Laracon US 2016 Recap

Published on by

Laracon US 2016 Recap image

Hundreds of developers fought the airline industry to arrive in downtown Louisville for the annual Laravel conference. This year’s event was a sell-out with around 550 developers and had people attending from all over the world. At last count, twenty-four different countries were represented.

The conference location was a mirror of last year and held at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. Even though it was the same location every part of the event was bigger than ever. An extra day of workshops was added to the schedule, a conference party, and little perks like custom coffee before the each days talks began.

Another nice addition was bringing in speakers that are not known to give talks at the typical PHP conferences. I thought this was fantastic because even though Laravel is a PHP framework there is so much to learn from other ecosystems and most of us do not only use PHP or Laravel. Some of these speakers included Evan You, Sandi Metz, and Ryan Singer.

Finally, a big change from previous years was the inclusion of a live stream. For all those that couldn’t make the event, they had a chance to buy a live stream ticket and watch from anywhere in the world.

The conference schedule stayed mostly the same with a single track and ample time to mingle and hangout.

Because the talks were recorded and will eventually be published I don’t think recapping each one is going to be that useful. Instead, I’ll cover some of the big takeaways from each day of the conference.

Day 1

The day started at 8 AM with registration and then the first talk at 9 AM. The first two talks consisted of a lot of live coding, Adam Wathan on Test Driven Laravel and Evan You covering Vue.js. Both were impressive and hard to believe how well they could code and talk at the same time. Neither even had to consult Google once, so I guess it’s totally possible to code without it.

Chris Fidao schooled us on servers by covering security, supervision, network, and permissions. He also is the first Laracon speaker to come away with his own gif.

The final talk of day one was Taylor Otwell and it was an hour and half lightning talk on some new Laravel 5.3 features. The ones he covered included:

  • Laravel Scout – a driver based full-text search for Eloquent
  • Laravel Mailable – a new Mail class for sending emails in an expressive way
  • Laravel Notifications – allow you to make quick updates through services like Slack, SMS, or Email.
  • Laravel Passport – an optional package that is a full oAuth 2 server ready to go.

After he finished everyone made their way out of the theater and into a meet and greet in the lobby.

Day 2

The second day had a thirty-minute later start and all the talks moved to the standard forty-five-minute format.

Evan You started off talking about single page applications with the Vue Router and Vuex, then Jack McDade mesmerized the crowd talking about Wizards, Lawnmowers, and Hovercrafts.

Ben Ramsey covered HTTP/2 and from this talk, I’ve seen two packages released to make integrating it with Laravel a breeze. I’ll cover these later in the week.

Zeev Suraski discussing PHP 7, Amanda Folson API’s with Lumen, and the day ended with two primarily Rails developers: Matthew Machuga and Sandi Metz. For those that don’t know, Machuga was one of the early adopters of Laravel and I’m glad I finally got to meet him.

After this more mingling, dinner, and then the after party!

Day 3

All good things must come to an end but that 9:30 AM start time was a struggle. Lot’s of folks stayed out late at the after-party and you could see many sleepy bloodshot eyes.

Breakfast after last night at #laracon

— Laravel News (@laravelnews) July 29, 2016

The final day didn’t disappoint. Adam Wathan came back to talk about Collections, Fabien Potencier showed us Blackfire and how to profile, Chuck Reeves on software estimation, Jason McCreary with YAGNI, Colin DeCarlo on Eloquent, Jeremy Lindblom singing and dancing on stage and it finally came to a close with Ryan Singer.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t expecting Jeremy to break out into song and I only had a chance to record the ending part of his new Swagger song.

Speaker Slide Decks

If you want to see any of the slide decks here is a list of all the ones I found:

It was a fantastic event and I got to meet so many in the community. Thanks everyone for attending and making it an awesome conference! If you have any interest in seeing all the photos I took check out the Laravel News Facebook page.

Eric L. Barnes photo

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

Filed in:

Laravel Newsletter

Join 40k+ other developers and never miss out on new tips, tutorials, and more.


Version 4 of Tinkerwell is available now. Get the most popular PHP scratchpad with all its new features and simplify your development workflow today.

Visit Tinkerwell
Kirschbaum logo


Providing innovation and stability to ensure your web application succeeds.

Shift logo


Running an old Laravel version? Instant, automated Laravel upgrades and code modernization to keep your applications fresh.

Bacancy logo


Supercharge your project with a seasoned Laravel developer with 4-6 years of experience for just $2500/month. Get 160 hours of dedicated expertise & a risk-free 15-day trial. Schedule a call now!

LoadForge logo


Easy, affordable load testing and stress tests for websites, APIs and databases.

Paragraph logo


Manage your Laravel app as if it was a CMS – edit any text on any page or in any email without touching Blade or language files.

Lucky Media logo

Lucky Media

Bespoke software solutions built for your business. Partner with Lucky Media, your favorite Laravel Development Agency!

Lucky Media
Lunar: Laravel E-Commerce logo

Lunar: Laravel E-Commerce

E-Commerce for Laravel. An open-source package that brings the power of modern headless e-commerce functionality to Laravel.

Lunar: Laravel E-Commerce
Laravel Forge logo

Laravel Forge

Easily create and manage your servers and deploy your Laravel applications in seconds.

Laravel Forge
Oh Dear logo

Oh Dear

Oh Dear is the best all-in-one monitoring tool for all your Laravel apps.

Oh Dear
Tinkerwell logo


The must-have code runner for Laravel developers. Tinker with AI, autocompletion and instant feedback on local and production environments.


The latest

View all →
FrankenPHP v1.0 is Here image

FrankenPHP v1.0 is Here

Read article
Self-healing URLs in Laravel image

Self-healing URLs in Laravel

Read article
Laravel 10.35 Released image

Laravel 10.35 Released

Read article
Solve n+1 queries in PHP with Scout APM image

Solve n+1 queries in PHP with Scout APM

Read article
Show Outdated Composer Dependencies in Laravel Pulse image

Show Outdated Composer Dependencies in Laravel Pulse

Read article
Announcing Laravel Pulse - A New Performance Monitoring Tool for Laravel Apps image

Announcing Laravel Pulse - A New Performance Monitoring Tool for Laravel Apps

Read article