[PayPal] 22 Reasons You Can’t Rush The Push

This week saw two more videos added to the Symfony 4 Beginners Tutorial series. There’s only one more video left in this series, which I am going to record over the weekend.

I also will be recording a further ~10 videos on deploying Symfony 4 using a variety of methods. How far I’ll get with these is uncertain at the moment.

As a little bit of insight into my video tutorial creation process:

Each video takes me about three times longer to record than the final length of video would suggest. By which I mean if a video is 5 minutes long, it takes me ~15 minutes to record. The editing takes me anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes per minute of video.

That means for 15 minutes of raw footage I would spend about an hour on the edit. I’d love to make more videos but hopefully that explains why they take a while to release.

My favourite video from this week’s set is this one on AbstractController. I’d love to hear your feedback on it.

Support Changes

I’d like to welcome Joel to the CodeReviewVideos team.

Joel will be handling support issues. As a heads up, Joel is not a Symfony / software developer.

Can I please ask that any technical questions related to video content be left as a comment on the relevant video.

I am working to replace the comments section with an alternative to Disqus. I like the service Disqus offer, but appreciate that having to sign in to two services is not good. A better alternative is coming, but for now, please use the comments system.

PayPal Integration

I mentioned last week that I’m adding PayPal (via Braintree) as a payment method.

I get asked frequently how this is coming along. The answer is: as well as I can expect 🙂

I was a little over optimistic with my due date estimate.

Payment integration is a ton of work. There’s a bunch of obvious tasks:

  • Does the sign up form work with PayPal?
  • Is the payment processed?
  • Is the subscription activated?

And so on.

Then there’s the big list of “oh yeah, I forgot about that” stuff. Things like:

  • Invoices
  • Updating card details for an active subscription
  • “Translating” the errors returned for failed payments into stuff humans understand
  • Not allowing an upgrade from payment Plan A to Plan A
  • Showing the correct proration amount on a payment upgrade

And the like. Some of these issues are small, others are bigger.

During my research into this I found out about services like Chargebee – a one stop shop for this kind of thing. Or in Laravel-land, there is Spark. And in Rails, bullet train.

I was curious as to whether others in Symfony-land would find this kind of thing useful?

The response was sadly underwhelming. I mean I know I have a small number of followers on Twitter, but surely this could be useful to more than just me? Especially given that the other services I mentioned above are $$$.

Wrapping Up

Thanks to everyone who replied to last weeks email. There were a small number interested in seeing videos on PayPal / Stripe integration with Symfony. I’ve added the idea to my list and prioritised according to that feedback.

I’m looking forwards to having finished this PayPal work as I’m itching to get back to writing and recording new content. I have a bunch of topics to cover.

Until next time, have a great weekend and happy coding.


Symfony 4: Removing the Mystery

The Beginners Symfony 4 tutorial is in progress. I have all but the final video recorded now. I ended up re-recording a number of sections in both of the recent video uploads:


One of the areas I found most confusing when first starting with Symfony was in the widespread use of Interfaces.

You may have encountered the following problem:

Let’s say you’re working under a tight deadline. You’re writing some Symfony Controller code and working with a form. It’s not going quite as smoothly as you’d like. You reckon something is going awry with the form submission.

Being the inquisitive developer, you remember the oft touted advice:

Read the source, Luke

The thing is, when you ctrl+click on $form->submit($request); you’re taken to… an interface.

This is good stuff.

Your life will be much easier if you code to an interface, rather than tie your methods to specific implementations.

However, with that deadline looming over your shoulder, such things are nice to know, but right now, just show me the code!

Finding An Implementation

When I first recorded this video I initially just said what the outcome of a call to the submit  method would be.

Watching back, I couldn’t help but think about that stuck, and stressed developer. Sat in a noisy office, headphones in, listening to music when you’d rather have peace and quiet.

Everyone around you seems to be goofing off whilst you’re struggling to think through this really important problem.

The last thing you need is to be met with this weird interface  thing. If only you could find the implementation then life would be a lot less stressful.

How can you find out what is really happening when you call $form->submit($request);?

And what happens when you find the implementation and even then the code is tricky to follow?

I know these feels.

That’s why when recording this video I worked hard to make sure you come out at the end with a good understanding of the code that makes this happen.

This is a beginners series for Symfony 4. This is the stuff that will make working with, and understanding Symfony that much easier.

I hope you enjoy it.

Site Stuff

There’s a ton of work going on behind the scenes at the moment.

Can I pay by PayPal?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions that I get.

Currently: no.

That sucks. I appreciate that.

The reasoning for this is that Stripe is super shiny and as a developer, they were high on my wish list of cool things to implement.

Also, from a code perspective Stripe is actually a joy to work with. They really are awesome.

But still, I get asked a lot for PayPal.

I’m adding PayPal.

It’s quite a big job, but I’m about 65% of the way through the implementation.

Here’s a sneak peak:

That’s the Stripe form using Stripe’s React elements.

PayPal functionality is provided through Braintree.

There’s a nice transition between the two options too, which came for free via Bootstrap 4 and I really like it.

I’ve been working on completely extracting the membership code.

Would you have any interest in seeing video tutorials on how to make your own Symfony bundles?

Leave a comment and let me know.

There’s some other cool features that this work enables, which I’ll share with you in a future update.

Until next time, have a great weekend and happy coding.


The First Symfony 4 Tutorial Is Here

This week saw six new videos added to the site.

These are the final four in the Docker Tutorial for Beginners series, and the first two in the Beginners Symfony 4 Tutorial series.

A tutorial on Symfony 4 has been highly requested since it released on 30th November 2017.

Since then we’ve had three patches, so we’re now on Symfony 4.0.3.

Have you tried it yet?

I Had My Doubts

I will be completely honest, for the longest time Symfony 4 scared me.

We switched from the Symfony 2 / Symfony 3 Standard Edition, to the Symfony 4 skeleton. From a nice “full stack” to a minimal, bare bones starting point.

The first time I used Symfony 4, I just couldn’t wrap my head around why they would remove most of the very useful things:

  • Monolog
  • Twig
  • Routing…

And then the more I read, the more I thought that the symfony/skeleton was taking Symfony to become a replacement Silex. And whilst I have used and quite like Silex, I preferred the Symfony Standard Edition / full-stack approach.

I also went into a panic as I thought pretty much everything on the CodeReviewVideos.com would be obsolete.

Moar Skellingtons

Thankfully, all my fears were eliminated when they released the  symfony/website-skeleton.

For me, this is perfect.

All the benefits of why I use Symfony for all my web projects, with all the added new features and bug fixes.

And a bare bones edition for my command line apps.

My Favourite Video

Even though this is a Symfony 4 beginners series, the last two videos get a little geeky. I can’t help myself.

There’s a really interesting change in Symfony 4 with the way we use controllers.

It’s useful to know as a beginner, and hopefully it sparks your curiosity into knowing more about the “how” and “why” of Symfony generally.

This one should be useful even if you’re not a beginner.

Other Stuff

There’s a lot of other change in progress at the moment, particularly on the back end of the site.

I’ve been putting some of the front end tweaks live this morning, and these take on board the suggestions I’ve had from site visitors. Thank you for all your feedback I really appreciate it.

There are still 15 or so videos to come from this batch. I’m currently taking a break from editing to write this.

Ok, on that note, have a great weekend, and happy coding.

Chris – CodeReviewVideos.com

Bigger Updates For 2018

I hope you’ve had a good Christmas and New Years, and that 2018 has started positively for you.

For the first half of this year, I am trying an alternative approach to the way I produce videos for the site.

My previous approach was to write out the videos on Saturday, and then record three lessons on the following Monday.

This works well in terms of getting regular new content created. But the delay between recording the first three videos, and the next three videos could be tricky for me if the videos followed on from one another as is the case in a longer series.

Infrequently over the last few years I have been asked why I don’t release all the videos as soon as they are available. Why do courses “drip” out, rather than arrive complete?

Well, as mentioned that’s because I hadn’t been recording in one sitting.

I’m changing this.

I am now writing and recording in larger batches.

What this means is that content will come in bigger updates of full and finished courses, rather than a few videos per week.

I am going to change the newsletter schedule accordingly. For the entirety of 2017 I sent one mailing per week – every Friday.

I will now only send you an email when new content is published.

My current target is to have the first of these new, bigger updates out within the next two weeks.

If you have any questions or feedback regarding this, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for 2018

This is the last you will be hearing from me – newsletter wise, at least – for 2017.

With that in mind I’d like to take this opportunity to say firstly a very big and sincere thank you to you for your support this year.

Whether your are a subscriber currently, have subscribed to the site in the past, or will be subscribing in the future, your support means a lot to me.

I’m really pleased with how things have progressed with CodeReviewVideos.com this year.

I launched the new site version, which whilst still a work-in-progress (and likely always will be) now is in line with almost everything new I’ve learned in the last four years.

I share everything I know on CodeReviewVideos.com, and from the feedback I’ve had this year (thank you!) I know it’s really helpful to many of you, too.

This site is all about saving you weeks, months, or even years off the amount of time it takes to learn a framework as big and (potentially) complex as Symfony.

There’s other great stuff on here too, like learning how to use Docker in the real world, and another of my personal favourites, React with Redux and Redux Saga all connected to a Symfony JSON API.

Video Update

This week saw three new videos added to the site.

#1 – Fixing Third Party Bundle Deprecations (Indirectly)

We’ve fixed the issues with Symfony’s code.

We’ve fixed the issues with our own code.

Now we must fix the issues with any third party bundles we are using.

In our case we have just one bundle – eightpoints/guzzle-bundle.

The issue we have is fairly common. If a bundle you use adds ‘stuff’ to the sidebar in the profiler, then you are almost certainly going to need to fix this issue. Well, I say you. What I really mean is you will need to hope your bundle maintainer has updated their code appropriately, or you have a few options:

  1. Don’t upgrade
  2. Fix it yourself (which may take a while to get merged)
  3. Fork it, and fix it yourself (hoorah, now you’re in open source)
  4. Be lucky and have the bundle maintainer already have updated it for you

We all hope for number 4, right?

Fortunately on eightpoints/guzzle-bundle we get lucky. This is fixed for us… but:

Always a but. This will mean we need to be on at least PHP 7. Actually thought, Symfony 4 needs PHP 7.1, so yeah… either way it’s time to come kicking and screaming in to the modern world of PHP. Good.

#2 – [Part 1/2] Migrating to Symfony 4.0 with Flex

The recommended approach for upgrading to Symfony 4 with Flex is to start a brand new Flex project, and then migrate code between the old project, and the new.

This brings a potential problem:

When you create the new Flex project you will, by default, get a git repo created on your local computer.

For the love of Mike, don’t do what I did and accidentally copy that git directory over your existing git directory. Whoops. I share for the comedy, and fortunately it didn’t cost me any, because that was during the write up, and I re-do the whole thing again for the video. I bet you don’t want to do things twice though 🙂

There’s a bunch of steps to work through, some easier than others. You won’t believe step 5! Ho, ho, a buzz feed style bit of link bait title nonsense.

No, but seriously, step 5 needs some extra attention so be sure to watch the video to learn what that is.

#3 – [Part 2/2] Migrating to Symfony 4.0 with Flex

Finally we finish up the Symfony 4 migration by moving over the src  directory contents from the old Symfony 3.4 project to the new Symfony 4 Flex approach.

We then move over the Twig templates. There’s more work to be done here, and some of the problems we will face are not very intuitive. I guess it depends on how much you’ve been following the changes made in Symfony 4.

It really does feel good to have migrated a complete project, regardless of the project’s size, from Symfony 3 to Symfony 4. There’s some serious sense of satisfaction in seeing everything continue to work, even with such a massive amount of change behind the scenes.

Here’s to 2018

Whatever you are up to in 2018 I sincerely wish you every success.

Thank you and happy Christmas!