The Blog

Code, design & inspiration.

Now that the new college and university season is about the kick off, I'll be training guys and girls who are just getting started with web design and development. I've been teaching for ten years now and have seen most hurdles anyone has to overcome when learning to program and design apps and sites.  I'll ask my students to send in any questions they have about web development, freelancing, getting clients, learning, programming. Each week I'll try to pick out one question that's either interesting to many of my students or that's interesting in its own way.  So go nuts, Ask Me Anything! Not following any of my classes or workshops? That's ok too, send me your questions using the contact form .

Here's the small code snippet needed to quickly log the SQL output for your last executed Eloqent query in Laravel 5. I've had to look this up so many times, that I decided to just post it here for my own convenience. If you forget to enable the query log, you'll notice that it will be empty all the time. \DB::connection()->enableQueryLog(); $query = \DB::getQueryLog(); $lastQuery = end($query);

As web and app designers, we've all been in a situation where we're looking for the most perfect pictures to go with our beloved fonts and color palettes, only to realise later that our users are messing up our designs with overexposed profile pictures and less than average sunset pictures. Just like me, you've probably avoided typing in long and obscure (but realistic) family names that don't really fit that rectangle you just drew in Sketch or Illustrator. Entering a short name that fits and looks perfectly is so much more attractive because it'll make your art boards shine on your iMac. If you want to avoid surprises when launching your app, it's best to design with real and authentic data from the get to. Sketch makes this dead-easy. I'll try to list the plugins I've used over time th…

Beekeeping, there's an app for that!

Jun 26, 2015 · 2 min read

On slowing down It's been a while since I wrote a blog post and one of the reasons is that I'm living a bit slower than before. My job as a web development lecturer has become quite hectic over the last few years and I needed to take a break from client work to manage it all. I remember writing about how life is really moving fast and about things you can do to slow down earlier on this blog. That post is already three years old and man, does time fly. Slowing down as a web developer is something of a contradiction with all the new frameworks and tools being released at the blink of an eye. In an effort to balance my day job with something a bit more slow moving, I decided to pick up a beekeeping course. One of my friends has been a beekeeper for the past five years and I was …

Recently I released a small app called "Stempeltje" that gives store and restaurant owners an easy way to give their clients a digital loyalty card. That way, customers can save up points and exchange those points for free (you know, buy 10 coffees, get one free). As always, building the app started as just a simple idea but ended up taking up way more time and effort than initially estimated. In this post I'd just like to share some tips and tools that I used to get the app out there. I hope some of these links are useful to you. If you have some other tools I should get to know, let me know in the comments! sketch + sketch mirror First, I started drawing out the screens, a logo and the general look and feel of the application. I used to be an avid Photoshop user but since…

Just the other day I needed a quick seeder to populate a table in my Laravel project with Belgian postal codes. A quick search gave me all the data in XLS or XML format that would have been easy to import into MySQL, but I really wanted the data to be seeded through Laravel instead. That way, it's much easier to push the seeder to git and migrate all tables on a server or other machine in the future. I thought it could be useful to other developers in Belgium as well, so here you go, a simple Laravel seeder for Belgian postal/zip codes, together with the city name and province it belongs to. 1 - Get the code on Github https://github.com/iamgoodbytes/laravel-seeder-belgian-cities 2 - Run artisan Run artisan migrate:refresh --seed to re-run all your migrations a…

CentOS 7 is out and if you're like me, you've probably been working on yet another side project you want to bring online. In this short article I'm just writing down some gotchas I ran into when installing and configuring CentOS7 after having working with version 6 for some years. Installing CentOS 7 via netinstall I'm a fan of using the netinstall, which downloads the latest version of CentOS for you. All you need to do is download the netinstall ISO, hook it up to your Virtual Box drive and boot into the installer. If you are just looking for the netinstall iso , click here to download the ISO from a Belgian mirror. I'm sticking to this fine Belgian mirror for the installation source as well: http://mirror.myip.be/pub/centos/7/os/x86_64/ Installing a LAMP-stack …

What's the first thing you think about when I tell you I'm a teacher? Did any of these things just cross your mind: "vacation", "more vacation", "big pension" or "20-hour workweek"? I hate to disappoint you, the stereotype doesn't apply to web development teachers. At least not to the ones who care. I teach students in college HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP & MySQL, Node.js, Linux and all things related to those fields. In my opinion, anyone who teaches HTML should also know a lot about SEO and accessibility and share that knowledge with their students. When you teach CSS, you should have a lot of hands-on experience with tackling older browsers, but also with the latest developments in CSS-land. Otherwise, you're just playing. In this article I hope to describe what the current pro…

Note: this is a quick and dirty write-up, I'll check this article for spelling errors and the like when I have more time. A project I'm currently working on has some non-standard requirements (which project doesn't right). A Drupal 7 website exists and we'd like to re-use the existing and future users that will be managed in the Drupal installation. These users should be able to easily login to our Laravel application. Since you arrived on this blog post, you are probably looking at a similar situation yourself. The official documentation on extending authentication in Laravel can be rather vague so I hope this helps shed some light on how you can write a custom authentication provider yourself. I consider myself a Laravel beginner so this might not be the most elegant soluti…

The best web / mobile developers I know (let's just call them developers from now on) are those who are passionate about their work. They will go above and beyond to deliver the best work possible. Contrary to what many recruiters or managers may believe, these people are not primarily driven by money. Sure, everybody wants to get a fair salary, but the best people in the industry will be driven by other factors than a big fat pay check. If you want to drive away great talent at your company, whether it's in a startup, a multinational corporation or even a school where web dev's like myself educate the next generation, you're probably failing in one or more of the following five ways. [The list below is the result of talking to my ex-students, colleagues in the industry and from refl…