My name is Stefan Ashwell and when I'm not coding personal projects or painting miniatures, I'm a Software Engineer at Holmes Media in Market Harborough.

This blog is a place for me to write about things that require that little bit extra to solve. We all have gaps in our knowledge and every now and then I need to reach out on search engines or blogs to find an answer. Often, these answers come from multiple sources. This blog serves as a personal resource, but if it's helpful for me I'm sure it'll help others too!


Getting Started with Laravel

Posted on 22 June 2017

Laravel is a modern PHP framework for building web apps. Laravel ships with lots of features that will make your life as a developer easier. First off though, we’ll be getting started with Laravel by installing our development environment. Once you’re up and running you can move on to some of the other Laravel tutorials […]

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CodeIgniter Base Model

Posted on 14 September 2016

Why Use a Base Model? I like to use a base model for common CRUD tasks that every model will need to perform. Rather than duplicating lots of code to retrieve database records this stuff can be written once and used by all of them. Of course, some models might need something slightly different, which […]

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The Best Laravel 5 Tutorials and Resources

Posted on 19 July 2016

Today I thought I’d share some of the best places I’ve found for learning Laravel 5. Laracasts Laracasts is an obvious one when learning Laravel, but it’s so good it’s worth mentioning again. Well presented, easy to follow video tutorials that cover everything from the basics of Laravel to more advanced lessons. Well worth the […]

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eCommerce packages – why are they all rubbish?

Posted on 13 July 2016

Something about eCommerce packages has always ground my gears. They are all rubbish. I’ve had to use a number of them, and each time I end up frustrated, angry and wanting more. It got to the point where I’d recommend a custom built solution over any eCommerce package 100% of the time. However that’s not […]

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User Authenication in CodeIgniter – Some advanced techniques

Posted on 12 July 2016

Today we look at user authentication in codeigniter and some best practices to use when building a secure login environment for members of an application. Our goal here is not just to allow users to login and access members only content. We can do this very easily by setting some session data after checking the […]

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CodeIgniter Development Series

Posted on 11 July 2016

What is This Series? Welcome to a new series on Code Bastard – CodeIgniter Development. I’ve been using CodeIgniter extensively now for over 5 years, and have learnt a lot over that time. With this series I’d like to add some meaningful tutorials discussing how you can use CodeIgniter in real world situations. What I […]

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Dynamic Routing in Laravel 5

Posted on 16 March 2015

Laravel’s routing features give you a huge amount of control over your application’s URL structure. At first glance however, one question jumped out at me. Is there a way to dynamically handle base URLs while still defining others as you need to? What is Dynamic Routing? A lot of the applications I build are content […]

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