Hello Friends 👋🏻
Welcome to the second edition of the Segfault newsletter.
First of all, I want to genuinely thank you all who read the first edition. Some of you have also replied in email and some reached out through Twitter — this meant the world to me and I was so happy that I could at least benefit some people in a small way.
In the process of writing this newsletter and also while trying to be more engaged on Twitter, I got introduced to many new skills. I didn’t know some of these can be considered a skill due to my lack of understanding/exposure. When approaching a new skill, I try to keep a “beginner’s mind” — this helps me ground myself and motivates me to do the initial grinding that’s necessary to build the skill.
This “beginner’s mind” mindset is to have an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying, even at an advanced level, just as a beginner would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts, but it applies pretty smoothly within our technological space. More so because we are exposed to new things to learn every other day and only through practice we can keep ourselves relevant in the world around us.
Leo Babauta from ZenHabits has written a good, short primer on the concept — I’d encourage you to read it: Approaching Life with Beginner’s Mind.
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👓 Recommended Readings
I read a few great articles over the week, so here are my top 3 picks for you.
Building a Calendar with Carbon – in this detailed article by Tighten, author Nathan Morgan demonstrated how to build a custom calendar within a Laravel application. I liked the way he used
Carbonfor preventing accidental date changes. Also, the use of Blade Components shows how to keep things manageable.
Configuring Laravel Pint – when it first came out, I immediately tried Laravel Pint and loved its simplicity. In this short article, Steve McDougall shows how to add some more rules on top of the default laravel standard to ensure best practices in your code base. He has also shared his full
pint.jsonfile to take inspiration from.
Sometimes they say yes – this is a real inspirational story from Aaron Francis that resonated very well with me. He shared how he believed in himself, let go of his limiting fears, and took the necessary risks to move ahead with his dreams. There is a lot to learn from him and I have taken notes.
If you have come across a great write-up and want me to share it with others, feel free to reply to this and/or write in a comment.
📦 Great PHP Packages
A couple of notable packages I’ve come across that I’ve bookmarked myself and would recommend to others.
Laravel Markable — this package allows you to easily add the markable feature to your application, for example likes, bookmarks, favorites, and anything custom. I have used this in the Laravel Courses site to allow users to “Like” or “Recommend” courses/books.
Enlightn — think of this package as your performance and security consultant. It will "review" your code and server configurations, and give you actionable recommendations on improving performance, security, and reliability! There are free and paid options but I’ve found the free one to be pretty good to start with.
OpenSpout — OpenSpout is a community-driven fork of, a PHP library to read and write spreadsheet files (CSV, XLSX, and ODS), in a fast and scalable way. Unlike other file readers or writers, it is capable of processing very large files, while keeping the memory usage really low (less than 3MB).
Here is one tweet I remembered and then dug up to share with you:
My key takeaways from it:
Simon has essentially debunked the myth that you need to be an “expert” to be successful. He learned all the necessary skills himself and through the process, became a generalist. This essentially helped him try different things and in the end, some of those became successful.
This reminds me of the issue that is faced by young people all the time — they think they’ll need a degree or do a Bootcamp or know certain people to be successful. Whereas in reality, these can be helpful but they cannot replace the need of doing hard work and trying things.
In one of the replies below the tweet, someone mentioned that Simon must be very disciplined to achieve this and he agrees with that point. I would emphasize that too but another trait I think is also immensely important and that is “Grit”. When combined, these two can be your superpowers. And the good news is, you can learn how to master them.
That’s all for this week. Feel free to hit that reply button if you have a question or if you would like to open a discussion.
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– Mohammad Emran
PS. If you enjoyed my writing above or found the resources I shared helpful, it would be of great help if you let your friends know about this newsletter by sharing it 🤜 🤛
I used to be scared of asking questions out of fear of looking stupid. Developing a beginner's mindset helped me realize there's no better time to look stupid than at the beginning. And it's helped me and others grow in our careers. The beginner's mindset's underrated.