after spending most of my life in the South East. I could have been bold and left for the big cities but wanted to see what life would be like in a quieter part of the world. I’d had an eventful and eye opening time while at university in Leicester where I had managed enjoy my time studying for my degree and socialising with new found friends. The issue was that there were not alot of tech jobs in Cornwall – specifically around Falmouth where I had settled. However I was fortunate to find a job working with GIS systems with the council, that led to a Programmer position with highly rated sixth form college. A position that gave me good grounding and a great introduction into web development. I remember spending many hours building and querying the MSSQL & MySQL databases building applications using PHP which I look back at fondly now.

After several years of developing in the public sector, I was keen to move to the private sector and needed to move away from the West Country to fulfill that objective after some delightful years there. I moved up to London to work for an agency where I again spent various years developing PHP & ASP applications before switching over to the .NET Framework. It seemed that the .NET Framework was the future, at the time it was far more advanced & secure than the available PHP frameworks known to me at the time. I played a vital role in helping the agency to evolve its technical solutions which I enjoyed, however I lost sight of PHP and their frameworks. It would turn out that this was not lost time though, as I would see the direct similarities between this and Laravel in the future and this would be important/beneficial part for me learning Laravel. I spent numerous years building applications and implementing various technical solutions. I had literally booted out PHP as it required a serious amount of time & code to implement even the most simple applications. Little did I know that the Laravel framework was emerging in the 2010s and it could have been a framework that may have assisted various projects. Some of my focus had been on rapidly changing front end technologies and I’d grown comfortable with the .NET platform for all back-end technology.

However, In the last couple of years I have been reevaluating different technologies and hence Laravel has been at the forefront over the past year where I have been using it to develop various business tools and applications. There is still a place for WordPress for web development too as I frequently need to pick up pre-built business websites and provide updates. There are some benefits from utilising the WordPress framework & community and their plugins as long as you have control over the security of your website. Also there is a still a place for .NET should any of my projects require Windows server hosted solutions.

How can your business leverage the benefits of the Laravel framework?
This was the original question I had set out to answer. I am building a set of business tools & websites with Laravel today as I think Laravel is simply brilliant and I am keen to use it as my main framework for application development going forward if possible.

Why?

1.) The framework provides a massive set of object-oriented libraries for multiple purpose web development and applications. The core framework offers a versatile and expansive range of tools for routing, caching, sessions and authentication. Extended packages & modules can be downloaded into projects via the unique ARTISAN terminal tool and there are numerous packages to support ecommerce, SEO, web client and image manipulation tools to name a few.

2.) The framework was very easy for me to relate to, given that it is driven from the same MVC architecture that .NET was built from. This means that teams can work independently on different aspects of the application to each other, for example one developer can focus on the back-end and the other on the front end helping to speed up the development process. Laravel’s Blade also provides a simple and yet powerful templating engine for rapid integration of front end html & CSS. This enables developers to customise their templates, extend and reuse them throughout more complex applications.

3.) Web application migration of project databases is simple and easy through the migration tools and commands available in the ARTISAN CLI. This helps to provide a seamless transfer of updates from a development website to existing live environment. The commands are so versatile that it is even possible to run them through code if necessary although it is essential maintain the security of your application if you take this approach and should only be driven in development environments.

4.) Eloquent ORM is available to easily construct database objects and their mappings. This speeds up development of the database access layers of your application so that you rapidly create and extend data models to capture and secure data.

5.) It makes web development FUN! If you enjoy your work or the tasks you set out to achieve and are passionate about them then this is half of the problem solved. I had lost my enthusiasm for development a couple of years in the late 2010s, getting caught up with CRM tools I was not so excited about but I am sincerely excited about the future of building tools with Laravel for both Web & backends mobile requirements while I offer freelance developer services. I hope to integrate them into Mobile Front end technologies via an emerging technologies and frameworks in the future.

The Laravel frameworks allows developers to build bespoke custom web sites and applications to meet an endless client briefs and requirements. It allows applications to be designed and built with carefully crafted flexible & scalable modules. This also means that there is total control of all parts of the application and will not be limited by other developers plugins and code.


How can JNHDigital support your Laravel applications?
I am available for contract work with your business, either to develop a tool to your requirements or extend/assist your development team. If you would like to know more and open a discussion for contract work please get in touch. Please email me @ info@jnhdigital.co.uk to see if I am currently available.