Happy Thanksgiving 2018

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Happy Thanksgiving 2018 image

I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is already (for those in the US) and I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on 2018 a little. This post might come off a little cheesy, but here I go anyway…

I can’t possibly list all of the people or things I’m grateful for as far as the Laravel community is concerned, but trust me, I am thankful for all of you and the things you’re cooking up!

For me, 2018 has been a tremendously blessed year, and I thought I’d take a moment to reflect a bit on some of the things I am especially thankful for, and I apologize that my list is a bit all over the place and random:

Taylor Otwell

I think all of us that use Laravel professionally can thank Taylor for a thriving, growing Laravel ecosystem that helps developers like myself make a living. He’s provided (with the help of others) many free open-source projects beyond Laravel (i.e., passport, cashier, dusk, horizon) that I benefit from every single day. It’s overwhelming really to think about how well put-together the Laravel ecosystem is.

We have a thriving job board of Laravel-specific jobs, I have made a living with Laravel for the last 3-4 years myself, and I know many people are working with Laravel in a full-time job. I am thankful for Taylor for persistently making Laravel better and better with each PR merge, feature, and major version. I am grateful for a growing community he’s helped grow through great documentation and a friendly vibe. Taylor has done so much more for the Laravel community that I couldn’t possibly list it all.


I first learned about Vue through Jeffery Way’s free course on Laracasts which is now Learn Vue 2: Step by Step. Evan You has created an amazingly approachable framework that was propelled by Laravel’s early adoption even before the 1.0 days. Vue v2 is simply amazing and I can’t wait to see what v3 has in store! Vue makes my job easier and pairs perfectly with Laravel through Laravel Mix.

Vue feels approachable and simple, yet has many advanced features that I am growing to love. Vue has a knack for making difficult concepts feel simple and help me productively write components I could only dream of back in the days I was using tools like Backbone.js, jQuery, etc.

Database Migrations

Like I said, my list is all over the place, but database migrations are my favorite feature in Laravel.

I’ve been a developer for a long time, and something I’ve always been a little envious of as a PHP developer is the beautiful migrations found in Ruby on Rails. I’ve tried most database migration solutions (both PHP and other languages), and they never felt quite right to me or fit within my web application workflow. When I discovered Laravel (I think around v4.2), it felt just as good as migrations in Rails.

Database migrations continue to be my favorite part of the Laravel framework. They are everything that I wanted from Rails migrations, and for whatever reason, I feel empowered to have a first-class migration tool with a clean API in Laravel.

Migrations are one of those things that if you’ve been a Laravel developer for a while, you might take for granted. The API and smoothness of database migrations in Laravel is still a rare commodity in the PHP space. We have it so good as Laravel users!


Along with migrations, Eloquent is by far my favorite ActiveRecord implementation in PHP. I’ve used it as a stand-alone package with PHP CLI tools, and I use it every day in Laravel. Eloquent brings one of the cleanest database APIs out there.

Eloquent is another one of those foundational pieces I might take for granted, but for me, it’s one of the fascinating parts of Laravel. I am so productive with Eloquent, and I don’t even want to think about writing database applications without it!

Laravel Validation

I used to think that validation should happen through the model, but after starting to use Laravel, I really like how you can validation forms through the request object directly, using form requests, and creating a validation instance manually if needed. Since I first started using Laravel, validation closures have been added, as well as fluent rules and custom validation rule objects.


Sometimes underrated, I appreciate the simplicity and power of Blade as a templating language. It’s close enough to PHP that it feels like I’m writing PHP but works well at separating presentation logic from the controller.

When Blade Double-encoding was released in Laravel 5.5 and later made the default, it was a tremendous quality of life improvement for seeding Vue components with data from the server.

In recent versions, Blade makes it easy to add custom directives and conditionals. Laravel continues to get the small details right, and Blade, while simple, has everything I would ever need to customize the frontend of my applications.

Along with Blade for views, it’s been excellent for writing emails in my application, and I love markdown mailables!

Jacob Bennett and Michael Dyrynda

I am grateful for working in tandem with Jacob and Michael this year. They’ve had me on the Laravel News Podcast a few times to help me promote my Docker course and talk about the latest things we’ve covered on Laravel News. They are both super friendly people, and I am lucky enough to work with them as part of the Laravel News team on promoting Laravel packages and news!

Michael is one of my favorite people in this community, even though he’s a Lakers fan. Jacob is one of the nicest humans I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Ya’ll should follow them on the Laravel News podcast and North Meets South.

Laracon 2018

This year was my first year attending Laracon in person. I finally got to meet people I’ve known online through the Laravel community, and I can genuinely say that this is one of the nicest, most inclusive communities I’ve been apart of.

I got to meet many Laravel News fans and it was nice to hear that what Eric and I have been doing this year has been helpful to the community. It’s always nice to get to interact with Laravel News readers in person!

I finally got to meet @ninjaparade, and although I didn’t get to hang out with him much, he was busy capturing some beautiful photos of the biggest Laracon US to date:

Laravel News and Eric Barnes

I’ve been afforded tremendous opportunities by working with Eric Barnes as a writer for Laravel News. He has been instrumental in my growth as a person, a writer, and a coach as I’ve built my own courses. Eric has helped me promote them, and without his help, I would not be nearly as far as I am in growing my courses.

Not only has Eric helped me professionally, but he’s also just a good person. He’s been an excellent example of how to treat people and how to be thoughtful in going above and beyond for others.

Laravel News Readers

I am super grateful for all of you, our readers. Thanks for reading our content, sharing it with your networks, and giving us encouraging words throughout this year. It’s been incredible hearing from many of you how we’ve helped you learn something, helped others discover your packages, or somehow made your development life a little better.

On the Horizon

No pun intended, but I can’t wait for 2019! I am working with Eric on some preliminary ideas that I am excited about, and Laravel News is thriving.

We have what is shaping up to be one of the best Laracon conferences ever in Laracon VII. The future of Laravel is vibrant, and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead!

Laravel News is continuing to grow and each month Eric and I pleased to see Laravel News continues to thrive! It’s all thanks to you, the Laravel community, and our readers.

Thank You and happy Thanksgiving!

Paul Redmond photo

Staff writer at Laravel News. Full stack web developer and author.

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