Earlier this week I attended my first “Big” Conference - Laracon EU 2016. I’ve been to other tech conferences before but by comparison Laracon EU was HUGE, there were 650 people in attendance in one of the most incredible venues I’ve seen. I sent pictures back to my friends and home who said that it looked like a club night more than a conference!
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I once read an article on the merits of contributing to open source projects, within it i remember the author saying that the even smallest things can make all the difference. They even went on to say that their first commit was fixing a one character spelling mistake.

Open source software has provided me the tools to make my living as a software engineer over the past 9ish years, over that period I’ve always wanted to contribute back to the community to but for some reason I never actually have. Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right places, perhaps i was looking at the wrong projects when my skills weren’t where they needed who knows. I just knew that eventually I wanted to.

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In preparation for Laracon EU in a couple of weeks i figured I’d need to take a device along with me - paper and pen would probably have been fine but Laracon looks to be huge and i dont want to be unprepared, plus you always see rows of silver lids and glowing apple symbols in the photos from developer conferences!

I do almost all of my work on a Dell Precision 7710 which dual boots Ubuntu for development purposes and Windows for my photo editing. I also have a Surface Pro 4 which i use for note taking and photo editing on the go - I’ll be writing about how I keep all of my photos in sync in a future post!

Neither of the above are Macbooks but whilst the Dell Precision runs Ubuntu and anything else I can throw at it, it is HUGE and not ideal to take well … anywhere! So I figured I’d try and get a development environment set up on my Surface Pro 4 instead.

I’d heard of setups using Homestead / Vagrant / Virtualbox before, but since I was using Ubuntu, I’ve never had any need to explore it any further so this really is a guide for first timer noobs. The official Laravel Homestead guide appears to be geared up mostly for Mac users, Windows users will need a bit more help which is where I’m hoping this post will help.

Anyway by the end of this guide I’ll have a Surface Pro 4 running Laravel Homestead and fingers crossed you’ll have a Windows device doing the same thing too! This has been a really long introduction, lets get to it!

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Talv Bansal

Full Stack Developer, Part Time Photographer

Head of Software Engineering