Developer Spotlight: Freek Van der Herten


June 28th, 2015

Freek Van der Herten

This is an excerpt from this week’s newsletter where I had the pleasure of doing a short Q&A interview with Freek Van der Herten from Belgium. Freek has been active with Laravel over the past few years and releases a lot of popular packages.

Q. What do you enjoy about Laravel?

A. There’s a lot to like about Laravel. Of course, there’s the powerhouses like Eloquent, the easy routing, queuing, scheduling, … But in my mind the real killer feature of Laravel is its ecosystem. Things like Homestead, Forge, Envoy greatly improve the value of the framework because it all works seamlessly together. Of course, the ecosystem also consists of people. Resources such as Laracasts, the Laravel podcast, Larachat on Slack and this very newsletter give the ecosystem a very friendly face.

Q. You release a lot of packages under the Spatie namespace, can you tell us about that?

A. Spatie is a company based in Antwerp, Belgium. We specialize in creating web apps. The company was founded a little bit over than ten years ago. It now consists of five people: four developers and a manager. We have clients ranging from small firms to big international companies like Sony.

Our goal is to create sites and web apps that are beautiful designed and easy to use. We generally don’t use the well known open source cms’es. They tend to offer too many whistles and bells which can be confusing for our users. That’s why we built our own cms.

Until a few years ago all of our projects were built with Zend Framework 1. That approach worked fine for many years but I felt the PHP world stalled a bit. We did a few experiments with Ruby, but then Laravel 4 came around. You could say the Laravel, together with Composer pulled us back into using PHP.

> *You could say the Laravel, together with Composer pulled us back into using PHP.*
Nowadays our custom built cms is a full fledged Laravel 5.1 app. It’s not open source, but that’s only because documenting and supporting it does not align with the needs of our business. However, we release functionality that can easily be isolated as [packages on GitHub](


Many thanks to Freek for taking the time to take part in this interview. If you’d like to find out more about him you can find his writing on his personal blog, his packages, or follow him on Twitter.

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Eric L. Barnes

Eric is the creator of Laravel News and has been covering Laravel since 2012.

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