Hi there new to the site and in a bit of a sad face state so any help appreciated.
I have worked as the sole developer for a small agency for 12 years starting on legacy classic asp (i know!) then moving onto WordPress sites (which i still do) and I have in the last couple of years been involved developing some bespoke php applications. One in particular which is being used by 20k users.
The issue is my PHP is self taught and I work to agency deadlines. As a result and i take full responsibility for my own personal lack of R&D I have built and continue to develop the only way I know that is to say a typical admin system will look like:
RAW PHP using mysqli, no frameworks or packages and the occasional library like dompdf
Inside these files are HTML which posts to its self which then does SQL at the top of the script. Settings files are included at the top etc etc
I'v started branching out into incorporating OO classes to handle some more complex functionality (OO issue for me have always been it seems design from the start is as important than implementation and i'v lacked the design skills).
The systems i'm involved with are starting to become beasts and popular so new additional functionality is becoming difficult to implement and security is a concern.
I want to improve my skills, jump on Laravel train but i'm finding after a bit of reading to be overwhelmed, i'm not sure if its the framework, my lack of OO principles/design exp or both that is causing the issue but in the face of looming deadlines it just seems 'easier' to plod on coding like NSYNC are still No.1 in the charts.
I'm getting a bit anxious about it too, like i'm in a pit I wont get out of without 100's of hours of reading/experience in a professional environment I can't afford to spend that kind of time on.
I'm in a bit of a 'am i just crap at programming' mentality and wondered if anyone out there could offer some advise? I realise this post isnt strictly Laravel orientated but as the most popular PHP framework i was hoping it would be my spring board into the current era... i'm just kinda looking at the road ahead like its going up a 200ft mountain.
any help/advice appreciated.