The Martian Trailer

I haven’t been this excited to see a movie in a long time. I just finished the book last weekend and it’s all still fresh in mind. When thinking about the movie I was wondering how they were going to do the first half before Watney contacts NASA. Having the SOL logs be in video format is a great idea.

If you haven’t read the book you should. Although be warned it does have some language.

How to set up your Mac for local PHP Development

As a developer I spend countless hours on the computer. Over time I accumulate a ton of cruft. Everything from old forgotten files, unused apps, and worst of all hidden junk that has been installed by following some random tutorial.

This past weekend I decided it was finally time to wipe my Macbook’s hard drive and start fresh. I have used it daily for several years now and still had artifacts from when I used Mamp. Since then Vagrant has turned to my local server of choice and one of the reasons is how clean you can keep your machine by utilizing it.

After finishing the new Mac OS X install it felt like a new beginning. So clean, so minimal. I’ve missed that.

This go around I wanted to keep it as minimal as possible and only install things I know I need and use. This tutorial covers how I set up my Mac for local PHP Development. Continue reading “How to set up your Mac for local PHP Development”

Laravel and Stripe

Over the past few years, I’ve implemented Laravel and Stripe on multiple occasions. Everything from subscriptions to one-off purchases. When I started, Laravel Cashier wasn’t invented yet and it was a totally different beast, but now with Cashier it takes a lot of the pain away by having a simple API.

But with selling products and subscriptions there are many other aspects you need to think about and it’s easy to get intimidated thinking about all the features you need. Or worse, where to even start?

I wanted to share my knowledge on the subject and teamed up with an experienced author, W. Jason Gilmore, to create a new book on the subject, Easy E-Commerce using Laravel and Stripe. Jason has authored numerous books and has also built a 10,000+ product online store and a SAAS for the interior design and architectural industries.

We wanted to create a fun hands-on book taking you from the start of a project all the way through implementing product sales, digital downloads, and subscriptions.

The book is written around a fictional lawn care company that has hired you. But Mr. McDew, the owner of the company, is a stickler and wants to be sure you know what you are doing. So after each project phase he drills you with questions about the implementation, and if you answer correctly you get to move on to the next phase.

No web development book would be complete without sample code and we include many code samples, plus a complete companion project. This allows you to use it not only as a learning resource but you can run the app locally to test and play around with.

Some of the highlights include:

  • You will receive all of the source code to a real-world online store
  • Comprehensive, step-by-step instructions showing you how to integrate Stripe into your Laravel application using Cashier.
  • Learn how to integrate Stripe in a fun, entertaining, and unintimidating fashion by following along with the creation of a real-world project for a fictional company.
  • You’ll learn about many of the concepts central to building an online store, such as how to build a product management interface, and a one-time URL generator for downloading electronic products.

We also cover other Stripe features such as the “buy now” modal window, validating credit card forms, adding coupons and discounts, swapping subscriptions, and even implementing custom Stripe web hooks for sending emails.

Save yourself time and learn how to implement Laravel and Stripe today.

Slack vs Hipchat – It’s not the design

I came across two posts discussing the design aspect of Slack and it’s $2.8 Billion Dollar Secret Sauce with a follow up from a designer working on HipChat, Slack’s design is not secret sauce.

Both of these got me thinking about the differences in the apps and for me they are both wrong. Both designs are good enough for my everyday communication. The only reason Slack is winning is because of the multiple account logins. At work, we used Hipchat, and it was a fine product that got the job done. Where it started lacking is when I would get invited to another companies account. The only way to use both was to have the browser open for one and the app for the primary. It was horrible.

That single feature alone made me champion the move to Slack. Of course, the ability to create public channels so open source projects, and teams can move off the dreadful IRC is another wonderful feature.

I wrote a tutorial over on Scotch.io on debugging queries in Laravel. I go through three different ways, from using the ->toSql(), DB::listen, and the debugbar.

This is also my first time writing outside of my personal sites. So it was a lot of fun to see how the big sites operate.

Lessons learned from running a weekly newsletter

Yesterday marks the one-year anniversary of my weekly Laravel News newsletter. I managed to send a new issue almost every week and only missed two because of vacations. I had no idea what I was doing in the beginning, and still every week I’m learning something new about the science behind newsletters. In this post, I want to share some of the behind scenes on running the newsletter, a few stats, mistakes I made, and lessons learned during this first year. Continue reading “Lessons learned from running a weekly newsletter”

When interviewing for a new job it’s easy to fall in a trap of missing some very important questions about the company. The whole interview process is nerve-racking and there is so much focus on you that it’s easy to forget to find out about the internal workings of the company.

The InterviewThis project aims to help you find out the most important questions a developer should be asking before taking a new job.

Some of the topics include:

  • Development Process
  • Codebase / Architecture
  • Monitoring / On-call duty
  • Company Culture
  • PHP Environment – Framework/Composer/Style
  • Remote Life

By having a list of questions like this you can go into the interview fully prepared.

If you are looking for a new job be sure and check out Larajobs as it’s a great resource for finding companies looking for developers.