Complete Guide To Hire Laravel Programmers With The Right Skill Set

PHP development is trending hot now and is a favourable option for developers all around the world to create great websites and web applications for large and small-scale projects. Amidst a vast number of PHP frameworks, Laravel has set up the real standard of web applications creation. It is the best choice to the developers when it is about developing everything right from the scratch. This makes Laravel developers versatile ones who are capable of building distinct and functional web applications and spark up some life in them.

Laravel development requires immense patience and dexterity because like any other PHP framework it is difficult to tame and places great responsibilities on the programmers to assure stability and efficient performance of web applications. Thus, first, take a look at some of the desired skills or qualities that Laravel programmers must have.

In-depth experience: Developers should have gathered enough years of experience, or have handled a vast number of projects on the framework, to give you a surety that your unique web application project will not be a challenging or a backbreaking job for them.

Advanced coding skill: It’s always desirable to have a programmer with inherent coding abilities in PHP and greater knowledge of other front-end technologies such as JavaScript, CSS, HTML.

Updated with the latest Laravel version: One need to make sure that the Laravel developers they hire are up-to-date on the last version release of the framework and its best practices.

Wider understanding: Besides having working knowledge and proficiency on MySQL database, your programmer needs to have profound understanding of object-oriented programming and basic designing principles for scalable web apps. Further, developers with enough know-how on code versioning tools like Git and those capable of dealing with the PHP and web server exploits with great solutions are always preferred.

Committed to words: Apart from technical skills, business owners need to affirm that the programmers that they are relying on are efficient enough to deliver projects within the decided time-frame. They should truly commit to the costs and time frames that they estimate while taking the project.

Comfortable with business communication: The team of Laravel programmers hired must acknowledge the project ideas, its specific needs and concerns. They are the one communicating with their business clients at every stage of the development and hence should be comfortable with it.

If the Laravel programmer that you are partnering with for your valuable project is deficient in the above skill sets, it is wiser to run away to avoid making wrongful investments.

However, what if the programmer you’re picking turned incapable of handling your web application project later on? To avoid any chances of your idea to fail dismally because of an unskilled programmer, businesses definitely need discussions about the following beforehand with their prospective developer.

  • Specific project needs: Not only the precise project requirements are enough to mention to the developers but also discovering how they can be met is essential.
  • Purpose and functionality: Businesses need to talk it out clearly with developers about the purpose of the web project and what functionality they wish to have for that in the application.
  • Testing processes: Companies while hiring the developer must affirm about the testing processes and how will they implement them.
  • Delivery time and costs: Needless to say, businesses should seal the total costs with exact estimation and speculation of the time-frame for delivery at the earliest while discussing with the developer.
  • Warranties: To assure that problems encountered in the application after its development are easily addressed and resolved, businesses should ask for warranties of the work from the developer.

Thus, to pick a suitable Laravel programmer, businesses apparently need to go beyond their usual quest of some common answers and instead dig deeper with research to assure that they choose the right one with proficiency and innate skills.

Important Performance Optimization Tips For Laravel Developers

The usage statistics posted on various website suggest that many web developers prefer Laravel to other PHP frameworks. The expressive syntax of Laravel makes it easier for developers to write custom web applications rapidly. Also, the framework accelerates custom web application development by simplifying common web development tasks like session management, routing, authentication, file system management and unit testing. The Laravel developers can further curtail web development by availing object oriented libraries, command-line interface, template engine, ORM system, and queuing services.

Laravel also has been evolving consistently to meet the emerging web development trends. For instance, Laravel 5 comes with a redesigned directory structure, simplifies method injection and route caching, and supports multiple file systems natively. But the built-in features make Laravel slower than other PHP frameworks. Many developers even opt for Lumen – the lightweight version of Laravel – to make website work fasters. The smarter Laravel programmers even optimize the performance of web applications by implementing a number of best practices and tips.

7 Hacks to Improve the Performance and Speed of Laravel Applications

1) Switch from Lazy Loading to Eager Loading

The Eloquent object relational mapper (ORM) makes it easier for Laravel developers to work with multiple database; perform create, retrieve, update, and delete (CRUD) operations; and map object models to database tables. But Eloquent ORM performs the database operations based on laze loading approach. It does not retrieve data till they are not referenced in the code explicitly.

The lazy loading approach affects the performance of the website adversely by executing additional queries. The Laravel developers can easily speed up the website by switching from laze loading to eager loading. The eager loading approach retrieves data along with related object models when the query is being executed initially. Hence, the web application can deliver data to the client faster without executing additional queries.

2) Compress Response Data

While working with API-based frameworks, developers improve website’s loading speed by compressing response data. The Laravel developers can easily speed up the web application by compressing response data. They can take advantage of Eloquent ORM to retrieve the data to be displayed to an end user through a single query. But the additional data will affect the website’s speed and increase bandwidth consumption.

The programmers can easily speed up the Laravel application by compressing the retrieved data through view models. The view models will create multiple subsets of the data models, and send the data element to the displayed to the user. Laravel even allows developers to compress response data and convert object model data by using robust libraries like Fractal. The programmers can use Fractal to provide a presentation and transformation layer to the retrieved data.

3) Use a JIT Compiler for Laravel

Often web developers use PHP compilers to compile the PHP scripts into native machine code. The machine native code runs seamlessly on a computer without requiring a PHP interpreter. The smarter web developers use just-in-time (JIT) compilers to speed up the web application by compiling the PHP scripts once. Many programmers even compile PHP code through third-party JIT compilers instead of Zend Engine.

The Laravel developers can easily speed up the web applications by using an open source virtual machine like HHVM. HHVM uses a JIT compiler to execute programs written in PHP quickly and improve the performance of the web application significantly. However, HHVM currently supports major features of PHP 7. The developers can use HHVM to speed up the Laravel application without putting extra time and effort.

4) Run Artisan Optimization Commands

Laravel 5 enables programmers to improve the speed and performance of applications by running a set of commands. The developers can easily speed up the Laravel application by running commands for optimizing storage path, compile commonly used classes into a single file, combining all configurations into a single file, creating a route cache file, and compiling view files. The optimization commands further help programmers to perform a number of routine web development tasks.

5) Precompile Website Assets

In a development environment, programmers simplify website maintenance by storing website assets in different files. The additional files often affect the website’s loading speed adversely. The Laravel developers can easily speed up the website by store assets in lesser number of files while deploying the application. Laravel enables developers to precompile website assets efficiently through the artisan command line tools.

The programmers can run specific artisan commands to compile frequently used classes into a single file, and combine configuration files and routes into single files. The compilation and combination will help programmers to make the website load faster. However, the effectiveness of the speed optimization technique may differ from one website to another.

6) Explore Ways to Implement Caching

The Laravel developers can easily speed up the web application by caching configuration and routes. They can even run artisan commands to cache the configuration and refresh the configuration when changes are made. Likewise, they can run artisan command to move routes to the application’s controller, cache the routes, and refresh the route caches. At the same time, the developers can also consider using a robust tool like Redis as a cache and session driver.

7) Remove Unnecessary Plugins and Unused Services

While using Laravel, programmers use plugins to add functionalities to the web application without writing additional code. But the pug-ins often makes the web application load additional libraries and files. The developers can easily improve the Laravel application’s performance by removing the unnecessary plug-ins and trimming the necessary plug-ins.

They can easily identify the providers loaded with the web application by referring to the config/app.php file. Likewise, they can run artisan commands to trim the unnecessary files and use composer to reduce dependencies while loading the application. The developers can even disable unused services in the config/app.php file to make the website load faster without affecting its functionality.

Laravel 5.5: What’s New?

Despite being an open source PHP framework, Laravel has been evolving consistently to meet the emerging trends in web application development. The latest long term support (LTS) version of Laravel was released officially in August. Laravel 5.5 enables developers to accelerate web application development by leveraging PHP 7.

At the same time, it comes with several new features, enhancements, and bug fixes to simplify custom web application development. The developers can automate the process of migrating from Laravel 5.4 to Laravel 5.5 by using third-party tools like Laravel 5.5 Shift. But it is also important for PHP programmers to understand the new features and changes in Laravel 5.5.

Overview of New Features and Changes in Laravel 5.5

Automatic Package Discovery

While working with earlier version of Laravel, developers have to put extra effort to add service providers to the app configuration file and register the relevant facades. But Laravel 5.5 has the capability to detect the service providers and facades automatically. It further registers the service providers and facades without requiring any manual intervention.

Resource Classes

While working with Laravel 5.5, programmers can use resource classes to accelerate API development. They are no longer required to use an additional transformation layer between the Eloquent models and JSON requests. The resource classes make it easier for programmers to convert the models and model collections into JSON without using any transformation layer.

Automatic Registration of Console Commands

Earlier version of Laravel require programmer to list the custom commands manually to the console kernel through its $commands property. Laravel 5.5 enables developers to register custom commands more efficiently by calling the new load method from the kernel’s commands. Once the load method is invoked, it will scan a specific directory for console commands and register the console commands found in the directory automatically.

New Frontend Preset Options

The latest version of Laravel supports basic Vue scaffolding. But it allows developers to avail a number of new frontend preset options. The developers can run preset commands to switch from Vue scaffolding to React scaffolding. Likewise, they can use the none preset to remote JavaScript and CSS scaffolding for the web application. However, the developer can take advantage of these frontend preset options only in fresh Laravel applications.

Validation Rule Objects

Laravel 5.5 allows developers to add custom validation rules to a web application more efficiently using validation rule objects. A developer can create new validation rules in the app/Rules directory simply by running a new Artisan command. But each object rule can have only two methods -passes and messages. The passes method receives the name and value of attribute, whereas the messages method returns the validation error message.

Time Based Job Attempts

Laravel allows developers to set the number of times a job or task needs to be attempted before failing. Laravel 5.5 enables developers to add a timeframe to the number of job attempts. A developer now has option to set time for abortion of job attempts. Hence, a job can be attempted within a specific amount of time.

Renderable Mailables

The earlier versions of Laravel do not provide any features to simplify email layout testing. Hence, developers have to rely on third-party tools like Mailtrap to evaluate email layouts. Laravel 5.5 makes it easier for users to test email layouts by rendering emails directly to the browser. It even returns mailables directly from routes.

On-Demand Notifications

While using Laravel 5.5, the Laravel developers have option to make the application send notifications to individuals who are not stored as users. They can invoke the new Notification::route method to send on-demand notifications to individuals by specifying custom ad-hoc notification routing information.

Consistent Exception Handling

While working with earlier versions of Laravel, developers have to customize format of JSON validation error responses according to specific locations in the PHP framework. Laravel 5.5 enables developers to keep validation exception handling consistent and avoid customization. The developers can even control the JSON validation error message formatting with a single method.

Renderable and Reportable Exceptions

In addition to keeping exception handling consistent, Laravel 5.5 allows developers to define a render method directly on exceptions. Hence, the developers can include the custom response rendering logic in the exceptions without putting conditional logic in the event handler. They even have option to customize the reporting logic for each exception.

Cache Lock

Laravel 5.5 comes with improved Redis and Memcached cache drivers with the capability to obtain and release atomic locks. The developers can take advantage of these improved cache drivers to obtain arbitrary locks by invoking a simple method. They can use the simple method to obtain a lock which prevents multiple processes to attempt the same task before the application performs a specific task.

New Routing Methods

The updated version of Laravel makes it easier for developers to define routes by providing several new methods. The developers can use the Route::redirect to easily define a route that redirects to a different URI. Likewise, the Route::view method makes it easier for programmers to define a route which a view. The programmers can further avoid defining a full route by using the shortcuts provided by these methods.

New Database Configuration Option

Laravel 5.5 enables developers to avail a new database configuration option called sticky while configuring read/write database connections. As an optional value, sticky facilitates immediate reading of records written to the database during the current request cycle. It further allows developers to combine read operations and write connection if write operations are performed against the database during the same request cycle.