Dropping the color attribute.

Many times in the media, from friends and in the industry, I hear terms like:

  • The black person
  • My white friends
  • The colourd neighborhood 
  • Etc.

In all these cases I would have understood it perfectly if they left out the skin color.

I believe that dropping the color when referring to anyone is the best way to remove the racial divide that we’ve created in our minds.

If you try, you may find that there are better ways to describe the people or person you’re referring to.

How to make your followers happy

This article is from the perspective of the follower.

You may be following someone with exponentially more followers whom you look up too so much, but one day they started tweeting about things you really aren’t interested in.

You see, we all follow people for very personal and professional reasons, but although they’re happy about the follower count, we’re really looking for what we can gain by following them ( maybe it’s just me but you get my point)

So if you have a few followers, please,l make them proud and remember this:

  • Your followers time is precious 
  • They follow you for a reason 
  • Tweet the beneficial stuff 
  • Keep ranting to a limit
  • Don’t stop tweeting ūüôā

Hey Developer, Welcome to WordPress

Some time ago, a friend of mine wanted to start doing WordPress development. I created this resource for him and thought that many of you may also want to see this, so here it is:

Hey Friend,

There is a lot to cover here so I’ll break it down into:¬†

  • WordPress Community,
  • WordPress Development
  • My recommended talks

It will take some time for you to go through all the links, but there’s no rush, remember it is important that you follow your interests here as this is the best way to learn.

WordPress Community

WordPress Development

The most important thing to note is that you never, ever change any of the files that come with WordPress. You are welcome to read all the files from top to bottom, but if you wish to change WordPress you can do it via a plugin and if you want to change the look of your website you do this via a theme. That is the only options you have, but in combination, there is no limit to what you can do with WordPress (see these cool examples: http://pressbooks.com/ and  http://www.happytables.com/ )

Here is a great list of how you can get started with Plugin / Theme development

Awesome Talks

You can read all you like but nothing gets you up to speed like a video. Here are some really nice videos you can watch that will help you become a better developer in general:

Finally, my friend, WordPress is continually changing, therefore:

Follow these WP focused twitter accounts as a start:

I hope these resources have helped you. If you know of any great resources please pop them in the comments below.

Planning to blog regularly?

I seriously want to blog more frequently while also creating more quality.  If you have a blog then I know you share this with me. And you should know that my reasons for desiring this are very simple:

  • Improve writing skills
  • Learn to think critically as I write.

These reasons are really personal. Along with it I also desire to provide you with value as an exchange for spending valuable time reading my posts.

At the end of the day, for most of us, ¬†blogging is a labour of Love and I want you to feel that love. Any sentence, paragraph or Idea that doesn’t fit in will be booted. Even if I end up with 2 paragraphs so be it. ¬†Two quality paragraphs are better than a rambled essay.

I’m committed to :

  • Writing down my blogging ideas
  • Writing more often. Converting these blog Ideas into drafts an drafts to published posts.
  • Using fewer words while also asking the question, what can I leave out instead of worrying about what I can add to make the post longer?
  • Being myself and sharing who I am and in so doing grow as a writer.

Abandonware as a WordPress plugin

I have a littles secret to confess. In the days when I was still building client websites I would instal and reinstall at least 5 similar plugins before finding the perfect one. ¬†In majority cases I would never let the developer know if there was a bug as I simply didn’t have the luxury of time.

This got me thinking about the code I write today. How many people do that and never let me know what broke and if there was a reason for not selecting my plugin.

I still haven’t figured this out but I take this away from it. If it doesn’t work people walk away.¬†If I don’t get there attention and give them what they need fast. It’s a done deal.

Next chapter and moving into a new role

Today marks the start of a new and exciting journey. I’m starting in a new role as a Developer at Woothemes.

For the past two years I’ve been working with an amazing team in the technical support department . I’ve learnt so much about our clients and their needs. The support team serves as the frontline for Woothemes .  I’m excited to apply my experience gained in my new role.

My main focus will be to Work on our Sensei ( Learner Management System ) plugin. I’ve been a contributor on Sensei for the past few months, working weekends and after hours. With more time to focus on what I love, I aim to improve Sensei’s functionality, code and developer documentation.

Finally with more time after hours I look forward to learning and improving my skills as a software engineer.

WordPress loves PHPStorm, so should you!

I’ve fallen in love with another text editor. Its been since a while since I’ve last opened SublimeText and Coda. ¬†It has also been a little bit challenging to adjust at times but there’s no looking back when it comes to building WordPress based products. My workflow is even better than ever. Now let me tell you why you should love PHPStorm.

PHPStorm understands WordPress

As the the tools name¬†implies, it understands PHP, so what? That’s not all. It actually understand WordPress. It can pick up when you’re running a WordPress specific project and it can make suggestions to enhance your project settings¬†to give you the best setup for getting work done.

Its a purpose built tool

Theres no need for plugins. PHPStorm comes with all the tools  you need. If you need more tools it has an ad on system through which you can add more plugins.

Project specific terminal

Every project comes with a localised terminal window so you can start bashing out terminal commands from the get go. All this without leaving PHPStorm. If you love using git from the command line this will be one of your favourite features as it easily buys you a few hours extra per month.

Predefined styling Rules

PHPStorm has the WordPress style guide built in so you can get your project inline with core’s coding standards right from the start.

Never forget that TODO comment

If you like making inline comments to leave yourself notes and then forget where you’ve place the todo items you’ll be thrilled to know that PHPStorm remembers this for you. You can filter this by the entire project scope or just a specific file. With this you can track all your todo items across the project without the need for an external system.

Debugging made super easy

No more need for var_dump and echo to find bugs. All you need is to turn on xDebug on your server and link it to PHPStorm. From this point further I guarantee that you’ll speed up finding¬†bugs in your code. This is the main reason for switching over. If you’re still figuring out where your bugs originate without reloading the page and checking the var_dump. Switch over today.

More resources:

Be a better developer

Today, I’m truly happy to share with you ¬†what I know and have learned in my career as a developer. This post hopes to¬†give you some advice on how to be a better developer.

Be a small fish in a big pond

The company you keep determines a big part of where you’re going. This, in digital terms simply means, who you following on twitter, who’s blog posts you’re reading, which conferences you attend and which projects you choose to work on. Make sure you’re hanging with the right crowd and you’re already so much closer to being a better developer. Remember iron sharpens iron.

Focus on solving problems

As geeks we always finding ourselves focused on the next best technology. We can’t wait for the next launch and we ditch our current tools for the latest and greatest. In all this remember that we’re in the business of problem solving. Stop doing that and the value you could provide just goes down the drain.

Do your best to improve your problem solving skills. Step away from the computer and solve some simple real world problems.

Learn about algorithms that solve common problems. Learn about design patterns and think about the solution before technology.

Tools and Techniques

After you understand the problem and you know to solve it. Make sure you have just the right tools for the Job. This doesn’t mean the latest. It also doesn’t mean the best out there. It simply means the tools that will get the Job done and complete the problem solving process.

Learn about the industry best practices so you can apply them to your solution.

Test all the things

Think about testing and build it into your workflow. If you’re building once off projects I get why not but if you’re continuously improving a code base testing is your best friend.

Read code like books

Find good open source projects and read the code like a book. Try to understand what the code does. Run it yourself. Play with it, break it and improve it. This is a sure way in which you can improve your own solutions.

You Matter

Technology, solutions and all the rest means absolutely nothing without you. You have the intelligence to bring it all together, so make sure that you’re sharp. Live healthy. Have fun and get enough rest. You’ll be way more effective, productive and happy if you’re not burning yourself out.

Code is only part of the picture

After all is said and done your client(s) / user(s) determine how successful your solution will be. Always keep them in your focus. Make sure their point of view is always referenced and make sure that they are happy.

Beyond all of the above, Keep pushing yourself to be better. There is no other competition but your best.