Now Hiring: PHP/Laravel Web Developer

I’m looking for a PHP developer starting now. Vanilla PHP and Laravel are both welcome.

The Work

The goal is to self-host a list of online video courses. The course modules are only available to paying customers.

The technical requirements are roughly this:

  1. User authorization. People should be able to register and log in.
  2. Paywall/user authentication. A part of a website should be walled-off for visitors by default. You will need to log in to your account first, and then you need to have the “has paid for product” flag set in your account, in order to access the online content.
  3. FastSpring (e-commerce) API integration. I don’t want to flip the “has paid” switch manually, at least not forever, so the service will need to be able to provide an API endpoint that can be wired with FastSpring’s webhooks. When an order is completed, the webhook is called, the user is looked up in the system, and her “has paid” switch is flipped. This is for one-time purchases, not perpetual/subscription, so a flipping-off only has to be available for admins (me) in the back or command line. Purchasing first and registering second should be possible, too.

That’s the basics to make everything work. We’ll call this “Iteration 1”.

The FastSpring order callback can fail to associate with registered users (think: different email accounts used, so how do you look up the association?).

To mitigate this, in an “Iteration 2”, a manual way to activate a license would be great. Like “enter this serial number in your account to activate the account”, and this is only possible once for each order.

How I’d assemble this, just to illustrate the point: Every order webhook is consumed and an Order is registered in the system. Then Orders and Users are associated automatically, based on e.g. email matching or an order token (register first, order from the user account settings). Manual matching creates the same association, only through a form in the user account page.

The Outlook

This is the first step to a working course platform.

My ultimate goal is to make this robust, test it in the wild, then expand to also work with e.g. my own macOS apps. But the course comes first.

What I want to say is: if you enjoy doing this, and if you love making tools that help indie developers sell their stuff online, then we can collaborate on this project in the long run. We can discuss my top secret world domination plans pertaining this server backend later. Would love to hear what you think.

Why PHP, of all things?!

I love writing Ruby code. Hosting Ruby/Sinatra or Ruby on Rails apps online is simpler than ever. Python gained traction, too. Node is viable. Swift on the Server is getting more attention every year.

So why PHP?

Because you can upload a directory of PHP files to the server, create a symlink from htdocs to the my_app/public directory, set up the database once, and then you’re ready to roll. “Deployment by FTP” is the simplest form of self-hosting I can imagine. You literally cannot convince me of any Kubernetes/Docker setup for this stuff. It’s impossible :)

I am rather certain the problem is not hard, it’s rather stock-standard, but I cannot spare the weeks to work on this, so I’m looking for a helping hand with the perspective to continue our partnership for future iterations.

Get in touch if

  • you are interested in creating a web app for indie devs to make a living,
  • you have experience with the tools and tech involved,
  • you are available “soon”,
  • you can work as a freelancer/contractor,
  • you are able to tackle this problem on your own at your own pace.

So please introduce yourself and tell me a bit about you and your work, and feel free to share this with anyone you know! I can read PHP perfectly fine, so please share some of your code if possible.

Oh, and I’m open to suggestions about the way to pay you. One time fixed cost, billing by the week, or whatever.

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