We’ve always thought that there’s something amazing about the moment that everything just clicks.
We felt it recently when we finished redesigning our offices. We felt it the first time we enjoyed a cup from our slow-drip coffee brewer. We feel it every time our team finishes another exceptional project. But when dealing with the nuts and bolts of what we do, it’s often a feeling that’s missing. As we discussed in last week’s blog about the benefits of Craft CMS, the less time we have to spend making the pieces fit the more we can push the envelope. If developers know which of the tools in their toolset work best together then it saves a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot Stack Overflow searches.
That’s why we’ve been so impressed with how well Laravel & AngularJS work together, here at Big Bite Creative. Not only have we seen huge build benefits and fantastic end results, but they continue to provide those amazing little moments of everything falling right into place throughout our workday. Whilst each certainly has its own tone, with different strengths and benefits, both Laravel & AngularJS make it much easier for everyone to stay on the same page.
Eloquent & expressive
Laravel might be one of the younger, fresher faces within the world of PHP frameworks but it’s seen some amazing growth and could certainly be considered as being mature beyond its years. Laravel’s foundation is solid, with well-tested and reliable code, meaning that we’ve found it to be perfect for large and small builds alike. It looks as if it’ll be well loved for many years to come too, as its increasing popularity is rapidly making it the industry standard amongst professional PHP developers. Our team, and many others, will be happy to tell you how tidy and clean Laravel is, as well as how it’s managed to reduce the timescales on some of our builds down from months to weeks. Even Laravel themselves refer to it as “PHP that doesn’t hurt”. But whilst there’s plenty of discussion about its efficiency, it’s more than that. In fact, it’s surprisingly eloquent.
Developers may have a tendency to remain within their own camps, flying the flag for their preferred framework, but anyone experimenting with Laravel will find a great community and a fluid approach that will get them off to a flying start. The file structure is familiar and the documentation is crystal clear. Even when it comes to deployment, the addition of Forge does an excellent job of making life much easier by building servers for us, guaranteeing stable launches so that our team can focus on what they do best.
As developers we’re encouraged to not reinvent the wheel. That’s where Composer comes in. It makes finding and managing third-party packages remarkably hassle-free. But honestly you might not find yourself using it as often as you thought because Laravel’s true strength is in how expressive it is. Code in Laravel feels much less like a complex systematic language and more like clear directions. Not only does that make it a pleasure to work with but it means that, when working together, our PHP developers can immediately understand each others code without the need for long explanations, resulting in quicker builds and a happier, more harmonious office.
Similarly, AngularJS deserves the praise it gets for being intuitive and straightforward when handling the basics of front-end development, but it’s true value is in how creative and interactive it can be. We may be far beyond Web 2.0 and in the days of ‘Enhanced For Web’, but the simple fact is that today’s browsers are still built on old tech and most users don’t update often enough (that’s right, we’re looking at you). AngularJS essentially makes browsers smart again, creating those silky smooth user interfaces and app-like sites that look to be the bright future of the web. If Laravel is the language in which the argument for your site is made, then AngularJS is what really sells it.
Yet as flash and fashionable as AngularJS is, there’s real substance and incredible ingenuity to be taken advantage of too. Behind the more animated and interactive elements, there’s plenty of features that empower our developers and offer meaningful benefits to each build. Data binding and the flexibility of filters changes the way we build our front-end, allowing us to deliver a fast and flawless user experience. That’s just one example of why our development team is already so impressed with AngularJS, and we’re sure to discover more as we continue to use it on many of our future projects.
On the same page
The real beauty of both Laravel and AngularJS’ benefits and features are most apparent when the two come together and work in tandem. Take our recent collaboration with the talented folk over at Infogr8 for example; our build had to bring to life their design and infographics, in order to transform CIMA’s (that’s the Chartered Institute Of Management Accountants to those of you who let someone else do your books) mountain of raw data into an accessible tool for their site users. That’s a daunting task even with a smaller dataset, but the combination of Laravel and Angular proved to be a perfect match for the project.
With very little development, we took over 100,000 rows of raw numerical data and made it easily sortable and effortlessly analysable. Not only that, but the build also required that the dataset could be updated each year in order to remain accurate and up to date. Thankfully, Laravel’s use of queues means that whilst the site crunches the new numbers in the background, the user will continue to enjoy an uninterrupted and sleek site experience. Taking into account that speed, coupled with AngularJS’ filtering power, we’re sure you’ll agree that the performance is as impressive as the overall aesthetic once you’ve tried out the finished project here.
So what are you waiting for? Try it out yourself and enjoy that amazing feeling where everything just clicks.