Laravel is the most popular PHP framework at the moment, and it has been so for the past few years. All the Laravel benefits are one of the reasons for it, no doubt. Little wonder its developers are in high demand. However, that does not mean that every developer you encounter is the right person for your job. In fact, if you want to hire Laravel developers the interview stage is more than necessary. The Laravel interview questions and answers in this article would help you determine the expertise of the developer, their fit for the job, as well as their weaknesses.
What Do You Need to Know Before Hiring a Laravel Developer?
Two people might write different codes that perform the exact same function. Yet, the best one of both of them would be the one whose code is best optimized. However, it is not just the code that matters. Other important factors to consider include experience, as well as how the person fits into your organization’s culture. This section contains certain factors you must consider and answers to expect as you prepare your Laravel interview questions.
Laravel is a framework for PHP and so during questioning, developer applicants must demonstrate a good understanding of PHP is important to ensuring productivity and attaining expertise in it. You can only uncover this through the right PHP Laravel developer interview questions.
Even though this framework uses the same MVC architecture as Ruby on Rails and React JS, functions are still written and executed in PHP. More so, Laravel is not the same as CMS’s such as Drupal, Joomla or WordPress, all of which do not require any knowledge of a programming language. In essence, Laravel is PHP and PHP is Laravel. Therefore, as you quiz a developer on their handling of the Laravel framework, ensure that their answers demonstrate an efficient understanding of PHP as well.
You can always identify a dedicated developer through Laravel job interview questions about how updated their knowledge of the framework is. No matter the level of the developer’s expertise, during the interview stage ask them questions concerning the latest developments in the Laravel world.
The extent of their knowledge reveals if the application is a priority for them. Up-to-date knowledge is very important because of how frequently it updates. What a programmer knows today about a particular function may become obsolete tomorrow. PHP Laravel framework interview questions should focus on updated knowledge in both the PHP language and the Laravel framework.
Portfolio and Experience
Beyond certifications and interviews, what really proves that a developer (or any programmer at all) is as good as they claim is their portfolio of past projects. Though this information would normally be on the resume. The discussion should still feature in your laravel job interview questions. In fact, industry experience is an important factor when examining a PHP Laravel framework developer’s portfolio before asking questions at the proper job interview.
Though, there are two ways to do this. Niche developers are scarcer but if you find one that matches your field, they usually have a more in-depth understanding of the industry than multi-niche programmers. Multi-niche developers rather bring flexibility and some useful extra perspective. In the end, the programmers you hire would be those that fit your needs best, but you must also ask the right Laravel job interview questions.
Laravel interview questions and answers often focus on technical expertise. However, this is different. Here, the focus is on the soft skills of the programmer. For one, no developer works in isolation, even on development-only activities. You want to hire someone who is a team player and is apt to learn from others. You may also reach out to the developer’s previous employers and references to learn about their work practices. If you are outstaffing a project, reaching out to the previous clients of the company achieves the same purpose.
As against hiring programmers one after the other in order to put a team together, you may also consider the route of staff augmentation through outstaffing. The best developers may not be readily available in your location, not to mention the costs of hiring and onboarding new employees. Instead, a startup may optimize Laravel cost by hiring a development company. Augmenting your development workforce with outstaffed workers gives you access to cost-effective, flexible, and on-demand labor as well as equipment to make your project succeed.
Of course, whether you are building a team from scratch or hiring a ready-made team, questions while interviewing a programmer for the Laravel job are highly significant. The following questions would enable you to make sense of the skills of the candidate(s). The questions are grouped based on the level of expertise to ensure that you focus on the right factors, irrespective of which level the candidate is. The questions are also included with answers, to give a clue as to what you should expect during the Laravel developer interview for the job.
The next sections detail some Laravel interview questions and answers that give you some direction while conducting your own interview for your Laravel framework developers. Laravel framework job interviews for hiring PHP developers need not be a complicated process; depending on the programmer’s experience, the questions and expected answers may tilt towards the theoretical or the practical.
PHP Laravel Framework Interview Questions for Beginner Developers
Laravel framework interview questions at this stage should focus on the theoretical basics. Developers at this stage may not be required to participate in any of the heavy lifting. They are usually employed as interns and understudies to senior programmers. Therefore, the Laravel developer interview questions aimed at beginners should cover simple concepts that show that they are familiar with the Laravel framework.
What is Laravel?
The simplest question at a Laravel job interview. It is inevitable for beginners. Put simply, Laravel is a web development framework for PHP. It is free and open-source. The official website describes it as ‘the PHP framework for web artisans’. It uses the model-view-controller (MVC) architecture, just like similar frameworks like Symfony and CodeIgniter.
This framework prides itself on its elegant syntax, which together with impressive functionalities built-in, make backend web development much easier. Some features provided include testability, configuration management, eloquent object-relational-mapping, etc. The philosophy is to “make the development process a pleasing one for the developer without sacrificing application functionality.”
Is Laravel better than other PHP frameworks? How?
As apparent in the Google Trends screenshot below, Laravel is by far the most popular PHP framework. In only three years since it was introduced in 2011, it gained the highest number of Google searches among its peers. It has since grown tremendously. Why do PHP developers prefer this framework over others like CodeIgniter, Symfony, CakePHP, Yii, and other PHP frameworks?
- Learning curve: Laravel is accessible. Also, it has a short learning curve, especially for a programmer who already has satisfactory knowledge of PHP. After all, that is the language upon which it is based.
- Fast Time-to-Market: it supports the idea that happy developers make the best code. Its ease of use helps developers to build apps faster and with less code.
- Security Integration: it features functionalities to protect websites against common cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Its in-built security features include authentication, authorization, encryption, hashing, etc.
- MVC architecture: its MVC architectural pattern ensures easier maintenance and has better documentation and support.
- Artisan CLI: its Artisan Command Line Interface enables developers to handle repetitive and tedious tasks as well as facilitate more efficient database management and data migration.
What are the most important official packages provided by Laravel?
What are the most important latest features of Laravel Framework?
Laravel releases major updates every six months, in March and in September. The latest version is 8. It was released on September 11, 2020.
Some of its new features include improvements to:
- Route caching
- Models directory
- Migration squashing
- Model factory classes
- Job batching
- Rate limiting
- Maintenance mode
- Event listener, etc.
What is Composer? How can you install Laravel via composer?
Simply, Composer is a dependency management tool used in PHP. It helps to keep your code organized and efficient. It is likewise used to install features and requirements relating to frameworks on a per-project basis. The idea behind Composer is similar to Node.js Package Manager and Ruby’s Bundler. In essence, Laravel requires Composer to function properly. To use Composer to install Laravel, a developer employs the create-project command.
What is PHP artisan?
PHP Artisan (or simply, Artisan) is Laravel’s Command Line Interface. The list command displays all the available Artisan commands. Besides the built-in default commands, users can likewise generate custom commands themselves.
PHP Laravel Framework Interview Questions for Intermediate Developers (2-4 Years of Experience)
Laravel developer interview questions for mid-level developers should be directed uncovering practical handling of code. For developers at this stage, you want to ensure that they have the right foundation. Therefore, ask questions that may throw them off balance without proving overwhelming considering their level of experience. PHP Laravel framework developer interview questions for intermediates should have the right blend of the theoretical and the practical.
What are the cons of Laravel?
How this question is answered during an interview is important because a developer has to recognize and acknowledge the limitations of the system they are using. This helps them to innovate ways to get around potential challenges. There are many reasons to choose Laravel; there are some cons to the framework as well, highlighted below:
- Update Difficulties: Laravel itself admits that major updates may contain breaking changes. Though the official documentation says minor updates never contain breaking changes, some users have reported experiencing such time after time. Nevertheless, the framework provides support for this, explaining possible breaking changes for each (major) update and their risks of impacts on its website.
- Difficult to Master: indeed, it is easy to learn. It teaches developers to adopt some of the most modern web development practices. However, the road to expertise is hardly straightforward. It requires a lot of experimentation to even grasp some of the underlying concepts. The solution to this is simply for the developer to keep practicing.
- Application Migration: there is no doubt that Laravel has dethroned its predecessors such as Zend, CodeIgniter, and Symfony to become the foremost PHP framework. However, its undoing is that it does not allow for the smooth migration of applications based on these legacy frameworks to Laravel.
What are events and listeners?
On a basic level, events alert you to actions that take place in your application while listeners ‘listen’ to instances of events that occur. Both terms go hand-in-hand because a listener must be connected to a particular event in order to receive instances of that event.
What are packages in Laravel in detail?
Packages are for adding extra features to the application code. Some of the packages are framework-independent. Other packages are purpose-built for specific frameworks. Some popular Laravel-specific packages and their functions are highlighted below:
- Spatie: for managing user permissions and roles in a database
- Laravel Debugbar: to integrate PHP DebugBar with Laravel and adds a developer toolbar to an application
- Entrust: allows you to use role-based permissions
- Socialite: an official package. It is used to authenticate requests with OAuth providers
- Laravel Mix: provides an interactive API for defining webpack build steps for your project
- NoCaptcha: used to implement Google Recaptcha validation
- Orchid: used to develop functions paramount to a business app
- Bagisto: for building an eCommerce app
How does middleware work in Laravel?
Middleware is the link between a request and a response that provides the medium for the inspection and authentication of an application’s HTTP requests. Its functions also include logging requests, redirecting users, etc.
A user creates new middleware using the make:middleware Artisan command. Following this, you assign the middleware to a route and customize it based on your needs as well as the unique demands of the said application.
What is database migration, and how can you use it in Laravel?
Migrations are used to handle version control. Version control mainly involves managing changes to the application and its database structure. Migrations help team members collaborate on projects better, which means without friction. The Artisan command make:migration is used to generate a new database migration.
Migrations accumulate over the period of development, so much so that the database migrations directory may become bloated. When that happens, the best step to take is to use the schema:dump command to squash the migrations into one SQL file. There are two main migration functions: up and down. ‘Up’ is for adding new elements while ‘Down’ is for undoing previous operations.
What is CSRF protection, and when do you need it?
CSRF (fully known as Cross-Site Request Forgery) is a malicious exploit of an application through unauthorized activities. Web applications are particularly prone to CSRF attacks. However, Laravel has built-in protection against CSRFs. It works by generating “CSRF ‘token’ for each active user session managed by the application” automatically. These tokens are used for verification and authentication purposes. A new token is created for every new session; therefore, it is impossible for a malicious application to exploit it.
PHP Laravel Framework Interview Questions for Expert Developers (More than 4 Years of Experience)
There should be no holding back on PHP Laravel developer interview questions for applicants at an advanced level. Skip the simple, theoretical questions and focus on practical ones. Request high-level answers on how they are going to handle practical challenges while working with Laravel. These Laravel interview questions and answers are the right fit for a PHP Laravel developer with substantial experience in the field.
How does Laravel’s command scheduler work?
Laravel’s Cron Job is an inbuilt tasks manager that makes it easier to automate operations. Now, you no longer have to write a new cron configuration entry for each task to be scheduled on the server. You can define scheduled tasks by:
- Creating a new artisan command
- Using the callback method
- Using the exec method for shell commands
- Scheduling frequency options
How does testing work in Laravel applications?
Testing is unavoidable in software development. Therefore, PHP Laravel interview questions that do not include quizzes regarding testing are a no-no. Certainly not if the developer in question is an expert; after all, it’s the experts that lead the charge in testing.
PHPUnit is one of the commonest testing frameworks for PHP and it is supported by default in Laravel. There has been a greater focus on testing since version 5.2. To create a new test case, a user utilizes the Artisan command, make:test. Once the test begins running, the environment is automatically configured.
Each application contains two test directories: feature and unit. The latter is for testing small portions of code while the former is for testing the larger portions. Laravel recommends conducting more feature tests than unit tests. That’s because these types of tests provide the most confidence that your system as a whole is functioning as intended.
What does Eloquent ORM do in Laravel and what types of relationships are supported?
Eloquent is the name of the default object-relational mapper (ORM) used in Laravel. It provides a more convenient means to interact with a database. Hence, a developer does not need to write a length query. Eloquent ORM works with an ActiveRecord implementation so that developers can manage multiple databases.
In ActiveRecord implementation, every model that is created via the MVC (model-view-controller) architectural pattern corresponds to a database table. The types of relationships supported in Eloquent ORM include:
- One To One
- One To Many
- Many To Many
- Has One Through
- Has Many Through
- One To One (Polymorphic)
- One To Many (Polymorphic)
- Many To Many (Polymorphic)
What is the database query builder?
Laravel’s database query builder is used to smoothly run database queries. Although, it can also be used to perform other database operations, including CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) functions. Since SQL Injection attacks are a common threat, it uses the PDO parameter binding to protect your application from.
What is an IoC container? How does it work?
The IoC container (fully known as the inversion of control container, or simply the service container) is a tool used for handling class dependencies, automatically resolving dependencies, and easily achieving dependency injection. It resolves dependencies either by Closure callbacks or by automatic resolution. The IoC container is powerful, sophisticated enough to automatically resolve classes in most scenarios without configuration.
How to Prepare for Laravel Job Interview Questions as a Laravel Developer
Yes, there is a section for developers too. Irrespective of the level of your experience as a developer in Laravel and PHP, prepare for interrogation by ensuring that you are well-grounded in the following:
- Of course, experience working with Laravel, from at least version 5 upward. Prioritize updating your knowledge on the latest features. The latest version is 8.x.
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- Experience working with PHP from at least version 7 upward.
- Understanding of testing platforms, particularly PHPUnit, with experience performing unit tests and feature tests (the latter especially for advanced roles).
- Knowledge of databases and SQL platforms.
- Superb communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills.
Hiring the right PHP Laravel framework developer to build your application is not a jackpot lottery; it requires careful preparation and knowing the right interview questions to ask as the recruiter/employer. You need to ask the right Laravel interview questions that directly poke at an applicant’s expertise and reveal if they are as good as they claim. These tips have helped us at ProCoders to hire excellent developers and build formidable teams to deliver excellent service to our clients.