I thought it might be fun to keep an AMA (Ask Me Anything) style blog post on my site. Feel free to ask your questions in the comments, or to tweet them at @daylerees. If I receive questions, I'll update this post.
I'm Dayle Rees. Self-published author, one of the first Laravel users, conference speaker, development educator, lover of pandas, colour scheme engineer and developer at Crowdcube.com. Ask me anything!
What is your favourite colour? - Sianz
This had to come up didn't it! I'm quite a boring guy actually. My favourite colour is Black. It goes with anything. I'm never going back!
Aside from Laravel, what is your favourite PHP Framework - TheMattBrunt
Honestly, I like all of the frameworks. They all serve a purpose, and are tools for creating things. You've asked me to pick a favourite, though. I'd have to say Symfony. There are some components to the framework that haven't just enhanced the framework, but have changed the PHP world entirely. Thanks for the HTTP Foundation Fabpot!
What are the most important things you’ve learnt when writing & publishing your books? - Steviephil
Great question Steve. I've learned a lot from the experience, but I'll keep the answer to two major points. First of all, I've gained confidence as a developer, but learned that I absolutely suck at grammar. My spelling is okay, but I absolutely abuse the comma. I'm probably doing it right now. I'm learning to be better at it, and I'm really hoping it's starting to show in my newer books. Secondly, I've learned that everyone has something to share and teach others. I wasn't very confident when I started writing, and I wasn't sure that I had anything to offer other developers. Now I'm teaching thousands of developers to code. There's always someone with less experience than yourself, and it's your duty to share your knowledge. I also learned that writing is bloody hard work! Thanks for the question!
Why PHP vs. Ruby? NightShade003
Because it's better. But seriously, if I hadn't come across Laravel when I did, I might have been a Ruby developer. I know Ruby, and I've built some stuff with Rails and Sinatra in the past. Both are fantastic frameworks. I'm a fan of design, minimalism and simplicity. The nature of the ruby language makes it the obvious choice, but Laravel was even more appealing. I think these days Laravel, mostly due to it growing as a framework, isn't as plain and simple as it was. That's ok, though; I've grown too.
OK - @jamescjohns, @h00zf1sh, @gavD_UK. Snog, marry or avoid? - Craig 'Codes' Marvelly
Essential question Craig. I think I'd have to snog Jon Morgan because he's irresistable. I'd probably marry James Johns because I spend most of my time with him anyway. That leaves Gavin Davies. I'm gonna have to avoid him, because I'm worried that clever sausage might show me up when it comes to dev skills. What would you choose?
Who is the most handsome and devilishly charismatic designer you know? - Kyee
Honestly, I've never seen one. Every time I try to lay eyes on them I'm blinding by a flash of ego.
What would you like to do if you weren't a developer? Are you thinking about doing something else? Antoine Augusti
If I wasn't a developer, I'd still have to do something creative. I think I'd be an artist or a designer. Maybe a musician? Of course, this is a dream world because I'm terrible at drawing and you never want to hear me play the guitar.
Am I thinking about doing anything else? Interesting question. I do sometimes think about it. Over the past few years I've been exposed to the PHP community, there are some parts of it that I love, and there are some other parts of it that make me want to flip my table and become a potato farmer. I'm not sure if development is good for you in the long run, not when you're not all that sane in the first place. My father is a builder, and is very proud of this work. He's been doing it for longer than I've been alive, and to this day he puts pride into everything he does. He strives for perfection, not to impress his peers, but for fulfilment. While I'd love to be this way, in twenty years time I don't think I'll feel that way about the code that I write.
I've dabbled a bit with management, and found it surprisingly rewarding. I like helping people to make the most out of themselves, and management is a great outlet for that. Maybe in a few years I'll try my hands a CTO-style role again. We'll see. Since I've stolen your identity Antoine, maybe I should be an international man of mystery?
I suppose if I have to chose one, then for server side I chose Express. It's the closest to Rails/Laravel. Client side, I'd have to choose React lately. Although, I had a lot of love for Backbone. In a world where every JS framework was trying to do everything for you, Backbone had the balls to say "do it your way".
Whats the Best laravel book to buy? New to it and wanna learn ideally from paper not a screen. - Eighty9
There are a bunch of great Laravel authors, but I'm honestly not sure which of them have physical books. I'd say keep away from anything by Packt. I'm sure their authors are great, but I think they are a terrible company, and I'd rather not support their efforts. I am planning to release print copies of Code Smart and PHP Pandas, but I'm not sure on an exact date.
Should people bother with formal education or dive right into development to get where they want to be? - Alex Garrett
Great question Alex. I think that, as with most things, it depends on your sithation. If you're in a quiet place, and aren't very good at selling yourself, then you might need a degree on your CV to get that first job. Personally, although I went to Uni, and hold a degree, I didn't really enjoy it. I think that development is a skill that is driven by the love of creating things, and the curiosity of learning to make those things more efficient. If you're good at what you do, you learn fast, you've got a modern company in mind, and you're great at selling yourself, then by all means, skip that degree and start building things. If you choose to bypass formal education, why not learn through Codecourse? :)