I’ve had a few people ask recently on the best way of learning Laravel and how to best get started. This is a hard question to answer because everyone has different backgrounds, knowledge, experience, and learning styles. In this post, I wanted to outline what I think is a great way of getting starting if you at least know some php and have possibly worked with another framework like CodeIgniter, Yii, etc.
The very first place I would start is the Laracasts Laravel From Scratch series. It includes 16 lessons to get you up and running with all the basics. I love the quick short screencasts and seeing someone do it all in real time is nice.
If you like more structured learning with videos and a test then checkout Laravel Basics by Treehouse. It’s another great resource for getting the basics down.
Building on this I would buy W. Jason Gilmore’s book: Easy Laravel 5. It is one of the best introductory books available and by combining it with the Laracasts series you will have both written text and videos.
After perusing both, I would start building an app. Nothing fancy, just something that you find interesting. It could be a blog, a todo list, a joke database. It’s really up to you. By jumping in with a simple app you can hopefully make some quick progress and everything will slowly start to come into place. For me personally I prefer not to follow a tutorial at this point. That way it will force you to think about all the parts instead of just following someone else.
I think the three main areas of focus on this app should be routes/controllers, templating with blade, form validation, and eloquent. To me these are the very basic building blocks and it will touch on other features in the process. But once you master those, moving on will seem easier. I would like to note if you are not familiar with ORM’s, then you will spend most of your time with eloquent, but this will be a huge payoff later on.
If you get stuck on anything refer back to those first two resources, visit the documentation, How Do I – Laracast Series, or visit #laravel on IRC. It’s a great community. From here out, you will have the basics down and can then start exploring all the areas your app might need. Items like pagination, requests, sessions, etc. Basically keep building on your knowledge and keep improving.
Share your thoughts. Did I miss a learning resource that helped you to get started? Or do you have a better method for those new to the framework?