WordPress Core Contributor and my WordPress Story

As I updated a WordPress site today (the new 5.0 version just shipped) I was proud to see my name in the list of core contributors! I’m listed as a core contributor in versions 4.9 as well as 5.0! I didn’t get around to sharing the news last year, but seeing my name in the credits as I upgraded today I realized I should share my WordPress story.

My name in lights ^

My WordPress Story

I share because as an aspiring developer over a decade ago, I fell into WordPress quite accidentally. I was studying in art school at the University of Georgia and creating my own interdiscipline degree with art, technology and animation. I happened to sign up for a Web design for Artists course to create a portfolio site because I was friends with the teacher. We learned flash and stepped into WordPress for blogging. I learned some coding from flash as well as the basics of HTML and CSS to customize the look of my kubric2 blog. The more I learned about coding online, the more I just ate it up!

I loved the immediacy of it all, in contrast to the long time required in my animation classes. For animation you must develop the story, the characters, do the modeling, and rigging and textures and lighting and keyframes etc etc etc, and then you have to let the computer render the animation to see the final. One of my final animation projects for a full semester project was literally half a minute long and it was a rendered movie file that I couldn’t even email because it was so large! It was a motion capture video and was still rather jumpy, but was pretty exciting stuff at the time.

In contrast, in my website class, my final project was viewable anywhere in the world and I could change the look on the fly. I even uploaded my animation so that others could view it online. I was excited for the new world of the internet! It was also interactive! You can do more than just watch it, you actually engage with it and touch (click) it and explore it. Though it can have some movement like animation, it’s a more simple type of movement.

Under pressure to support my pregnant wife, I found a job as a web designer and learned more about javascript and php on the clock. I’m happy that years later, I’m still using WordPress to build sites and grow my skills. WordPress has helped me make sense of web development and grow my career to support a growing family. I’m still extremely grateful and even fascinated by the open source community surrounding the software. I’m humbled to be included in the names of contributors. If I can do it, so can you. Keep working at it and chase your dreams.

My (small) Contributions

Last year, for 4.9, I was able to fix a bug I found in the media library where clicking on the edge of an image failed to select it. It was minor, but I found it annoying, so I created a ticket and after tinkering a while on it figured out how to submit a patch. I discussed the patch with some others and at WordCamp spoke with a committer who pushed it through!

I got involved with the early development with Gutenberg (the new block editor) on github. I figured out how to submit the pull request via github and participated in the wordpress slack discussions. That was a long time ago, but finally with the release of 5.0 Gutenberg is now included. That is until I got too busy to continue and then when I was about to pick it back up, I changed jobs. I know they have been small contributions, but I’m proud nonetheless. I have a goal to continue my contributions and perhaps even up the amount of code I’m able to share.  I feel like I’ve come a long way since those early years, as well as WordPress has come a long way.

My github handle in lights ^

WordCamp Atlanta 2018 – I’m Speaking on Processes for Development Teams

I’m happy to be contributing to the WordPress community as a speaker at WordCamp Atlanta 2018.

I submitted a few topics and have been selected to speak about development process for teams. Here’s the short description:

Overview of some processes used at an agency level. Version control, code standards, database migrations, environment aware config files and automated deployments. From local development setup to multiple environments, version control to automated deployments, content migration to modular mentalities. With some how-to talk and some how-not-to talk, we’ll discuss some ways to “soup up” our process to work for us when it comes to web development and WordPress.

Let me know if there are any topics you’d like to hear me cover and I’ll do my best to work it in.

I’ve also been asked to help out during the developer workshop day. Details are still to be ironed out, but it will be an introduction for newer developers and help them get up to speed on development best practices. It will also be a specific look at the development updates on WordPress 5.0, more specifically the Gutenberg editor.

After contributing to the presentations at the Atlanta meetup about Gutenberg I’m excited to again help out in preparing the community for the new editor experience.

Presenting at WordCamp Atlanta is exciting for me because I’m from Atlanta and it is the first WordCamp I attended back in 2012, it was also my first time speaking! Six years have passed- the industry has changed and I have learned a lot in the past 6 years! I have learned so much about working within WordPress and have led multiple teams in different agencies. I’ve invented and iterated on process and workflows for myself as well as the team. I’m excited for the opportunity to take a step back and detail some of these procedures I’ve found most helpful.

 

10up

Turning the page

I’ve joined 10up as a Front End Developer. 10up is a leader in the WordPress industry as an elite WordPress agency (with clients like Microsoft, Time, ESPN, and Adobe). While speaking at WordPress conferences among a few 10uppers, I heard more and more about the distributed agency and I heard they had an opening. Seeing how a 100% remote position would align with my family’s vision of travel & world schooling, I held my breath and applied. I was ecstatic when I eventually received an offer to join the team!

So, after nearly 4 years at Brown Bag Marketing, it’s bittersweet to be moving on. I learned a lot and grew leading the WordPress team. I built and rebuilt processes and iterated, built products and open sourced plugins, internal products. I taught classes and gave presentations. Overall, I made some really good friends, worked hard and together, we built some really fun projects.

Brown Bag Marketing

The next chapter

I’m very enthusiastic about working for such an elite WordPress agency. I’ve always been The resident WordPress evangelist, I’ve converted agencies to WordPress and convinced others that it was more than just a blogging platform. I’ve built many impressive sites on WordPress and used the fruit of those labors as proof that WordPress was a viable tool for an agency. It will be an exciting change to have as coworkers many that I’ve looked up to over the years as the rockstars of the WordPress community. I know I will learn a lot and grow as a developer on the elite team at 10up.

I’m also ecstatic to be back in a remote position. I live in Atlanta which is rightly known for notorious traffic. I’m eager to save 10+ hours a week and to put that time back into my family and pursuing other interests. I understand that a remote workforce has its own challenges and problems, but I also trust that the folks at 10up have solutions to at least some of those issues and will work to ensure that even though i’m not physically with my team, we can be on the same page and do stellar work. I’m feeling the travel bug lately, and even hope to make the most of this remote life to explore the world with the family! Whether that means RV life or some international stints, we are excited for some family adventures.

Speaking at the Inaugural WordCamp Greenville

I was excited to hear about another WordCamp being held close to my home base in Atlanta. Greenville announced their first WordCamp and I was happy to apply as a speaker with a few presentation ideas. I was excited to hear that I was selected as a speaker. Today it dawned on me that as I’m preparing to head to Clemson tomorrow, that I hadn’t even posted that I would be there. So here’s the announcement that I’m speaking at the Inaugural WordCamp Greenville 2018, tomorrow. 🙂

There’s the official announcement from @WordCampGVL.

I’ll be presenting a quick introduction to all things development. While I have presented this topic a couple times now, I still enjoy it. Each time I have a handful of attendees come to thank me and say they had never seen the big picture so simply before. I remember (and still am sometimes) a beginner with certain technologies and getting a quick overview sweep of the whole landscape is helpful and grounding so I can know how it all fits together. I joke when talking about being a web developer/engineer that I started more on the design side. Heck, I even have a BFA, bachelor’s of fine art degree. So, what you might ask am I doing programming sites. I started more on the design side but have since joined the dark side. I have found a more fun and creative outlet writing code than I did actually visually designing things. I still feel that web development is a creative exercise and enjoy the technical side as well as the process and the creativity required. I enjoy helping others grasp this complicated landscape we call web development because I was there and still get lost sometimes myself. So, this talk is called:


Beware the dark side, or an Intro to Development

Crash course introduction to web development for WordPress covering acronyms, buzzwords and concepts that often leave outsiders mystified. Overview of primary development processes and what software and tools are needed to play the game. We’ll cover what you need to go from zero to developer and hopefully how to have fun on the way. WordPress development tools explained for beginners: ftp, git, svn, php, html, css, sass, js, jquery, IDEs, themes, child themes, the Loop, hooks, APIs, CLI, agile, bootstrap, slack, linting, sniffing … etc.


If you’re in the area, sorry for the late notice, because the Conference is sold out, but I’ll update you with slides once they are complete on my WordPress page and the presentation will be up on wordpress.tv eventually.

Speaking at WordCamp Wilmington about the WordPress API

I am speaking this weekend in North Carolina at WordCamp Wilmington. I thought I had posted this weeks ago, but apparently not, so as I finish my slides for the talk, I’m also announcing that I’m giving it. I have never been to Wilmington and am excited to check it out!

I was asked after my presentation in Raleigh to share with Wilmington as well, and they selected a topic I submitted about the API. I’m happy to share what I know and help others grasp what a cool tool this is and how it will change the landscape of the web.

Here’s the talk description:

It’s here, what can I do with it now? A couple case studies on how to use the API and code samples to get you started. It allows us to further separate the data from the code. Use WordPress as a CMS and then via the API easily access or update that data to power whatever we like. We’ll touch how to set it up and a handful of examples and then explore an iOS app pulling all it’s data and assets from a WordPress site via this API.

I’m discussing the API history and roadmap a little as well as how to use it and what for. I’ve got some usage examples with code to show that it’s not very hard to get started and it opens up many many possible uses of WordPress. In a nutshell, rather than getting your content or data via a webpage as part of a website (php, html, css and javascript), you can retrieve your data via the API.  You’ll get json data that is compact and fast to transfer and then you can do endless things with it. Create an app, load it into another website, analyze it as data…

Here are the example uses:

  1. Mobile App – Content via API
  2. Mobile App – Custom endpoint to API
  3. WordPress Plugin – POST content to API
  4. External site – GET Content via API
  5. WordPress Plugin – using js client

Come check it out, my slides and other presentations (most with videos) are listed on my WordPress page at circlecube.com/does-wordpress/

WordCamp Asheville 2017 Speaker – Intro To Web Development and Modular Web for WordPress

I’m pleased to share that I’ll be speaking at WordCamp Asheville, not once, but twice! I’m presenting an Intro to Web Development for beginners as well as a lightning talk about Modular Web practices for WordPress.

wordcamp asheville 2017

My first talk will be the same as the one I presented at WordCamp Raleigh, but after having presented the content once and taken questions and discussing things with attendees, I hope it will be even better and more helpful. Overall the feedback was very grateful and the audience seemed to have learned a good bit. There were even a few people that came up to me to say it was the best presentation they had seen at the conference. So I am happy to present it again. Here’s the abstracts for each presentation:


So you wanna dev? Join the team!

Takeaways:

  • Learn to speak dev
  • Get familiar with concepts (and acronyms) you’ll need to dev
  • Learn about tools that will help you

Modular Web for WordPress (Lightning)

WordPress the CMS, meets the Modular Web. We need to stop thinking about a website as a collection of pages and templates, but as a set of modules and a system to manage them. Modules, like Legos, are interchangeable and can be combined fairly quickly to create an infinite number of results all while both showing variety and remaining consistent. With this modular paradigm shift, our workflows improve, our websites improve and our very well-being improves. Let’s explore how to use WordPress to manage site content using modules. We’ll see what this does for our development process and programming as well for our content management via the admin. We’ll discuss how to build and maintain a module library, and use it for every site you build. These principles have been immensely helpful in each team or project where I’ve put them into practice, so we’ll even take a look at a few examples and point out where to learn more.

Takeaways:

  • Learn the basics of Modular design for web
  • Understand the advantages to building sites modularly
  • See how to do it with WordPress

The second talk will be one I submitted as a full talk, but was asked to present it as a lightning talk. It will be tricky to squeeze everything into 15 minutes, but I’ll do my best. Developing modularly is something that I am passionate about. I think a lot of sites use WordPress as a CMS, and forget the system part of that. We should use the CMS to help us build flexible systems that are flexible. I’ve been preaching this idea of “Building Systems not Pages” for a long time and hope to inspire others to work smarter. There is a lot to cover, but having only a few minutes to do it in will force me to present the main and most important points only. I’m excited for the challenge!

Tickets are on sale now, so if you’re in the area, I hope to see you at WordCamp Asheville 2017. It will be the best $40 you spend!

WordCamp Raleigh 2017 Speaker – WordPress Devevlopment for Beginners

Although the schedule is not yet out(The schedule is here), I’m happy to announce that this year I’ll be speaking at WordCamp Raleigh 2017 . I’m preparing an intro to Web Development for WordPress users talk. We’ll cover all the crazy acronyms people forget to ask what they mean and help (I hope) attendees at least test the waters in the development pool. There’s a learning curve which some would say is increasing with all the complexities in the Web world these days. This will be my second trip speaking at WC Raleigh, since speaking last year as well as WordCamp Raleigh 2016. I’m excited to see some familiar faces.

So you wanna dev? Join the team!

WP Dev/tools for beginners: ftp, git, svn, php, html, css, sass, js, jquery, IDEs, themes, child themes, the loop, hooks, APIs, CLI, agile, bootstrap, SEO, slack… etc.

We’ll discuss the language of programming and various acronyms and buzzwords used by devs in this crash course introduction to the developer’s world. The session will be an overview of primary development processes and terms as well as what software is needed to play the game. We’ll cover what you need to go from zero to developer and hopefully how to have fun on the way.

 

Why do I want to talk about this?

fortran- the original hanging chadI know what it feels like to be drinking from the firehose. I remember all too well how mystical the development world looked from the outside. I studied Art throughout high school and college. While I have a Fine Art degree from UGA, I was always interested in technology as well, but more along the lines of what I could do with Photoshop. I wasn’t (and still am not) into building computers or fortran coding or spending much time in my terminal. I was studying digital media art and computer animation and ended up taking a web design for artists course – and it changed my life.

I was introduced to HTML& CSS, WordPress blog, and ActionScript in Flash. I enjoyed the flash days and that experimentation really helped spark my interest in programming. I continued to update my WordPress site and learned a lot programming just from wanting to make my own site better. Then eventually, until I was took the plunge into development full-time.

love actionscriptI still remember feeling elated when I loaded up a project in the browser to see it live. Also when I finally understood for loops and the other weird symbols and keywords in programming. It’s great how you can build something and moments later, have it online and accessible to the whole (connected) world. A lot has happened to/in web development and there is a much larger more complex puzzle to sort out when getting started today vs a decade ago. It really is like learning a new language, along with a whole way of thinking. I am hoping to help guide you through it .

Get your ticket

Last year, at WordCamp Raleigh 2016, I presented in the developer track discussing the WP REST API. This year it will be interesting to present to the non-developer attendees and see if I can bring any into the fold. So, go get a ticket for this year! I’ll see you there!

Speaker at WordCamp Birmingham – More WP REST API

I am excited to be a speaker at WordCamp Birmingham 2016. I’ll be speaking on October 29th – just a couple weeks away and now that they have announced the #wcbhm schedule I’m announcing my participation as well. I’ll be opening up the developer track for the day at 10am. I will be presenting more about the WP REST API. A lot will be taken from my WordCamp Raleigh presentation on the same subject, but as usually happens, once you do present, you realize a few holes in your slides and have some additions, suffice it to say, this won’t just be a repeat presentation.

wordcamp-birmingham-badge-speaking

WP API, What is it Good For? Absolutely Everything!

I am very excited about the WP API and am tracking it’s progress closely. There are big discussions as to when it will be rolled into core and all and we’ll discuss these details in the presentation, we’ll also discuss things we can do with the API. It allows us to further separate the data from the code. Because WordPress is a great CMS we can use it to manage our data and then via the API access that data to power whatever we like. We’ll touch a handful of examples and explore an iOS app pulling all it’s data and assets from a WordPress site via this API. We’ll discuss authentication and terms to bring API beginners up to speed on what it’s all about!

So if you’re anywhere close, I encourage you to go get yourself a ticket (just $20) to WordCamp Birmingham and check it out. There will be many other presentations worth checking out as well. I hope to see some familiar faces in Birmingham!

Speaker at WordCamp Raleigh – WP REST API

I’m pleased to be a Speaker at WordCamp Raleigh as well this year. It will be all about the WordPress REST API! WordCamp has been a quick turnaround in Raleigh, it’s already coming up this weekend, September 24-25th, and my speaking time is Saturday afternoon at 4pm. I’ll discuss the forthcoming API, which is partly integrated into WordPress core, but in order to use still requires we install the feature plugin. I’ll recap the history so we know where the API came from, talk about what it means to the WordPress ecosystem, and the web as a whole, that every site will have an API built-in. We’ll talk about routes and endpoints and authentication as well as look at some brave examples that are using this beta feature in production! Get your tickets (there are still about a dozen available) and come out out to Raleigh, North Carolina for WordCamp 2016.wordcamp-raleigh-hero-2016

WordCamp Presentation

WP API, what is it good for? Absolutely Everything!

See the Power of the WP API. Now that every WordPress website has (or will have) an API built-in, what can you do with it? It allows us to further separate the data from the code. Use WordPress to manage our data and then via the API easily access or update that data to power whatever we like. We’ll touch how to set it up and a handful of examples and then explore an iOS app pulling all it’s data and assets from a WordPress site via this API.

banner-772x250

This will be geared for developers with some “how to” but also for everyone interested in the power of WordPress and where things are heading.

  • Learn how to spell WP-API
  • Learn about the power and flexibility it brings to WordPress
  • See it working in a live app

I’ll update this post with slides and links and notes and maybe one day even a video of the presentation as WordCamp Raleigh. I’m excited to meet the Raleigh WordCamp enthusiasts and share what I can with them as well as the WordPress community as a whole. It’s been quite a busy year as far as speaking and especially this fall, as in 2 weeks I’ll be down in Orlando for another WordCamp.

Speaker at WordCamp Orlando – Intro to WordPress Development

I’ll be a WordCamp Speaker in Orlando this year. WordCamp Orlando is October 8th and my speaking time is Saturday afternoon. My presentation topic will be a crash course intro to development for beginners. I’ve given some presentations similar to this at work and have even had pieces of this presentation in parts of other talks I have given, but it will be nice to just focus the whole time on the intro for attendees that feel dev presentations get too deep too quickly.orlando-wordcamp-hero

So You Wanna Dev? Join the Team!

“WP Dev/tools for beginners: ftp, git, svn, php, html, css, sass, js, jquery, IDEs, themes, child themes, the loop, hooks, APIs, CLI, agile, bootstrap, SEO, slack… etc.
We’ll discuss the language and various acronyms and buzzwords used by devs in this crash course introduction to the developer’s world. Overview of primary development processes and terms and what software is needed to play the game. We’ll cover what you need to go from zero to developer and hopefully how to have fun on the way.”

I’ve been a WordCamp Speaker in the past, but it’s been specific to Atlanta. Orlando will be fun and I’m excited about the KidsCamp sessions they have going too!

WordCamp parents can now usher in the next generation of WordPress builders at our first annual KidsCamp! Parents attending WordCamp can bring their junior builders along and enjoy a day of parent-child learning under the tutelage of some of our WordPress Master Builders!

WordCamp Orlando 2016 will be at the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management in south Orlando! So get your tickets and bring the kids. I may or may not be stopping in to Harry Potter World while I’m in town. =)