For the past few years, one of the areas of WordPress that has interested me the most is the area of the WordPress Coding Standards. Specifically, it’s one area in which I’ve tried to contribute and it’s one area in which I’ve talked about at my local WordCamp.

To say that I think they are a little important would be an understatement, so given the opportunity to talk about them – evangelize them, even – I will.

The short of it is this:

I’ve had a number of people help me to begin writing better WordPress-style code over the years, and I’ve seen a direct result of the impact that it can have when maintaining projects that are built with teams or even just myself.

Furthermore, there’s a lot of code that I’ve audited, reviewed, or seen suggested that does not follow the WordPress Coding Standards and this helps to perpetuate a problem that has a clear solution on how to fix.

To that end, I’m excited to share that I’ll be participating in an upcoming event at WP Sessions all about the WordPress Coding Standards.

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/ July 2, 2015 / Comments Off on Officially Partnering with WPBeginner

Officially Partnering with WPBeginner

As evidenced by this entire blog, one of the things that I enjoy most is writing about software development within the context of WordPress.

That is, I enjoy writing about taking techniques learned in computer science, software engineering, object-oriented analysis and design, and so on and then applying them in the WordPress space.

I’ll also talk about front-end development, and web application development. Sure, I’ll occasionally cover things like databases, though that’s not really my strongest area and I try to leave that to those who are far more skilled than I am.

But one of the tough spots that comes with having a site like this is making sure that you’re able to make the information as accessible to those who are just starting out in WordPress. As much as I would absolutely love to help bring others up to speed on where to start, it’s really hard to do that without giving them a strong foundation off of which to build.

Hopefully, we can change that.

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I don’t know why I feel compelled to begin a post like this, but this is going to be a lengthy as it covers quite of a bit of the state of the culture of WordPress right now.

As someone who loves the software, makes a living off of it, and tries to follow along with everything going on with it, things have gotten really intense over the past few weeks – more intense than usual, that is – and it’s kind of a bummer to see.

Secondly, I’ve been told on a couple of occasions in the past that I don’t do a good job of staking my own claim in terms of how I perceive a given situation. That is, I’ve been told that I tend to hang out in the gray versus the black or white of a issue (so I try to weigh both sides of an issue – big deal :) – but I thought maybe I’d take this time to lean in one direction or the other a little harder than I usually do.

Like I said, I don’t know why I should preface what I opt to write about in this post (as it kind of enforces the point above), but I figured it was worth giving some background of where I’m coming from.

And my experience won’t be the same as yours and yours won’t be the same as mine or the next persons, but this is my take on what I’ve seen over the last few months all the way up until the last day or so on what I’ve seen going on with WordPress and the WordPress community.

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/ June 30, 2015 / Comments Off on My Time On The Grumpy Developer Podcast

My Time On The Grumpy Developer Podcast

Last week, I talked about The Grumpy Developer podcast, what it’s about, and why I like it. For those who didn’t read the post or who just happen to be stumbling across this page, here’s the gist of the podcast:

If you’re a designer or project manager, you can consider me your friendly developer translator. I’m here to help you bypass the Grumpy Developer Syndrome and achieve a happy transition from design to launch. If you’re a developer…well…you’re welcome. Let’s all celebrate a departure from Happy Designer Land to a world where design-dev-project managers can all get along.

Sounds fun, right?

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Last week, I talked about when people claim that they are Getting Out of the WordPress Bubble and some of the perspectives others have when reading things like this.

The flip side of this is that there are some people who are deeply ingrained within WordPress and who pour their day in and day out into the software and into the economy around it.

I’m not one to say if either one is better than the other because I think they both offer their own set of advantages and disadvantages though, at this point in my career, I tend to be deeply immersed in WordPress – and I am by choice.

One of the challenges that comes with being ingrained in a culture is that you’re exposed to both the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of all of it. And, to be clear, it’s not just WordPress – all software communities, online communities, offline communities, etc. – all have this behavior, but when it’s what you do every day, I think it can leave you with a bit of a distorted perspective.

The TL;DL to all of this is simply that when entering the foray of WordPress debates, it’s important to remember that not everything you read reflects the perspective of all involved.

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For an upcoming project, Andy Adams and I are working to build [what I consider to be] a really cool site for a client. Details of the project aside, he and I had a really interesting conversation earlier this week the details of which I thought were worth sharing. Specifically, we talk about developer pragmatism and balancing work with our home lives.

To some degree, I almost consider this to be a sort of letter-to-my-20-year-old-self, but I think it’s relevant to anyone who may be young and starting out in the field of development or who may be about to experience a major life change for whatever reason.

For those not wanting to read the entire post, the gist of it is this:

The ability to sit at your computer and consume as much information as possible regarding programming, software development, and so on is likely to change as you experience major changes in your life.

The thing is, this can sound like a major bummer if you’re someone on the cusp of a major life change. But it’s not and I thought I’d share why – at least as far as my experience allows me to do so.

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This is one of those posts that’s driven by my own personal experience and nothing more. I know there are tons of books, articles, blogs, and probably even tweets that would disagree with what I’m going to share, but as someone who has worked for himself for the last half a decade or so, I figure it’s something worth talking about if it’s only tangentially related to WordPress (or running your own business).

Furthermore, I rarely discuss business-related topics here. There are others – like Chris and Curtis – who do a far better job than I ever could.

Nonetheless, as someone who’s done enough project proposals and free estimates – just like most freelancers, agencies, and so on – I’m coming to the conclusion that, at some point, estimates in software aren’t enough if they are free. There’s more to it than that.

And when you’re livelihood depends on your business and your business depends on cash flow and putting effort into trying to land a project that results in no cash flow negatively affects your livelihood. Thus, there has to be more that goes into drafting a proposal that just coming up with a document to send to your potential client.

So I suppose that’s the TL;DR version of the experience(s) on which I’m going to elaborate.

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A couple of weeks ago, I received an email about a new podcast that was starting called The Grumpy Developer. The name caught my attention so I opted to follow-up with the email and to check it out.

The Grumpy Developer

As far as podcasts go, I enjoy listening to them but I listen to very few – for me, if I have too many I end up declaring bankruptcy on my backlog more than I actually end up listening to those to which I’m subscribed.

That’s not a fun feeling, so I try to keep it to a minimum.

So anyway, I gave The Grumpy Developer podcast a listen and really enjoy what I heard through the first few podcasts.

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A few months ago, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Fred Meyer and David Hayes of WPShout to talk about a variety of things all related to WordPress development.

During our Google Hangout session, we talked about the following questions:

  • What does well-written WordPress code mean?
  • What’s your favorite WordPress function or API?
  • What tools do you find most useful in your work with WordPress?
  • How should people learn WordPress development?

Ultimately, it was a great discussion. Fred and David are both really nice (and incredibly smart) guys who really made the conversation worthwhile. Perhaps the coolest thing about our time together, though, is that it’s part of a larger project on which they were working targeting those who want to really get up to speed with becoming a professional WordPress developer.

But it’s far more than just interviews with myself and other developers – and for those who are interested, I also have a discount that’s applicable to any of the packages that they offer.

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Every now again, someone who’s prolific, popular, and/or who has been involved with WordPress for a significant amount of time decides to share that they are “getting out of the WordPress bubble.”

The WordPress Bubble

Generally speaking, when someone says this, they mean they’re branching out into other technologies, languages, tools, and so on in order to diversify their skill set be it for personal and/or professional reasons.

And I really like that. It’s something that I like to do (though I have to admit that it was easier when life was a little simpler – that’s just me, though) and something that I’m still aiming to do (though I’m still delayed on getting involved with it as much as it pains me to admit it).

But when someone – be it you, me, or anyone else – claims they’re “getting out of the WordPress bubble” or “moving out of the WordPress bubble,” it causes me to look at myself and my own career to determine if I’m doing it right.

Ever had that feeling?

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