Laravel. And Docker. 

This is going to be really short, but I wanted to let the community (we do have a community here, right?) know that I have been spending a LOT of time the past couple of weeks working through some technology that I think is pretty cool. One is Docker, a containerization tool useful for establishing and maintaining Web development environments on your local machine without the overhead of a full blown VM. The other is Laravel, a free, open-source PHP Web framework, created by Taylor Otwell and intended for the development of Web applications following the model–view–controller (MVC) architectural pattern. 

I want to write more on each of these at some point. Laravel will probably constitute the main focus at first. I’m using a Laravel feature called Valet for managing my development environments. Valet is even lighter than Docker and has some nice features like a share option that allows you to send someone a secure tunnel link to your site on your local machine. A “down side” is it only works on a Mac. Valet uses the Apache Web server and other infrastructure built into macOS. The Laravel framework currently supports four databases:

  • MySQL
  • Postgres
  • SQLite
  • SQL Server

I’m currently having difficulty with MySQL so I’m sticking with SQLite. Hopefully we can work out those issues here. 😬 

Open Source Project

As a parallel process to my Laravel education, I’ve been working on a school management Web app starting with an MVP of a simple quarterly grade input screen for teachers and a companion report card creation module. I envision/dream of a complete budget “ERP” system for small to medium sized private schools. This could either be installed on premise or subscribed to in a(n) SaaS application, ala QuickBooks Online or Office 365. I think I have decided that this would make a good open source project. The development would (hopefully) go more quickly and quality would (hopefully) be improved. Then besides the commercial implementations that I am planning, anyone could install (and support) the software on their own. 

OK. Maybe not VERY short. But I can still talk a lot more about all of this in future posts. All of this has been keeping me pretty busy lately. But I would rather be busy with PAID work. Something I’ve only had for two months in 2016. Things may be looking up though. I have a technical interview tomorrow (Saturday) for an ABAP contract gig in Mexico City with about 50% travel estimated. That could start remotely as soon as next week if the interview goes well. I also made first contact with a consulting company today (Friday) about another ABAP contract gig just outside of Atlanta. And a friend MAY have an opportunity for me to get my feet wet with some real Web front end development work. 

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. 




From the 1979 Steve Martin classic The Jerk, we get the now outdated quote “The new phone book is here! I’m SOMEBODY!”. Today, phonebook readership is way down, but as DNS servers around the world refresh over the next hours and days, I will be SOMEBODY! is born. It’s not much right now. Just the default WordPress Twenty Sixteen theme and this post. But my hope is that it will become a place for exchange of ideas and mutual learning.

Who is Mark Whitted?

I am a fifty-something year old software developer and IT consultant. (Currently unemployed.) I’ve been programming for over 35 years, the last twenty-plus years as an SAP ABAP consultant. It’s looking like the time may be coming to go in another direction or at least switch gears. Over the past month or so I’ve been researching “Web development”. And I’m finding that to be a wild and sometimes confusing world. I’ve decided that for now I want to focus on WordPress. I’m making my way through Morten Rand-Hendriksen‘s WordPressMaster Class playlist.

What is

I’m currently on HTML Essential Training and at the start of the course, James Williamson recommends blogging about our experience while learning Web development. So here we are. This blog should accomplish at least three goals:

  • Share my knowledge gained as I progress.
  • Gain additional knowledge through the community that I hope to establish.
  • Serve as a “playground” to apply my new skills as we learn.

So please join me as we learn to be new Web developers together. Please share your thoughts in comments. And fell free to spread the word and share on FaceBook and LinkedIn.

Let’s be Somebody together.