Laracon 2023 - Meeting gods... or people like you and me?

February 7, 2023
Zacharias Creutznacher
Zacharias Creutznacher
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)


From January 26-27, 2023, I was at Laracon 2023 in Lisbon. It was incredible to meet and get to know so many people.

One of the most memorable experiences was meeting all the programming gods in person. All the people and faces I only knew from tutorials, laracasts, online laracons, etc.

When I arrived in Lisbon on the first evening, I learned via a Telegram group that there was a PHP event called PHPLisbon taking place before Laracon. Of course I think to myself, I don't have much planned anyway, so off I go. Arrived at the location, I walk up the stairs. Upstairs I can already hear people talking. I walk through the door and wooops, who is standing there: Laravel Framework developer Taylor Otwell (@taylorotwell) himself. For me as a real fan, of course extremely exciting :D I put my stuff down, grab a small beer, get over myself for a moment and just chat him up directly. Very nice and brilliant guy, talked about the future of Laravel and I told about Laracraft . This was followed by many more conversations with the other talented developers who were also at the event. What a cool start to Laracon!

Me and Taylor Otwell

I know them all

The next morning we started. Off to the Laracon! What a cool location in the LX Factory Lisbon. An old building that from the outside looks like it's about to collapse. In the queue Taylor joins me again, because he is also a bit later than me. He is so relaxed and just waits in the back until the security sees him and waves him through. Now some lectures follow. Some interesting, others less so. But who goes to conferences to listen to lectures? Of course, the contacts and networking are much more exciting! Again and again there is this "wait a minute, I know that guy" moment. It was really exciting to meet a Povilas Korop(Laravel Daily), Philo Hermans (Anystack), Jeffrey Way (Laracast), Freek Van der Herten & Sebastian De Deyne from Spatie, Marcel Pociot (BeyondCode), Christoph Rumpel, Aaron Francis (PlanetScale), Francisco Madeira (Termwind) and then the whole Laravel Core Team, Nuno Maduro, Dries Vints, James Brooks, Joe Dixen! All these people you get to hear from almost every day when you are closer in the Laravel environment. Be it when you make a Laravel pull request, when you find a little video on Youtube, when you use a Laravel package, when you stream an episode on Laracast or just read something from these guys somewhere else. It was really very very exciting and thrilling!

Here are a few snapshots I took during the Laracon:

Eating with some friendly people, on the left curled Philo Hermans and on the right in the middle Povilas Korop

Me and Freek, we all love his and Spatie's packages!

With Sebastian De Deyne and Dries Vints

The Laravel Core Team: Nuno Maduro, Taylor Otwell, Dries Vints, James Brooks, and Joe Dixen.


It was incredibly inspiring to meet so many creative and well-known developers. Meeting all the programming gurus you only know on the screen in person was somehow very interesting. Once you think, wow there is really Taylor or the guys from Spatie in front of you and then you realize that they are just people like you and me and suddenly it doesn't feel so far away anymore and you think, yo I can do that too! D I notice in any case again a proper motivation boost after the Laracon and was glad to be there and to have met so many new people!


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