This week I had the privilege of interviewing Jason Lewis. Jason was one of the first people I met when I started working with Laravel, so I consider him to be one of the community forefathers.
When I first found Laravel I seem to remember you and Taylor always being in IRC. When did you first come across this framework?
I first came across Laravel in around July of 2011. At that time I was using FuelPHP and spent a lot of time in IRC there. One day a person (who will remain anonymous) came along and started kicking up a storm about how much better Laravel was because it used closures! From memory I ended up joining #laravel and informing Taylor of his rogue user. I think at that stage there were maybe 6 or 7 people in the IRC channel. It probably wasn’t much longer after that I joined the forums and began using Laravel 1.4 to build my personal blog as a sort of trial run. I started spending a lot of time in the IRC channel and have seen it grow from less than 10 people to an average of 400 or so today. It’s been amazing to watch the framework evolve into what it is today. Back in 2011, in the world of PHP, Laravel was a completely different framework. That’s what kept me around. It was different, and I liked different.
You seemed to have a crazy life. Firefighting, Military, and a pie factory. How do you end up in web development?
Yeah my lifestyle is fairly hectic at the best of times. After finishing school in 2008 I went straight into the military. After a year there I worked in a pie factory for several months and for the last 4 or so years I’ve been working as a professional firefighter. But web development goes back to before I even finished school. I started developing websites back in early 2006. Even though I don’t do it for full time work I do consider it more than just a hobby. I say this a lot but I do plan on shifting my career once more to focus completely on web development. I’m hoping after this fire season I can make that transition.
What is your primary operating system, and what apps do you use daily?
I run Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 on both my main computer and my laptop, however both systems are dual booted with Windows. I have a LAMP stack configured running PHP 5.5.9, Apache 2.4.7, and MySQL 14.14. As I don’t do a whole heap of client work this simple setup works perfectly for me. Whenever I boot my computer the first 3 applications that are opened are Chrome, Sublime, and Terminator.
If you was stranded on a desert island what three things would you bring?
If I was stranded on a desert island I would probably take a fishing rod because I’m not too good at throwing spears at fish, a Bear Grylls flint because those things are unbelievable, and, of course, a Wilson volleyball to be my best friend!
Do you have any hobbies outside of web development?
Outside of web development (and my other jobs) I absolutely love taking the boat out and having a fish. There’s nothing better than cruising across water that is as flat as can be, watching the sun rise, and flicking some lures. Absolute bliss. I also love going out with friends to see new movies because you just can’t get enough of that cinema popcorn. Some other things I enjoy are playing basketball, reading, skateboarding, and watching Anime.