Recently I have been working on a new startup idea, specifically a project estimation tool for people working in digital agencies. Given that I had some time on my hands I thought, f*ck it, I’ll see if I can code this bad boy!
Now for some context, I haven’t done any coding before short of playing with bootstrap to hack together some front-end prototypes. Certainly no server-side languages or dealing with databases.

So after a few months, numerous YouTube videos and StackOverflow forums, and even more coffee. I had myself a working Php CRUD application! CRUD being Create, Read, Update & Delete for those new to the coding game like myself. In the early stages of putting the prototype together, I thought “hmm… this could be an interesting web app if it ever became an actual project”. However, as built out more and more features, I found myself worrying about security and scalability and overall future proofing of the application. Things that certainly never entered into my mind at the outset of the project!

After showing various trusted colleagues my prototype, I realised there was a need for this product in the marketplace and I should consider turning it into a business.

So now I was faced with the problem of whether I should continue building out the prototype with more features, gaining further market validation, or should I stop working on the prototype and begin working on the production version. Given that I built the prototype in PHP I was thinking what PHP framework I should consider using? Having co-founded a startup previously, I know how important it is to get your tech correct upfront.
After speaking with my developer friends, I was recommended that I consider Laravel. It had the sophistication and rich feature set you would expect of a modern MVC framework, yet had a lower barrier to entry than Symfony.

Ok done! So where do I start?

After some initial research, I was pleasantly surprised that Laravel has a hugely supportive community and excellent resources. First up, I signed up to and, those two amazing resources had my video tutorials covered. I am a voracious podcast listener, so I then subscribed to The Laravel Podcast and The Laravel News Podcast. This should keep me busy for a while!

I am a big believer that the best way to learn something is to teach someone else. As a result, I will be putting out regular posts on aspects on PHP and Laravel that I found challenging and how I solved the problem. I am not saying I’ll get it right, but ideally, it will be close :). Hopefully will it help others, just like me who are starting out in the space.

Until next time,



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Posted by Liam Holmes