On the CodeForALiving.io site (from StackOverflow) there's an interview with Mohamed Said, the first official employee for Laravel (and its related ecosystem).
Mohamed Said got his first computer at age 13—they were just becoming commonly accessible in Egypt—and started learning to code almost immediately. Flash was what drew him in, he says, with its animations and color and, well, “flashy” stuff.
[...] Last month, Mohamed Said became the first full-time hire at Laravel, an open source PHP framework built by Taylor Otwell. Otwell built the framework as a side project, and when it took off, quit his job to work on it full time. Just a few months ago, he decided he needed help maintaining the project and posted his first full-time job opening, and Said was an obvious choice.
The interview gets into some of Mohamed's background as a developer and his own personal experiences with the Laravel framework. The article then moves on to some of his work in open source software and how he grew into the Laravel community overall. He talks some about roadblocks he came up against along the way but encourages people to contribute, mentioning both the growth it can provide and how to get started with your own contributions.