Learn Laravel 4+

I’ve been a on-off PHP developer for a while, and for the most part – I’ve been too busy doing all of my blogging stuff, to be focusing upon development for a reasonable amount of time, I’m trying to change that though.

Blogging is great, but not because it allows me to connect with a lot of people at any given time, it’s great because it enables me to see the missing elements in some parts of the web, and so it gives me the ability to fix something, if I am up for the job.

Just recently, a new idea came to me – I’m keeping it secret for now – and I knew that I need to fire up my development part of the brain, and get down to it. The best choice seemed Laravel, as it’s very flexible and I just love the community it has behind it.

It’s no coincidence that I’ve written about websites built with Laravel, and even put together a list of resources and tutorials for Laravel – for newcomers like me to learn from.

What I learned now, when I started researching and getting my hands on some real material like books from trusted authors – is that there is quite a bit of variety available, and to be fair – a lot of the good stuff is already free.

Though, my love for developers and creative people goes further than that, and so I still want to give credit to these five amazing authors for their dedication and support of the community that Laravel is.

1. Laravel: Code Bright

Laravel Code Bright by Dayle Rees Leanpub PDF iPad Kindle
I’m making sure that every book on this list has been updated for Laravel 4+, the latest version of the framework. The author, Dayle Rees has spent a lot of time building this book – trying to making the only resource anyone should need to learn all that Laravel has to offer.

I think he has done a great job so far, and he certainly caught my attention – as I’m a proud owner of the book myself. In his own words, he has said that the book is far from perfect – which I think is what makes it so beautiful, there are thousands of people holding a copy of it. (well, having a copy of it)

And so, if there are any errors out there inside of the book, chances are you won’t have to wait for too long to find an answer from other community members. It also inspires to find the solutions by trial and error, something I really enjoy.

Laravel: Code Bright will contain a complete learning experience for all of the framework’s features. The style of writing will make it approachable for beginners, and a wonderful reference resource for experienced developers alike.

2. Getting Started with Laravel 4

Getting Started with Laravel 4 Raphaël Saunier 9781783287031
In this book, Raphaël Saunier will guide you through the beginning phases of Laravel 4, and how it all comes together. It begins very smoothly, without any pressure on the developer reading and learning, it assumes that you’re a complete beginner and so everything happens in baby steps.

You’ll learn things like why Composer is important for Laravel, and how it works. It has a dedicated section for it, really making sure that you won’t need to question Composer ever again.

The rest of the book is built so that you learn about the things like Blade, Page Controllers, Modules and everything else that comes as part of Laravel.

It’s only 128 pages long, so you won’t be spending endless hours on learning complex stuff, it does exactly what the title says it would – it’s going to introduce you to Laravel and the basic mechanism of it.

3. Laravel: From Apprentice To Artisan

Laravel From Apprentice… by Taylor Otwell PDF iPad Kindle
Who else can teach you about something, if not the creator himself of that very something? This book has been written and published by Taylor Otwell, who is the mastermind behind the Laravel framework.

This book might not be the best starting point for newcomers, and there are definitely much better alternatives available out there, see the sample chapter to see what I’m talking about.

You’ll learn about dependency injection, interfaces, service providers, SOLID design, and more while exploring practical, real-world code examples. Great Laravel 4 book to add to the collection once you feel confident about building applications.

4. Laravel Testing Decoded

Laravel Testing Decoded by JeffreyWay Leanpub PDF iPad Kindle
Jeffrey Way has been a PHP developer for a really long time now, if you’ve been around the web for long enough, you might remember him as the instructor on the popular developer website Tuts+ – I remember picking up some slack from his PHP guides back in the day.

He is also the founder of the ever popular Laracasts website, which provides hundreds of video tutorials for learning Laravel and all that it has to offer – I’m a subscriber myself, so I can vouch for the quality.

In this book however, you’ll learn how to test applications and how to test them good.That messy, untestable spaghetti code that you might have snuck into your project in the past will never happen again. It’s meant for everyone, so whenever your Laravel skills grow to a certain level, it might be a good idea to grab this book to deepen your knowledge.

5. Laravel 4 Cookbook

Laravel 4… by Christopher Pitt et al. Leanpub PDF iPad Kindle

This book is still being written, though 80% is already available to the public. It’s being written by Christopher Pitt and once again, the Laravel mastermind Taylor Otwell. As we all know, cookbook’s are basically books that contain ‘recipes’ or in this case, projects for you to work with.

The great thing is, these projects usually teach us a lot of stuff, and it’s extremely easy to return back to them. Like in this book, the first chapter is Authentication, and when you think about it – you will be using authentication for your future projects a lot, it’s one of the most common things to do – to work with the database.

I’ve not have had a chance to get this book yet, but I’ve seen good feedback for it and the content looks amazing. Hoping to see the final version soon, perhaps I’ll be proficient enough by then. hah!

Conclusion: –
As you might know, Laracon 2014 is also approaching very quickly, and I’m quite sure that we’re going to learn about a lot of new stuff that wasn’t there before, Taylor has already been teasing the Twittersphere with some interesting tweets.

This post was built as a reference both to myself, and for those who’re looking to get started with this amazing PHP framework. I’ve only been playing around for a little while, but I do feel like a part of the community – which truly is helpful and understanding.

You can totally plug your own book in the comments if you want!