Talking Laravel

If you know me, you know I am a sucker for a good framework. Doesn't matter the language I am using, I will typically look for the hottest framework on the platform when I start a project.

In my primary development world of PHP, that framework had been cakePHP for a very long time. I had tried several others, but none of them stuck with me like cake did, that was up until a few years ago when a friend with our San Diego PHP User Group started pushing another framework on me called Laravel.

In that time, I've taken the Laravel framework further that I have any other including starting a development group that specializes in the framework. As typical, when I do something I like to submerge myself totally in it, and it wasn't too long before I found myself running a User Group for the Laravel framework.

During that time, I've had the opportunity to speak with a few of the key members of the Laravel community. The following two videos are interviews I did with Taylor Otwell (@taylorotwell) who is the creator of the Laravel Framework. The second video in my interview with Jeffrey Way (@jeffrey_way) who I consider the head educator for Laravel. Enjoyed talking with both these guys. They were super friendly and very, very accommodating.


First up is Taylor Otwell, the creator of Laravel. Great discussion with him.

This is Jeffrey Way's video, we had some major auto problems this night, sorry about that. We were able to mute everything when Jeffrey speaks. Also, the video should start at about the 15-minute mark. Everything before that is just some typical User Group meeting stuff.

PHP Carbon Package

Video of a presentation I gave for the San Diego Laravel User GroupSan Diego Laravel User Group in Nov 2015 on the PHP Package Carbon which is used to manage date and time when developing in PHP.

My PHPStorm Gotham Theme

Inspired by one of my favorite Vim colorscheme vim-gotham, I created a very dark color theme for PHPStorm. You can download it here. Screenshot here.

To install just place the ICLS file in your PHPStorm directory with your other color themes. On my Mac that that location is ~/Library/Preferences/WebIde80/colors.

PHPStorm Gotham Theme

My Favorite PHP User Group Logos

User groups, or UG for short, are awesome. People passionate about some sort of speciality who get together to share and learn from each other. I personally belong to several UGs but there is one that gets more of my attention than the others and that is our local PHP UG. There are several reasons for this, I am passionate about PHP but more importantly I am one of the organizers of this group which just goes by SDPHP.

One fun thing to check out with other UGs is to see what they came up with for a logo. This sounds simple but coming up with a good meaningful logo is tough. These are some examples of my favorite logos from various PHP User Groups. This is by no means a complete list and I may find myself adding to it over the next couple months but if you happen to have a PHP UG Logo you like, feel free to reference it in the comment section.

Now in no particular order, ok expect for the first one, here are some of my favorite PHP UG Logos.

Right off the bat I am going to do some shameless self promotion of my group SDPHP. I designed this logo and we've been using it for a couple years now and I am still not tired of it.


Next on my list is the San Francisco PHP UG, SFPHP. It's very creative and you can tell they put some time into this one.


Like SFPHP, Seattle PHP User Group managed to work the PHP ElePHPant into their logo which is not something I was able to do.

Utah PHP and Minnesota PHP User Group both use nice circular logos. They look like they would make a great patches.


Orange County PHP kind of speaks for itself. Simple and representative of their local.


Southbay PHP User Group is one of the newer and more creative logos I've seen.


From our friends across the pond we have Belfast PHP User Group


San Diego / Tijuana Tech Industry

Just wanted to post a link to a really good article on Tech Companies in San Diego and leveraging talent across the border in Tijuana.

I worked for a group that had a very similar business model, it was a little different as the majority of its clients were also based throughout Mexico. I worked with them in their San Diego office with a group of very talented developers, ops, and office staff from both sides of the border.

We did manufacturing in Mexico, a little deeper than Tijuana, and I have to agree with the article in that one of the biggest advantages was being able to quickly iterate through design and components. There is something to be said about being able to travel to manufacturing, discuss with the different teams involved, and pivot if needed.

I would also travel to Tijuana to meet with my tech team who managed IT systems in our Tijuana offices where customer support and designers worked. As I mentioned, in our San Diego office we had developers, graphic artist, office staff, and operation team members who made the journey across the border every day. All very talented people.

I think Baja California is positioned to become one of the next strong draws of IT talent. The skills sets and IT culture south of the border is growing stronger and stronger as the IT generation there are maturing and finding themselves in the workforce. I am hoping as more Tech companies realize this, they also decide to make San Diego their US home.

Here is that link I promised you to the article:

Tech companies thriving in San Diego–Tijuana border zone