Tell me a bit about your career history
I started working as a web developer 7 years ago after I graduated with a Masters degree in Computer Engineering. I worked for a small laboratory where I did everything from handling the Website architecture, development, deployments, maintenance and to processing images from the lab using Laravel. I started using Laravel at this company and eventually progressed to a career at Cyber-Duck.
What excited you about getting into software development?
Originally, I took a course in Arts in high school and did not pursue science or computing. Whilst I was intrigued by digital, at the time I was more interested in architecture and design. Eventually my fascination with digital and information intrigued me. I then decided to pursue software development as a career to see how I can build complex software with simple instructions. What really motivated me was seeing how I can get people the right data and information in the fastest and most intuitive way possible.
A friend suggested Laravel to me. I used PHP before using the Smarty Template Engine but was not overly impressed. I then tried Ruby on Rails and Java Enterprise and the MVC (models, views and controllers) structure really clicked for me. What drew me to Laravel was its simplicity and power. The documentation was simple and expertly written. The Laravel community has much more engagement and contribution and is comparable to the Drupal community which is equally vibrant and thriving. Laravel also has lots of free packages available which is highly appealing to software developers which allow you to kickstart your projects quickly.
Why did you choose to work at Cyber-Duck?
The main reason I chose Cyber-Duck was because they were using Laravel as well. I wanted to work in a bigger Laravel team where I could pair with other people, learn from and grow. One of the other reasons was remote work, as I wanted to live in Portugal. Cyber-Duck has always supported me working remotely, even way before COVID hit. The communication and the processes have improved a lot recently and is even easier to work remotely now.
What is agency life like compared to other places you worked for?
It is a much more distinct experience at an agency. I have the opportunity to work on multiple distinct projects, and get to learn a lot about different areas, ranging from nursing or banking, to policing, automotive and travel. I also get to jump from project to project instead of working on a single project for a longer period if I wish to.
Please give your top 5 tips to those wanting to become Laravel developers
- Firstly ensure you are a passionate learner – Laracasts (https://laracasts.com) is a great tool with free resources for both novices and experts especially if you are a visual learner. It is always good to check the documentation when you are learning and coding - I always check the official Laravel documentation. It is very clear and well organised.
- Check open source projects - Whether you are a beginner or a pro, check out Github and look into Laravel projects to see how they are coded. Follow the documentation, create your first Laravel project and get your hands dirty!
- Pair programming - Pair programming really helps me to get other developer perspectives, gives you ideas on how to approach a problem based on peer ideation, makes it faster to solve problems and easier to conduct code reviews.
- The importance of robust design - I work with a great team that understands UX so we develop much better UIs that are more accessible. This is really important to me as I want to build inclusive digital products.
- Broaden your interdisciplinary horizons - I also have the privilege of learning from multi-disciplinary team members spanning from Marketing, Project Management, Creative and SEO.
If you were not a software developer what would you be and why?
One thing I always wanted to be is a Designer or an architect. Making models however wasn't for me. I think that today image and video creation is really interesting!
How do you unwind after work?
I love going for walks with my dog and playing the drums. If I really want to unwind I unleash some punches into my boxing bag to get some great cardio results. And to top all of this off, I love surfing. When I want to switch off I hit the couch and play games like Monster Hunter. I simply love beating up giant monsters to craft weapons to beat even bigger monsters! I am recently really into the Steam Deck Console which besides playing games can also double-up as a Linux laptop!
Join João and Cyber-Duck’s Laravel team
Due to massive growth within the Laravel team at Cyber-Duck in 2022 and 2023, we’re hiring ambitious web developers for a number of key roles to work with clients like Bosch, Eurofighter Typhoon and The Royal College of Anaesthetists. If you are a PHP Developer and want to learn Laravel, we can also offer you an opportunity!