This is something that’s probably true of almost any industry, but when you read enough WordPress-based tweets, blogs, and so on, you start to notice a pattern:

  1. Someone releases a project – it could be a theme, it could be a plugin, it could be a site that’s aiming to cover some aspect of anything involving WordPress – it doesn’t really matter what type.
  2. Someone comes along makes a comment like “Why do we need [this] when we already have [that]?”

Maybe I’m missing something, but I do not get that mentality. At all.

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The older we get or the more experienced we get in the field in which we work, the more knowledge and wisdom we [hopefully] accumulate. During any given work day, one of the things that I occasionally find myself thinking about is:

If I could go back and tell myself [about a certain aspect of programming] years ago, then it would go something like [this].

For example:

If I could go back and tell myself about programming when I first started, I’d tell myself so slow down.

But what does that even mean?

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An F'n Mess

When drafting blog posts, I try not to single out particular tweets or comments unless they’re helpful or resourceful.

There are times, though, thoughts are shared either via tweets, emails, and/or blog comments that may be intended to be critical, but end up being really useful and end up proving exactly what we’ve been discussing all along.

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Are You An Expert?

Yesterday, I shared some thoughts on what I consider to be some qualifications to be a WordPress developer. The list and the post itself were by no means exhaustive, though I appreciated a lot of the comments and emails I received – there were some really good thoughts that came from the readership.

I think it’s an important to talk about.

But one thing I did want to make clear is that I don’t necessarily think that what I’ve written are the definitive things that one should consider in order to be a WordPress expert. We’ve all got different barometers and what not for what we consider to be experts – sometimes we say that they are just people who know more than we do; other times, we have more strict criteria.

To that end, although I’ve shared some of the things that I believe a WordPress developer should know, I wouldn’t consider myself an expert WordPress developer.

I know where I am, I know where I’ve been, I know where I want to be. And that’s what I use to gauge my personal level of experience.

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What's a WordPress Developer?

Over the past few years, the number one thing that I hear from many clients goes something like this:

Our previous developer has gone AWOL on us and our project isn’t complete.

What a total bummer, right?

I mean, as far as the client is concerned, they’ve [likely] paid out money to someone in order to build them a site or an application and the person has left. Then, on the flip side, those of us who try to good honest business with integrity get associated with people who do things like that.

So even if a person comes to us wanting to hire us to complete the task at hand, they’re likely a little unsure as to if they can actually trust us to finish what they thought was going to be done the first time.

And though I know the conversation about what qualifies a person as a WordPress developer and doesn’t has been mentioned several times, I want to be clear that this is not meant to re-ignite that conversation or really contribute to it (though it may, in some ways).

Instead, I’m trying to clarify what a developer actually is, the realities that go into building something custom for someone, and what to expect when you get into that field.

I guess the target audience isn’t the typical WordPress developer. Instead, it’s targeting those who are looking to hire people to employ for their WordPress project, but aren’t sure they’re hiring the right talent.

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For the past couple of months, I’ve been working on a course that walks beginners through how to learn to write WordPress plugins. Specifically, the course is available via Envato and is called an Introduction To WordPress Development.

So what all does the course cover? Read More

Julie Kuehl

There’s a lot that can be said – both good and bad – as it relates to those who work within the confines of WordPress.

Sure, there are those who spend our days building things for others and who don’t generally converse with the rest of us via whatever social network we prefer, but there’s also a lot of us that do chat daily.

And though the conversations aren’t always as pleasant as they could be (but what conversations are?), one thing that WordPressers (is that what they’re called?) are exceptionally good at doing is coming together for a common cause to help someone go further in their career.

Case in point: Follow along with what’s recently happened with Julie Kuehl and her desire to become a better WordPress contributor.

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WordPress Style Guide

When working on custom solutions for others – be it for themes, plugins, or some other extension for WordPress – one of the things I think is important is to make sure the Dashboard has the same look and feel as the rest of the native components of WordPress.

That is, I dislike and I disagree when developers and designers deviate from the core WordPress look and feel.

But even for those who try to adhere to using the right elements in the right place and for those who try to stick with laying out dashboard pages using the natural patterns as defined by WordPress, is our best place of reference actually using other pages that exist throughout the dashboard?

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Call Me Maybe

Yesterday, I was chatting with a fellow WordPress developer and, as we were reviewing some code, we came across the use of maybe_unserialize. You can read more about it in the Codex, but the short of it is this:

Unserialize value only if it was serialized.

Seems a little odd, doesn’t it? I mean, shouldn’t we know if a value has been serialized?

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Source Code

As programmers, one of the things that we often hear is how we need to expose ourselves to other languages and environments in order to become more diversified in our experience. Or maybe it’s presented in a way that says we need to get to know other environments so we don’t get stale in the areas in which we currently work.

Whatever the case – whatever you’ve heard, or however you’ve heard it – I don’t necessarily disagree with it.

do think it’s important that we stay up to date on a lot of the new technology that’s available and I do think that it’s important that we learn some of the ways other languages do things. It helps us to become better thinkers.

And by becoming better thinkers, we can become better programmers and we can bring all of that experience back to the place where we started – in the environment in which we work best or in that we like most.

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