Hello Taylor, hello Laravel team!

I think I applied at least once in the past for a role at Laravel, but I was less experienced, and this time I decided to try again and make it a little bit more personal by adding a cover letter on my personal website.

I am going to write here a bit about myself, about my experience, and why I think you should pick me for the role. Let’s start.

About Filip

Might be lame to talk about me using the 3rd person, but.. it is what it is. I am Filip Pacurar, you are currently on my blog which lately was dormant so I thought maybe I could write my cover letter here, why not? I have been a developer officially since 2012 when I graduated high school (so around 12 years of professional experience), but I have been a geek forever. I started learning PHP (even before I knew HTML well) in the 7th grade, then gradually started learning everything around the web development space.

Fun fact, I started learning PHP and HTML because I wanted to create my own torrent site in 2007 (7th grade) and the only open-source torrent tracker software was not up to date and missed lots of features, so I forked it and created my own version. Back then it was hosted on Sourceforge, but 13 years ago I published it on Github to have a memory of my first long-term project – it is currently here, but be warned, lots of old PHP 4 code in there.

I live in Arad, Romania, which is currently GMT+2 (actually GMT+3 in the summer), but this should not be a problem for me because I am not an early person, I get up to take the kids to school every day but still, I like working more after a few coffees. Also since this is a fully remote role, timezone should not matter that much. I currently work with a company in Amsterdam (GMT+1) and I also work with a company that is in Vancouver we get to sync a lot and be able to collaborate ok. I work on two projects currently because one is 100% backend (I develop backend stuff for a Shopify app), and one is mixed FE+BE (I started this role as a full-time front-end developer, but then from 5 people I was the only person that stayed on this job after two rounds of lay-offs and I was “promoted” to full stack again).

Though I live in Europe, I have to be honest and say that we apply every year for the Diversity Visa in the United States and it is our dream as a family that someday we would be able to move there legally. So the timezone situation might change in the coming years.

I am married since 2015, I have 3 great boys: Joshua, Caleb, and Noah. Oh, and I am also 30 years old. Fun fact: sometimes I am bad at remembering numbers, even my age, so I do [currentYear] – 1993 to get my age 🤖.

Work history

All my professional life I worked at 4 main jobs. The first job was at a new startup founded by an older student at my school, he knew that I created various websites while I was still in school and I was good at PHP so he hired me, and I was his first employee. This was an agency kind of company, we did lots of projects: WordPress websites, Laravel projects, and lots of PHP frameworks (Yii, Symfony), we also did custom code for Magento. Fun and diverse stuff. And we also had an in-house app for lawyers in Romania made with CodeIgniter which is still up to this day and used by hundreds of lawyers. The company was called WebEfficient back then, now they changed their name. I stayed there for 5 full years and after 2 years I also was promoted to CTO – I also supervised new developers and made decisions on new projects.

After 5 years at my first job, I felt like I needed a new challenge when a random guy on the internet emailed me saying that he saw my Laravel tutorials on my blog (in Romanian) and he proposed I go the freelancing route for him since he had an agency in Toronto, but he was Romanian, so legally he could not hire me, but he wanted to work with me. That is when I created my company, and after 4 months of part-time working with this agency in Toronto, I went full-time with them and that is when I was last employed, since Jan 2018 I have been 100% a contractor, for almost 4 years I stayed with Meevo the Toronto agency and I was very happy with the job. Things started to deteriorate after the COVID and they got fewer and fewer interesting projects, so when in August 2021 I got the offer from an outsourcing company in my country to join as a front-end developer, I decided to give it a try. Mainly because it was a challenge for me after 9 years of full stack programming, focusing only on the front-end would be a real challenge. That is when I switched my freelancing focus to Hellorider as a front-end developer. They are a company in the Netherlands that offers leasing services for bikes. After two rounds of lay-offs, as I said above as well, I remained the only developer on the team and got promoted again to full stack, so I had only ~2 years to focus on front-end only, since last year I am full stack again at them, but in the meantime, I helped them find another contractor from my city and we are now again 2 developers on the team. I also in my spare time help a company from Vancouver with my freelancing services, they have an app for Shopify shops that offers geolocation redirects and that kind of stuff.

TLDR: I do not like switching jobs a lot, I had only 4 main jobs in 13 years. Heard this is a lot for a developer nowadays, a lot of guys do job-hopping to get better pay – this is not my cup of tea.

Why me?

I would say because I am worth giving it a shot, but I am really a hard-working person. I like “becoming one” with the company I work for, I am loyal in that sense and I give 100% on the work I do and I assimilate any company culture fast.

On top of that, I like experimenting (my blog theme is a Laravel app, not a lot of WordPress guys do this, it is also open source) a lot and learning new tools and ideas, lately I started learning Rust last year more seriously because it is something different. I started building smart contracts with Rust (this one and also this one are public). Both smart contracts are used on my blog because I like experimenting around here. One is used on the board games page (here’s a Twitter thread explaining how I built the board games page and smart contract), and the other one is used only on my blog to “sell” ad spaces, It is really interesting but, as I thought, nobody used it other than me. It was still fun building it and learning about blockchain development and web3. Also with Rust, I built a library that decodes a blockchain struct and uses FFI, the Rust program is compiled as a library and then used in PHP using the FFI functions, it was really fun to call Rust code from PHP. The code for that is here and here.

Also, I tick all the boxes in the requirements:

  • I used Laravel way before version 5 before middleware was a thing. PHP is my favorite programming language and the first one I learned.
  • I love Tailwind, React, and Vue was and is my first love, used Inertia for projects, also love Livewire which is not mentioned.
  • I always appreciated the clear and beautiful code in Laravel core and tried to follow its standards
  • Starting new features or projects is my favorite thing – there’s something beautiful about starting a new project.
  • I have worked all-remote since 2018, way before COVID made it the standard.
  • I love flexible hours, especially since I am not a morning person.
  • I am used to connecting with customers, I also did support for some projects

My tech stack is basically anything I need to get the job done: PHP (Laravel, Symfony, anything), any DB (used Mysql a lot but also Postgres, Mongo, lots of Redis), I use Tailwind for everything I can, I started to love Rust. I am not afraid of anything new, I like challenges so I can add anything to my stack. A lot of JavaScript too, I used Vue.js a lot and then with the Hellorider role (and a little before that), I migrated to React. I also tick every tech requirement in the job description: Node.js, TypeScript, React, Rust, Accessibility (though I am still perfecting on this one), and of course Tailwind. Also, I like pair programming and talking with colleagues, even if I have worked remotely since 2018.

The first mainstream online pharmacy in Canada was built using Vue.JS, Laravel (October CMS), and Tailwind. I know that because I built it, I was the only developer at the start and I was part-time hired by the company I was working at, the pharmacy was our client back then until they made their own dev team. The pharmacy is called Felix and they provide everyday health needs like weight loss, mental health, or sexual health drugs, all done online. The app is 80% still the same today as when I first built it using Laravel (OctoberCMS for the admin part), Tailwind, and Vue.JS – it is live here. The marketing website was initially Laralve and Tailwind too, but then they switched to Webflow so they could edit the content without begging the dev team to do it. I am sure that bigger websites use Laravel nowadays, but it is nice to know that I helped build one of the first and biggest online pharmacies in Canada and I chose Laravel/October for this.

Other interesting and (sort of) bigger projects that I built:

  • Two intranet portals for the Xerox Canada Corporation – Xerox Solutions Playbook and another one that is not public is Xerox Apps Gallery.
  • I built a website for the Canadian Olympic Team (announcement link here, the website seems to no longer be up)
  • I helped a small startup in Canada called Welby (that is no longer alive, bad funds management I think), this one was built with Talwind as well and it was a platform where practitioners of all kinds (well-being, sleep coaches, etc) connected with clients. I learned how to use Twilio’s VOIP system here and the meeting was 100% online on the website, with per-minute payments and so on. It was a cool project, too bad that it is dead today.
  • I built a leads management platform for Cartridge World – the ink and toner business in the US and Canada
  • I rewrote the whole Last Minute Training website, built with Laravel. Previously, the system was a mess and I helped also build a new admin panel to manage the whole business.
  • I built the mobile app using React Native for Balance.ca – Canada’s largest digital asset custodian
  • I built a training course registration portal for Capgemini Canada
  • I wrote an API for a collaboration project between The Weekend and Spotify. Read about the project here, it involves deep-fake, etc. I built the API with Laravel and used Socialite for Spotify login.
  • I built Panelope – a React Native app for a social network for communities
  • Over 60 websites for Canadian companies. To name a few: Raw Design (this is the weirdest website I built and completely random), NumbersUSA, Speakers Spotlight, Canon Creator Lab, So.Co social media for photographers, Toronto Society of Architects, MovieLocate.com, Canadian Premier (Securian)

I stay in sync with the programming world

  • I follow a lot of great programmers on Twitter (I still refuse to say X)
  • I watch live coding sessions
  • I watch a lot of YouTube programming-related videos.
  • I listen to podcasts (Syntax is my favorite one).
  • I follow people I admire from the programming space everywhere. Some even on Instagram.

I like doing open source contributions whenever I can, here is one super small but I am proud of this one because it might be the oldest bug in the WordPress codebase – a WordPress bug that no one noticed for over 20 years. I also contributed to October CMS (example here or here), some Spatie packages (example), and various Laravel packages (example for laravel-mongodb or facade/ignition).

Not-job-related skills: in my free time I like helping the media department at my church, I help with video producing suff (live mixing, streaming), and sometimes I also help the projection team. I like biking, my longest bike ride was 120km and spanned two countries: Romania and Hungary. I like playing lots of board games (see my collection here), and I like playing with my kids. Lately, I like sports because I have to lose lots of weight. Also, I like watching TV shows with my wife, after the kids are asleep and having our time together. Also, I like reading stuff on Twitter (I am @filipacro).

TLDR: I worked on tons of smaller projects, and dozens of bigger ones. I like new challenges, I do not say no to any technology (anyone heard of AureliaJS framework? I had a 6-month project with it for some medical apps in Canada). I am also a big Laravel fan, and my biggest projects (and even my blog, lol) use Tailwind.

Closing thoughts

I know, it is a lot of text, but this is my only chance. I know I am a random guy on the internet, but I think big and I am not afraid of trying (and failing). I would be a great fit for you (a little brag, I know).

I am always learning, and always perfecting, and I am not afraid of going the extra mile to do the perfect job. I am excited even at the smallest thought that I could work for Laravel and be able to help tens of hundreds of developers worldwide.

I hope this long post and my weird blog theme made you consider at least moving me to the next step in the process.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I have some technical posts on my blog to showcase my technical writing skills. I also had a tutorial for Laravel 5 in my native language that got pretty popular before YouTube decided to suspend my channel forever. I never reuploaded those because, by the time the channel got suspended, we had Laravel 7 I think so those were outdated. Anyway, examples of technical writing:

Laravel forever <3.

Comments are closed.

Copyright © 2024 all rights
are not
reserved. Do whatever you want, it's a free country.
Guess it's obvious, but the theme is created by myself with Tailwind CSS. You can find the source code here.
I still use WordPress 🧡. The theme is custom Laravel though 😎.