BrightAnalytics at Laracon

A few months ago we registered for Laracon, the annual conference of the Laravel framework in which BrightAnalytics is developed: an excellent opportunity to learn from the experiences of other people working in the framework.

We started early on Wednesday: at 4 am we left for the airport to catch our flight. Since Laracon started on Thursday, this was an ideal opportunity to fully immerse ourselves in the culture of Madrid. We took a ride on the hop-on-off bus,explored Madrid’s main monuments and visited the Real Madrid football stadium, home to one of the most famous football clubs in the world. We had a beautiful panoramic view from the top of the stadium, definitely a lasting impression!

On Thursday, we left for Laracon for a full day of lectures from people in the Laravel community. The agenda included a variety of presentations ranging from best practices for coding and security, to creating visually appealing applications.

Some highlights we’d like to share:

  1. Freek Van der Herten, well-known speaker and developer in the Laravel community, kicked off the conference. His company Spatie is responsible for the development of more than 200 packages. He gave insight in how to keep substantial parts of an application as simple as possible, while retaining all the important functionalities. This is a challenge especially with large applications which several people work in/on it at the same time.
  2. The talk “The Laravel Core – Demystify The Beast” was not so much about the different features of our framework, but rather about the internal logic behind it. Because of Christoph Rumpel, we now understand the core of Laravel better. According to him, knowing your framework makes you a better developer. And why is that so important? Because knowing your framework makes debugging easier.
  3. Nuno Maduro brought us a great, engaging discussion on writing effective PHP code. He compared programming to driving: defensive programming means assuming others will make mistakes, which means considering all risks. Just like defensive driving! Interesting if you are starting out with programming.
  4. We listened to Antti Rössi, the ethical hacker, as he zoomed in on how a Laravel application can be hacked and how we can prevent that from happening. He introduced us to all the different types of attacks hackers can use to gain access to your application, including XSS attacks, CSRF attacks, SQL injection, and so on. The key message here is to think like a hacker to find the best solutions.

Besides tapas and drinks we had a lot of food for thought, for example about real-time application design and building multi-tenant applications. A final visit to the Faro de Moncloa treated us to a magnificent view of the city of Madrid, absolutely amazing! You bet we captured the beauty of the city, but we were even more excited to share and put into practice all the insights we gained at the PHP conference in Laracon.