Last night I spoke at a meetup of the Cape Town PHP Group. I was speaking alongside the excellent Gareth McCumskey who was giving a run down of what we can expect in PHP 7 (we can expect a lot of awesomeness by the way – you should really check that out). My presentation for the evening was a primer on WordPress development and a guide on how to bend WordPress to your will (which would have made a way more awesome title for the talk).
Today is not only my 3 year anniversary of joining WooThemes, but it also marks the first day that I am no longer a full-time developer on the team. This kicks off a significant new chapter in my professional career as it will be the first time since I started working that my job will no longer be 100% focussed on writing software.
My new title at WooThemes is Community Engagement Manager.
When we release a plugin on the repo we don’t do it out of need or obligation – rather it’s out of passion and a desire to give back to the great community that enables us to earn a respectable living. We do it because we believe that being selfish with our code doesn’t benefit anyone and by making it available for the world to use we are adding to the overall value of WordPress as a platform and as a community.
“WordPress is web software you can use to create a beautiful website or blog. We like to say that WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time.” That’s how WordPress is introduced on WordPress.org – a humble introduction for software that powers a huge chunk of the internet. Not only that, but to many people (myself included) WordPress is more than just ‘web software’ – it enables and signifies something far greater than that. This is what WordPress mean to me.
Organising community events isn’t necessarily as altruistic as it sounds – on a personal level I gain a lot from being involved. Here are three reasons why you should do the same.
WordCamps are brilliant. They’re a great time to learn from some awesome people in your local (and international) community in a friendly and relaxed environment. If you’re lucky you’ll generally also get some top notch food, coffee and an after party to remember. But there’s something else that makes WordCamps truly valuable.
Contributing to WordPress may sound daunting at first, but it’s ultimately a hugely rewarding endeavour that will both improve your knowledge of the platform and give you that warm, fuzzy feeling that you can only get from being a part of something so much bigger than yourself. After all – WordPress and the community has given us so much, that it’s only fair to give a small amount back.
At WordCamp Cape Town 2014 I presented a workshop on building your first WordPress plugin. It was a pleasure to share my experience with everyone who attended the workshop and, as I promised at the end of the workshop, here are a few links regarding what we learnt.