Laracon NYC: Day Two

In part two of the series, I'm going to cover the events of, you guessed it, the second day of Laracon. Here is my summary of Day One

Lots occurred on day two, including one of the best talks I have ever seen. Let's get to it!

Dayle Rees

Dayle Rees

Dayle started out day two with his talk Breaking the Mold. He talked about what steps, as developers, we can take to break out of the structure that Laravel provides out of box and create a structure that better fits our needs.

Dayle covered how he organizes his projects in such a way that it makes sense for him. His reasoning is that it provides answers to one of the hardest questions when working with a framework: "Where do I put this?". It was an enlightening talk about how to write an application that uses Laravel, and not to use Laravel to write an application.

Chris Fidao

Chris Fidao

Chris presented a high-level talk about a very popular topic of the day, and one that I am highly interested in. This presentation covered Hexagonal Architecture as a concept, how it works, why it is useful, and how the flow of information and logic flows within this structure.

While the talk did not include concrete code examples showcasing this architecture, Chris's presentation coupled with the ones given by Dayle and Shawn presented a very robust approach for building complex applications using Laravel.

Greg Baugues

From The BLN & Business of Software

This was hands down the best talk of the day, Devs and Depression. Greg painted a picture of the struggles that many people in the development world suffer through due to mental illness. He told us his story, shared his experiences, and showed us that people who have these issues are not alone, nor are they helpless to take control of their lives. He also shared with us the stories of those who were not as fortunate as he was.

Greg crafted a wonderful story full of humor, struggle, shame, and triumph. He presented his life in an easily accessible manner, which really put our lives in to perspective. Truly an amazing and inspiring talk, and well deserving of his standing ovation.

John Resig

John (a fellow alum of RIT) gave a talk that wasn't technical, but still very important and vital to the development community. John works at Khan Academy which works to provide students with the learning tools that may better fit their learning methods. John works specifically on the CS curriculum and showcased a lot of their efforts and outstanding technologies they utilize to allow students to get instant feedback while writing their programs.

Some attendees criticized this talk for not fitting the mold of what was expected from a presentation at Laracon. I completely disagree. John showed off the opportunities we as developers have to bring up the next generation (or as Cal Evans puts it, version) of developers. As a member of the Laravel, PHP, and greater developer community, I believe we can have more of an impact on the future of our field than we realize, and John's talk showed us just that.

Igor Wiedler

Igor's talk goes into the theoretical aspects of computer science with his presentation on Abstract Machines.

Igor flashed the audience back in time to our days in Discrete Math and Computer Language Concepts. We were shown "Conway's Game of Life" and state machines. We explored the evolution of early machine computation with the Turing Machine. While highly technical and verbose, Igor did a great job presenting what some might see as a bland topic. But honestly, I feel like I understood more from this talk than I did from my professors in college.

Cal Evans

Laracon ended with the venerable Cal Evans and his talk Going Pro.

This fantastic talk tackled the issue of how us developers percieve ourselves in the professional world, and what it truly means to grow from being a Duct Tap Master to a true Professional. Funny and engaging, Cal is a masterful presenter, and his presentation on the D.U.C.C.H.T. philosophy is one that rang true, at least for me.

Many people have their own definitions of what makes a developer a professional (like Uncle Bob and practicing TDD), but Cal's is the one that makes most practical sense to me. Being a professional wasn't about making money or some technical practice. It's about being an student, teacher, and teammate who others can depend upon.

Closing Remarks

Laracon was my first ever developer conference, and hopefully it won't be my last. I met a metric ton of awesome people and learned more in two days than I thought was possible. After it was all over, and I was heading back home, I only had two thoughts in my mind:

I want to take what I learned and go build something awesome.

And I want to be up on that stage one day, providing others with the same astounding experience I just had.