troubleshooting Question

Seeking pointers on application development and deployment using PHP's Laravel Framework

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egoselfaxis asked on
Web DevelopmentLaravelPHPAWSMySQL Server
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I'm starting a new web development project and have decided on using PHP with the latest version of the Laravel framework (currently v5.7). I'll likely be deploying to AWS, and will be using Amazon Aurora as the database engine (which is supposed to be MySQL compatible).  As I prepare to dive in, a few questions have come to mind that I'm hoping someone here can answer.  I'm relatively new to the Laravel framework, I must say, so I a apologize in advance for my ignorance.

1) What options are available to me for setting up a local development environment under Windows 10 Home Edition (64-bit)?  So far, I've read about using Vagrant/Homestead, (which sounds complicated and like it might require Windows 10 Professional) -- and also using WAMP, which I already have installed and running on my machine. By any chance, does some kind of pre-configured Virtual Box disk image exist anywhere that I could download and install that would simplify things for me?  

2) Is there anything important that I need to keep in mind (that's not so obvious) regarding the supposed MySQL compatibility of Amazon's Aurora database engine as I'm developing and/or deploying?  Can I safely treat Amazon's Aurora as a normal MySQL database engine, or are there any "gotchas" that I should be aware of such as driver compatibility, etc?

3) What's the most current trend regarding which templating system to use with Laravel? I know that it comes with the Blade templating engine, and I've heard some mention of Vue gaining some popularity amongst Laravel developers. But the idea is for the project to eventually grow to a point where a team of multiple different developers will be needed, and I just want to make sure that those team members won't have to meet too many requirements knowledge-wise. That being said, what's the "safest" templating language to use?  

4) Regarding GIT-based version control, would it make more sense for us to host our code repository on our own AWS hosted server, and to deploy from there? Or should we just store our code base on Github, and if so, would it be possible for us to deploy from there directly to our AWS hosted server?  

5) I bought an O-Reilly book on Laravel, and will be signing up for a Laracasts subscription.  But aside from that, are there any other training resources that are recommended that I should be aware of?  

Thanks!
- Yvan
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