Now that I’ve decided to learn Laravel, for a variety of reasons, I am left with a plethora of choices on how to actually go about doing that.
There is a series of videos at Laracasts.com that is highly recommended by the community, which I agree is a good starting point. Let me give you the good and bad about them really quickly:
Good: The pacing is very quick. I normally cannot stand video-based training because the pacing is too slow. But this guy moves fast enough for me. He also does have the videos laid out in a way that steps you through what you need to know, in an orderly fashion, and mostly keeps the videos short. (There are a few exceptions.) The videos are 100% screen captures of his environment, so it shows everything going on as you would see it. And he will deliberately make mistakes to show you common pitfalls, as well as let his own typos and mistakes into the video and show you a bit on correcting such things.
Bad: Ehh, I took the bad paragraph out. I did have complaints. Still do. But then I decided that he is putting out hundreds of free videos, and I saw him being very polite and professional to people giving him un-necessary grief on some of his work. And I realized that I didn’t want to be one of those guys. I would rather just say thanks for the free videos.
Bottom line: The videos can give an intro to one way to use the framework. I don’t think it is the only way, and I suspect I’ll throw out a lot of this knowledge and devise new ways of doing things later, but there is nothing wrong with that. Gotta start somewhere, and this is somewhere.
So how exactly am I using these?
- I installed Laravel to make sure I could get it working on my system, and got the starter site up and running.
- I watched straight through the 32 “Laravel From Scratch” videos, paying attention, but just watching and listening, to get a sense of how everything worked and what the feature set of the framework was.
- I whipped up a mock-up of the home page app I want to start with as I learn Laravel, added in user authentication, and have it working in place of the starter page on my local site.
- I am going back through the 32 videos, watching each thing he teaches, deciding what the equivalent change/code would be in my app, and making it happen in my app.
My expectation is that it will take me a couple days to run through this process, and then a few more to decide… “What else?” should go into my initial/trivial/learning app before throwing the whole thing aside and re-starting on something more serious.