Fun fact. Laracasts originally launched back in 2013 as a collection of isolated video tutorials. One video, one technique, move on to something else. There wasn’t yet any concept of a series or course. But not long after the launch, I ran into a handful of hurdles.
- What about topics that can’t be contained within a fifteen-minute video?
- How do you present a recommended viewing order for related topics?
Of course these are obvious roadblocks in hindsight, but my original thinking was for Laracasts to function as a sort of magazine. Visit the site, “flip” through a few videos, pick up some tips, and then get back to work. This is how I typically learn new things. I rarely find myself working through multi-hour courses.
But, still, those two hurdles mentioned above needed to be solved. If I want to teach the basics of Laravel, it’s not enough to have one random video on routes, another on controllers, etc. There absolutely needs to be a recommended viewing order - particularly for newcomers. So I added support for dedicated courses on the site - and this is what you see on the site today.
And yes, that did fix the problem. But over time, I worry that the original “magazine” feel I was initially going for has since disappeared. We never technically removed the ability to publish isolated video tutorials. Instead, they just sort of died off in favor of longer, dedicated series.
With all that in mind, I’m now solving the same problem - but this time in reverse. Full Laracasts series will never go away, but we will release supplementary video tutorials that are branded under the name, Larabits.
Larabits are short, targeted lessons that focus on a single trick or technique.
Not only will this new section be a place for the teachers here at Laracasts to branch off into topics or technologies that don’t necessarily warrant a dedicated series, but it will also allow us to immediately review and discuss new advancements in the ecosystem.
We’ve launched with six initial lessons, and will naturally expand this catalog every week. My goal is to frequently commission guest contributions from some of the most notable developers in the community.
On this note, a quick kudos to Adrian Tudor - our design lead - for his excellent branding work as we prepared to launch this new section of the site. I originally came to him with the rough concept of building a new page for quicker, focused videos. He then took that information and created “Larabits,” which includes a fun and colorful 8-bit theme, the monster mascot, and a new three-second intro sting that plays before every Larabit.
This is a great example of taking a very basic concept, and elevating it to something that feels special. Hopefully, this will encourage you to visit the site more frequently than you otherwise would have.