It's been a busy few weeks at Jump 24.
What We’re Doing
We are continuing to enjoy development with our current stack choice of Laravel, InertiaJS, React and Typescript. These help us to produce applications that feel like a single page application due to the power of Inertia, simplifying the integration between Laravel and React. We very much have a love/hate relationship with Typescript, but the more we learn, the more we love its strictness and the overall improvement of quality it provides our code.
We have also done a lot of work with AWS and Terraform recently, so that our infrastructure is in code and we can build more scalable applications with the added benefit of docker in production for consistent configuration.
Our resident CakePHP expert, Chris Miller, has been looking into the new approach of testing factories in CakePHP4 and how it aligns with Laravel. Chris may be delving into this more in his upcoming talk at CakeFest in October.
A lot more work has been done behind the scenes for the third instalment of Brum Tech Tapas at the end of this month. It’s taking place on September 29th and two speakers have already been announced. A third will be revealed shortly. The theme, as always, is community and this episode will see Dan Hoff Rodrigues of CX Squared recruitment and John Sewell of Cosimo Art, two leaders of their industry tell us a little about themselves and what they are passionate about including diversity and identity. Follow Brum Tech Tapas on Twitter for updates, or our brand new Instagram account.
What We’ve Learned
Last week we virtually attended Laracon , the event that we’ve all been looking forward to. We have been catching up with all of the fantastic talks since then. Laracon has always been a high quality event, but we feel this year it reached a new level with a diverse range of speakers and topics. There was value there for all of the team, not just those of us who are Laravel developers.
A particular highlight for us was the “Practical Laravel Unit Testing” talk by Colin DeCarlo. As a company that considers test driven development to be a critical part of our development life cycle, we are always looking for new ways and practices to:-
- Improve the quality and readability of our automated testing.
- Improve the coverage of our automated testing.
To ensure we have complete confidence in the code we deliver to our clients.
We felt Colin’s talk really aligned with our philosophy and we really admired his enthusiasm to test as much code as he can at a unit level within Laravel. We can only hope this inspires developers in the wider community to understand how important test driven development is.
The key takeaway from the talk was an API that Colin had created within the test classes to test Laravel Requests at a unit level to ensure the validation within them passed and failed as expected based on the provided input. This code has been made available in a Gist, which we have already made use of in a few projects and we have loved the result. Tests that now cover all validation rules for a single request class that are easy to read and therefore also provide documentation for what the request is actually doing.
Nuno Maduro’s talk on types in Laravel, the changes made in PHPStan and Laravel 9, are incredibly exciting. The use of generics as annotations should help alleviate some of the issues we had when using PHPStorm in regards to code completion. Also, as huge fans of PHPStan (Larastan) and static analysis in general, we look forward to the stronger typing that can now be supported on types such as multidimensional arrays.
Finally, arguably the most valuable addition to Laracon was the new format of lightning talks. Each one lasted around 15 minutes but provided a platform for a diverse range of perspectives and speakers who we may have not had the chance to listen to before. This included excellent talks from Shruti Balasa on Grid Layouts with Tailwind, which I found very educational, not being the most frontend savvy developer. Zuzana Kunckova, founder of Larabelles on Learning in Public which really inspired a few of us to do as the title suggests and also Marje Holström-Sabo’s talk on Inclusive Language Practices and how the choice of your words matter when meeting people.
In Other News
This week’s Mario Kart competition resulted in a very well deserved win by Lee. As a team, we learned that, if you can’t win yourself, just don’t let it be the boss. Unfortunately, Dan came second and therefore still has some bragging rights over most of us.