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.
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.
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!
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.
— 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:
- Jack McDade – Wizards, Lawnmowers, and Hovercrafts
- Sandi Metz – Get a Whiff of This
- Amanda Folson – Zero to API With Lumen
- Ben Ramsey – HTTP Is Dead, Long Live HTTP2
- Jeremy Lindblom – APIs with Lumen, Guzzle, & Swagger
- Matthew Machuga – Tests Should Tell a Story
- Evan You – Vue.js
- Chris Fidao – Server Survival
- Adam Wathan – Curing the Common Loop
- Colin DeCarlo – Keeping Eloquent Eloquent
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.