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Cache Flow Podcast

E30: Origin story of Laravel and the state of PHP with Taylor Otwell

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This episode, Laravel’s Founder and CEO Taylor Otwell talks about how he created such a successful PHP framework for web developers, the ways AI can be used in Laravel, and the industries that are going to be most affected by AI.

Taylor Otwell is the Founder and CEO of Laravel, an easy-to-use PHP web application framework that helps users create extensible websites and web applications at scale. Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Cache Flow:

  • How to use AI in Laravel.
  • The ways AI is going to affect developers.
  • The activities that AI will productize.
  • How AI will change customer support processes.
  • Why Google isn’t at the forefront of AI technology.
  • How Laravel was created.
  • How to make an open-sourced framework sustainable.
  • How and why PHP frameworks have changed in the last 10 years.
  • The future of Laravel.
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7:01 – “The famous example for AI of how AI can go wrong I think this is a decade-old example but it’s the paper clip example I think a lot of people know it where somewhere in the future there’s all this AI and a paperclip manufacturer or CEO goes to AI and says hey we need to produce and sell more paperclips go figure out how to produce and sell more paperclips and then many permutations in all of a sudden the AI is melting down cars and buildings and now we’ve got more paperclips than we’re ever going to use in humanity.”

10:12 – “It’s just like a really powerful tool to enhance developer productivity using things like GitHub CoPilot or I’ve used ChatGPT to write a regular expression before describing to it the kind of regular expression I want, the kinds of things that should pass the regular expression, the kind of things that shouldn’t pass the regular expression and it spits out something and I verify it and go from there and that’s saved me a lot of time I honestly use it as a much better Google in many ways a very context-aware Google.”

19:23 – “This AI thing people have sort of been is this just 2023’s Web 3, is this just a fad? And I don’t think so I actually think it is a massive boost in productivity in certain areas and I’ve even enjoyed it myself.”

20:24 – “It’s immediately obvious why AI is useful you can show it to someone at your desk and in ten seconds and they’ll be impressed it wasn’t immediately obvious why NFT is useful and it still isn’t immediately obvious so I think there is a big difference between the two.”

26:16 – “I got an email from the userscape saying hey we build helpdesk software at PHP we’re thinking about rewriting some things building new things and I checked out Laravel and it seems really cool I’d like to know if you want to come on board and work on it which is crazy looking back because Laravel is just 6 months old and back then there was a lot of PHP frameworks there was a new PHP framework every few months it felt like, unlike today where things have been stable for years.”

28:17 – “Sustainability and open source is a big topic and it’s rare that opensource products are able to sustain itself in this way so I’m glad we were able to figure out some way to make it work and it’s really been honestly just a crazy adventure building this thing and we’re continuing to build new things, we have new things coming down the pipeline that I plan to release at Laracon this summer our annual conference and just when I think I’m out of ideas for Laravel new ones seem to pop up.”

29:48 – “Laravel was sort of at the right place at the right time in PHP’s history, PHP 5.3 had just released not too long before Laravel came out and with that release came some really key features that made Laravel Laravel one of the big ones was anonymous functions the ability to say route colon git and then pass function to that call as an anonymous callback handler for the route, that wasn’t even possible before PHP 5.3 also namespaces were in PHP 5.3 and a technical feature called late static binding which is really what made something like Eloquent possible, so it was like those features landed and no framework no big framework had really been written to take advantage of those features in an exclusive way and Laravel dropped soon after that and was PHP 5.3 only.”

32:20 – “So many people have come up to me at conferences over the years have been like I was about to give up on PHP or maybe even programming in general but Laravel kept me and reinvigorated my career or even given me a career, I have people come up to me and say I used to be in sales or I used to be in this and now I learned Laravel from Laracast and I have a fulltime job as a programmer so it’s been a really crazy ride and honestly a rewarding experience building the whole thing.”

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Episode Sponsor

This episode is sponsored by Curotec, a software development solutions provider, offering both project-based application development and staff augmentation services. Global top consulting experts in Laravel, Vue.js, and enterprise WordPress development services. Contact Curotec today to discuss your next development project, or to augment your in-house team with top talent. 

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