It was pretty straight forward, point and click and you have a stable LAMP stack to develop with.
I actually haven’t really reached its limits until I starting working on web applications. These sorts of projects require custom tailored PHP configurations and libraries.
The next setup I used was the internal OS X Apache system. I installed package managers like homebrew to bolt on packages like MySQL and PHPmyAdmin.
This took forever, for me, and every erase-and-install produced different results. I would do this about every other year. It’s my Windows (XP SP2) side still showing.
This setup was pretty solid and I felt “minimal” by not having any applications installed to run my environment. But of course it had its challenges it seemed with every OS X release, and in a couple cases some OS point releases.
Vagrant was something I was desperate for. At the very least the idea of it. Though with its learning curve, my career path, and family I never seemed to have the allotted time to truly dive in and get my hands dirty.
Luckily I get to work with Laravel everyday so Homestead changed that. It’s unbelievable easy to get setup for both global boxes with multiple projects or as a per-project install. Leveraging Vagrant and Virtualbox you can spin up an environment with very little work.
Now with a slight addition to my project readme, I can share a few instructions for a fellow engineer to: spin up a virtual server, install Laravel & it’s dependencies, migrate a database and even seed it with data. We’ve come a long way from local GUI environment managers.