The Laracon web developer conference, started by the creators of the php framework Laravel, encourages web application development and innovation. Laracon draws developers from across the U.S. to one location and connects them with industry leaders and experts for discussion, problem solving, and networking.

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The third annual Laracon conference set up camp in Louisville. No, no, not Louisville CO, but the next best thing, Louisville KY. The Kentucky Center in Downtown Louisville hosted the two-day conference and housed 460 developer fanatics, twice as many as the 2014 conference. Among those fanatics VOLTAGE’s own COO Steven Cook and a lead developer, Troy Carpenter, joined the fray. They enjoyed the full-conference experience, listening to speakers,  meeting new people, and even sampling the cuisine at the nearby Louisville Hard Rock Cafe.

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Conference highlights included speaker Taylor Otwell, creator of the Laravel framework, Steven and Troy said. During his speech Otwell announced the release of the new SAAS foundation “Laravel Spark.” When downloaded, Laravel Spark will include authentication, billing, a bootstrapped front-end and dashboard, billing management, teams, and more. Larevel Spark will be released next month at the cost of $0.00. That’s right,  free! If there’s one thing that excites developers, it’s free code.

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Along with that big announcement, speaker Yitzchok Willroth ignited the conference. A software engineer and a faithful Jewish rabbi, he unites his passion for software engineering with his faith for an insightful opinion on how to truly excel as a developer. His advice? Reach outside yourself. Willroth implored developers to find three things: a mentor, an apprentice, and a group of peers. He argued that when you surround yourself with a community of people, your learning rate increases exponentially faster than trying to excel on your own.

Laracon introduced Steve and Troy to peers, mentors from all different backgrounds, and new ways to develop their craft keeping them on the cutting edge of Laravel development. VOLTAGE hopes to attend the Laracon conference in the coming years for continued connection and growth.