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. 

Mark

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