When it comes to local development environments, we have a number of choices. Sure, you can use something like MAMP, but, depending upon your needs, this approach might break down. What happens when you want to install Memcached? What if you need a special extension? What if you want all developers on your team to use an identical environment? Because "all-in-one" utilities tuck away much of the complexity, these sorts of installations can sometimes become more trouble than they're worth.
Here at Laracasts, we're big fans of virtual machines - specifically, with Vagrant. As part of Laravel's mission to assist you from development to deployment, Homestead (a custom Vagrant box) is "Taylor-made" for your Laravel workflow. You'll love it!