job interviewer: “Laravel isn’t real PHP, it does all the work for you”

Yeah yesterday I had to argue with a job interviewer that Laravel IS in fact PHP. Then had to argue that it doesn't "just do all the work for you." I was like, as long you understand WHAT its providing for you and you know how to build off it... it is absolutely PHP? What a wild conversation that was.

edited to add: I do not plan to take this job

24 thoughts on “job interviewer: “Laravel isn’t real PHP, it does all the work for you””

  1. So the funny thing is, i 100% agree with the statement of “just knowing jquery does not mean you understand javascript”, which can approximately expand into “jquery isn’t javascript”, and by extension I can see where he’s coming from wrt laravel, though i do not personally agree. I believe his point is trying to be “merely knowing the laravel api does not mean that you are a proficient php developer”, which may or may not be true, i’ve never seen someone with a skillset like that (and have definitely seen jquery folks who don’t understand basic vanilla js).

  2. Nope. Laravel is a swiss key, but you can’t use it for everything. Real life example: I have a webshop platform based on Laravel, but it covers about 20% of code (models, routes, controllers mostly). I have print (CUPS) service, pdf & document generator and so on. Using raw php is a good thing, because you learn oop and language specific stuff, but if you want to build something fast, using a framework is absolutely okay.

    I had a job interview last year where they were using some homemade framework. Spaghetti code as its best and of course low salary . They didn’t want to rely on any framework so they wanted to upgrade their old code. Passed. Still looking for senior dev…

  3. He wasn’t entirely wrong though, but that’s not only related to Laravel or PHP.

    Developers prefer to learn tools around a programming language instead of learning the actual programming language and best practices around it.

    I have tutorials on Laravel on YouTube, you probably have watched some of them (Devlob) and a lot of the questions are questions such as “I am getting undefined variable, how to solve that?”.

    Of course that error has nothing to do with Laravel, but as I said people prefer to use tools without learning the fundamentals first.

    Same thing applies to Javascript. Developers will go and learn jquery, but ask them to do something in vanilla js and they have no idea how to do it.

    Sometimes is good re-inventing the wheel. Maybe you won’t be able to put your reinventing feature in production, but it is good for your knowledge to know how to do things from scratch.

    If you don’t know how to do something from scratch on your own in PHP, then you are not a PHP developer but a Laravel developer, even that one is questionable, because all you do is to learn the Laravel api and use what is ready for you.

    Laravel as far as I know, is maintained by Taylor + 1 guy. Have you ever thought what happens to Laravel if Taylor dies?

    This is one of the reasons why companies choose symfony over Laravel. With projects that are maintained by just 1 person you never know it’s future!

    You might say that someone will take it over. But you don’t know that. Furthermore, Laravel is the way it is because of Taylor. Somebody else has a different view.

    Thus the guy wasn’t entirely wrong. Sometimes Laravel is not PHP in the same way that jquery is not Javascript.

  4. Maybe, just maybe, his statement was deliberately provocative, to see how you would react and how you would argue your case. I’ve been on the receiving end of similar interview techniques and ended up being offered jobs after almost having a full on argument during the interview.

  5. my .02….if you learn laravel and php at the same time, it’s hard to know what is laravel and what is php. (same for any framework in any language, really) So like for example I never saw type hinting in PHP before I looked at laravel. So I thought it was something that the “container” was somehow doing…until I realized it was just plain php….now I have started incorporating it into my plain php… there are lots of those I bet depending on how green you are when you pick it up. in both directions. It’s way worse in javascript where dependencies have dependencies and you don’t even know what is responsible for doing what.

  6. There is no emoji facepalm big enough.

    Laravel is built on PHP
    PHP is built on C
    C compiles to assembly
    Assembly is an abstraction of 0s and 1s

    PHP isn’t real programming, it does all the work for you. Use C. Or Assembly. Or binary.

  7. Ok…sure.

    However, it teaches you best practices as well. If you were to spin up your own framework, how would you handle the architecture? The services? APIs? Would you have controllers? Models? Etc?

  8. Am I the only one agreeing with the job interviewer in some ways?
    If either the interviewer or interviewee brought up “What is a Framework?”… that could have concluded the topic quickly.
    OP, please go for the job, you can have a chat about this at lunchtime one day.

  9. I can sympathise. I’ve seen people that only know how to code laravel and not bare php. Still a weird thing to mention in an interview though.

  10. Laravel is largely a collection of useful and industry standard packages assembled together in a framework. If you use any other PHP framework, there is going to be alot of overlap with these libraries.

    So if they are against Laravel or any framework, because it “does all the work for you” then they are not creating anything close to maintainable, industry standardized, or thoroughly tested, and reinventing every little wheel hundreds of times over.

    I’d be very wary of the position.

  11. Just to add to this, I was #5 to commit to the Laravel project when there were only like 5 people total working on it, because i saw potential of something better than there was before… and one of a few that knew about it somewhen in 2012? I thought/forced our PHP devs to start using it and these days they’re all very glad I forced them. one of our devs wrote the first MongoDB lib to use with Laravel, I helped fix up the Blade engine, and implemented Blitz etc.

    This interviewer saying Laravel isn’t PHP… it very much is PHP, if you don’t know PHP you wouldn’t have a clue what to do with Laravel. For example when interviewing devs I would never ask do you know Laravel because it doesn’t matter, especially at the time when nobody knew what Laravel is. If you know PHP you can utilize Laravel, if you don’t know PHP you can’t use Laravel.

    The guy is wrong, as simple as that. He should also probably not interview candidates.


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