There’s been some recent commentary from Phil Sturgeon and others that people who are excited about Laravel and using it to make great things should cool their jets and think more about PHP as a whole.
Rather than continue to hash it out with them I’d rather talk directly to the community about my thoughts and hopefully they’ll get where I’m coming from.
Laravel is PHP, We Are Not in Bizarro World
If you want to add a line in a twitter bio about Laravel, DO IT. If you want to put on your LinkedIn profile that you use Laravel on your projects, DO IT. You’re not hurting PHP. You’re helping it and anyone who was around during PHP’s dark days should know this.
People will not be confused by this. Employers will not be confused by this. As someone who has probably looked at 1000 resumes for Laravel developers I’ve never seen even one where the only reference to anything PHP or development related is Laravel.
There is always talk of other projects, other systems, PHP versions, on and on. Why would anyone have a resume or LinkedIn profile with literally ONLY Laravel on it. To me in fact, this is the most personally offensive part of this entire interaction. The assumption that people are so stupid as to need this advice.
Should you write your packages to be perfectly usable completely outside of any framework? In a perfect world yes, of course. Alas, the world is not perfect.
So if you have unlimited time, resources or simply the desire to write packages which work in pure PHP along with the major frameworks DO IT.
If you don’t, I submit that doing what you can do and sharing it is still great. Even if that means it’s only Laravel. If it’s a package that many other people find useful perhaps they’ll be a chance to abstract and help to do it (isn’t this open source where we help each other and even have a huge system of tools to do so?). If not, others in the Laravel community will find it useful. Many people will learn from it if nothing else.
One of the best things I’ve learned working with Taylor (creator of Laravel) is that people shouldn’t be afraid to code no matter their skill level, to code how they want to and to be free from persecution when they do so.
So go forth and code your packages in the way your time, skills and desire allows.
Sharing Knowledge is Good for PHP and Laravel
If you’re someone who wants to share what you’ve learned with the rest of the Laravel community don’t be scared off from doing so. We’ve seen a huge surge in books, tutorials, videos (how’d we get by without Laracasts?) and other information sharing initiatives. Both free and for profit.
These are AWESOME. I can only hope you all continue to do this and to double down on it. Every new developer that comes into Laravel from another language or completely new to programming is LEARNING PHP. Yes, you read that right. They’re LEARNING PHP by learning Laravel.
In fact they’re learning it a hell of a lot better than the ways I did forever ago from the generic PHP books of the day. They’re seeing PHP used properly, organized well, using dozens of external packages from other groups and even other frameworks. This is modern PHP done right.
If you want to be friends with other Laravel developers DO IT. Want to follow their blogs, twitter feeds and learn from them DO IT. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, it’s the very essence of human nature.
We’re interested in being around the people who are interested in the same things we are. We want to work together on those things. We don’t want to part of the faceless nameless herd.
PHP IS NOT BETTER IF THERE’S NO INNER COMMUNITIES
It’s worse, much worse. Only a few short years ago we were there remember? Millions and millions of developers using PHP, but no fun, no inner communities that were excited and prospering.
Trying to make every meetup a PHP meetup is not the answer. In fact, we’ve already found the answer. Modern PHP is doing better than ever, we need to double down on what we’re doing not step back from it.
We Hates The Learning, Yes Precious We Hates It
Uhhh no, we don’t! The argument that you shouldn’t get all caught up in being a Laravel community because in 5 years you might have to learn a new framework is just silly.
First, we’re developers. If you haven’t noticed we’re kind of addicted to learning. I sit in the UserScape chatroom on the weekends and the team is in there talking about the new side thing they’re working on, the new tech they’re messing with, the new library they found. THAT’S ALL THEY DO!
So, should you not do what you enjoy and what makes you productive today because maybe in 5 years you might have to learn a new PHP framework or even a new language?
20 years ago to play music in my car I carried an shoebox sized CD player with an audio tape adapter, now I stream music from a satellite to my phone and play it over bluetooth.
15 years ago I had to be home or at a pay phone to make a phone call, now most of the world carries a supercomputer in their pocket.
You’ll probably have to learn some new stuff over the next 5 years. I wouldn’t worry about it and if you are worried about it this is probably the wrong line of work for you.
Fight, Fight Like You’ve Never Fought Before! Never Surrender!*
Laravel isn’t even 3 years old. Taylor started working at UserScape just about 2 years ago today. It’s still so very early, the community so very young.
Laravel is the finest online community I’ve ever been a part of. Stay strong.
- Anytime you can quote Sean Connery you do it (First Knight, 1995).