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> I wonder if each such project is built completely from scratch.

For us, it's a mixed bag. We have a CMS we use for most projects that we did not develop, but we have developed our own packages/blocks for it that are included in every project that bootstrap and whitelabel the hell out of the CMS to provide the functionality we need in every project. From a data standpoint, one of our packages replaces several dozen classes and hundreds, if not thousands, of lines of custom code in every project.

When it comes to more custom projects, specifically ones that never see public use (like a custom CRM, admin dashboard, CRUD-based system, API backend, etc.), we build using the Laravel framework which bootstraps away all of the authentication, permissions, routing, middleware, etc. and gives us a very good blank slate to work with. For these, everything is mostly from scratch, minus what we can use third-party packages for (such as the awesome Bouncer ACL). We have a front-end library that I wrote to abstract away common tasks into single line instantiations, but it's our experience that these projects are being built on a blank slate for a reason. These are the projects that may actually see tests written for as well, although not all will.




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