Laracon 2017: the Year of Advanced Web Interfaces

Posted on September 29, 2017 Nathan Schmidt

The NerdyMind Development Team went to Laracon 2017 in New York City this summer to learn more about Laravel (a free, open-source PHP web framework) and building awesome, advanced web interfaces. There was a great lineup of speakers and if I highlighted each key point we may be a few pages deep, so here are my top highlights from Laracon 2017.

Keep it Simple & Clean

Jeffrey Way (Founder of Laracasts, which is like the Netflix of development) talked about keeping your code simple and clean, and if something is getting too “gross” you should refactor. This was an awesome reminder to not build complicated code blocks when building an app. If you can’t figure out what you built yesterday, how will you know what the heck is going on a year later. This is a challenge all developers face, even if you are building only simple brochure websites. Similar to taking messy notes and having trouble understanding them later. Sometimes 15 minutes of rebuilding can save you hours of time in the future.

Powerful Search UI

Maxime Locqueville from Algolia did a demo on how easy Algolia is to set up in Laravel using Laravel Scout and Vue.js. Algolia is a platform for building powerful search functionality into your website. Within 20 minutes Maxime had Algolia integrated into a site and searching fields. I was amazed with how Algolia search displayed the results almost instantly, no more page reloading or having to use a “loading” gif while the search runs. You can fine tune your results in Algolia’s dashboard by searching certain fields or by applying weights to certain attributes so they show up higher in the search. We have already tested Algolia on some of our recent apps and it’s definitely very easy to setup and use!

Laravel Horizon

Taylor Otwell (creator of Laravel) announced the launch of  Laravel Horizon on the second day of Laracon! Laravel Horizon is an open source integration for Laravel apps which allows easy monitoring of key metrics on your queue system such as job throughput, runtime, and job failures. Horizon has auto-balancing for your workers across your queue. You can easily set a worker minimum so one queue will never get lower than you prefer. The dashboard easily lets you see all of the metrics at a glance with the ability to dive deeper into an error and get specific info for that error. We are currently integrating Horizon into our future apps, we are so excited about this amazing and powerful tool.

Laracon 2017 was an exciting conference, from the great lineup of speakers to being in the middle of Manhattan New York! We are definitely planning to be back for Laracon 2018, see you next year!