San Diego Scavenger Hunt
I just returned from a week long company meetup with Automattic in San Diego. As a fun thing to do and to keep me alert, my partner Amy gave me a scavenger hunt for while I was there. I had to find and take a picture of the following 11 things. I got all but 1. I even crowdsourced and got some of my coworkers to help me out. It was definitely a fun activity for the trip and I feel like it kept me connected to Amy during the trip 🙂 Here’s the list:
- a coconut
- 5 different flip flops in one photo
- a beard at least 8 inches long
- a beagle
- as many mac laptops as can fit in a photo
- something turquoise
- a canadian license plate
- 3 people making a pyramid
- a lighthouse
- something with wings over something that floats
- two people kissing
I couldn’t find the coconut, but here are the other 10 photos:
Oh, and if you think that’s the kind of meetup and company you want to be part of, we’re hiring.
WordCamp & BuddyCamp Vancouver 2012
I’m excited to be on of the co-organizers of two upcoming events this fall. WordCamp Vancouver will be on October 13th; immediately followed by BuddyCamp (an event all about BuddyPress) on October 14th, which will also have a hack day on October 15th.
We’re now looking for both speakers and sponsors for both events. On the sponsorship side, you can sponsor either or both events (we have special packages if you want to sponsor both). We’re also looking for in-kind sponsorships if you have something to offer that might be useful or needed for our attendees day-of.
If you’re interested in speaking or sponsoring either or both events, please get in touch via the respective sites, 2012.vancouver.wordcamp.org and 2012.vancouver.buddypress.org.
We’ll be opening up ticket sales up soon as well, so keep an eye out for those. I bet they’ll go quick as we’re planning a great event 🙂
A distributed company
A little bit of insight into what it’s like to work at Automattic.
WordCamp Montreal 2012
Today I’m giving a talk about how to become a better WordPress developer at WordCamp Montreal. It’s (hopefully) a resourceful talk for developers of all levels (form beginner to advanced devs). Here are the slides that go along with the presentation. Also available as a PDF and on slideshare.
I absolutely love that at Automattic, we built in-house plugins that we then share with the world.
This handy little plugin is a huge speed-booster and convenience if you use P2 as your project manager (which you should!)
We’ve released a new plugin for the P2 theme that we’re calling P2 Hovercards. Hovercards are like extra bits of information about particular links that show up when you hover the corresponding inline link or object (for example, check out our Gravatar Hovercards).
With this plugin you can add hovercards to your self-hosted P2 sites. A good example of this is core trac tickets. If you look at the Make WordPress Core blog, you’ll notice that tagged Core Trac tickets are automatically linked up. So, something like #12345 links to http://core.trac.wordpress.org/ticket/12345.
With P2 Hovercards, we took this a step further. I can set it so that #12345 links to the right place, but then also show some additional information when you hover over the link. The following image is an example of what a hovercard could look like for that ticket:
You’ll notice that it gives all…
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WordPress Plugin Development Cookbook
Last march, Yannick Lefebvre, fellow WordPress developer from the Montreal WordPress community asked me if I would be willing to be a technical reviewer for a book he was writing. I was delighted by the opportunity and decided to take part in the project. And so for a few months, Yannick worked incredibly hard on getting a chapter ready every few weeks while I was giving him feedback on the code samples and explanations provided within his writing. It was definitely a unique experience since I don’t typical review literature in my day-to-day work.
The book has just been published, and you can grab a print or ebook copy over at Packt’s website. I received my copy today, and it looks great:
Thank you Yannick for asking to participate in the making of this book. It was a great learning experience and a true pleasure to be part of the project.
Theme Weekend recap
This weekend was the first ever Vancouver WordPress Theme Weekend. I was happy and excited to be part of the organizing team along with Morten Rand-Hendriksen, Angela Chich and Pauline Lai. We had a total of 20 attendees, divided into 4 teams of 5.
On Saturday morning, we divided up the teams and then brainstormed some ideas. The teams had just under an hour to decide on theme ideas. Each team ended up picking a niche they wanted to gear their themes towards. The four niches were: recipes, restaurants, fine art artists and film festivals. It then took most of day 1 for ideas, wireframes and designs to get fully fleshed out. Coding began at the end of day 1 for most teams.
Throughout day 1 we gave themers several opportunities to present their progress, and ask questions & feedback from other attendees. On day 2, we minimized interruptions and let everyone work hard on their themes… writing html, css and php.
In addition to the organizers, we had 3 floaters, Christine Rondeau, Catherine Winters and Andrew Ozz who helped teams with any questions or issues they encountered; mainly technical questions but essentially anything that came up.
On saturday morning, I gave a quick Github 101 presentation. The presentation was well received but unfortunately the whole concept of version control was over the head of most attendees who were either advanced users or novice developers. Everyone was eager to learn but in the end encouraging everyone to use Github was more of a hassle than it was worth. We ended up dropping the idea and everyone was free to work with the files whatever which way they pleased.
Overall, the weekend was a success. None of the teams 100% completed their theme but they did get very close. After all, most people wouldn’t be able to build a fully-fledged theme in 2 days, yet they did get a whole lot done in just about 15 hours of work. Regardless, everyone learned something and more importantly, we, as the Vancouver WordPress community got together, got to know each other better and collaborated together. That’s an experience that I think truly represents what WordPress is about and I hope to see more WordPress local groups organize and encourage this kind of hackaton-style activities.
I’d like to give huge thanks to the WordPress foundation for helping us with costs (mainly feeding everyone both days), the Network Hub for giving us the space (and giving us beer at the end of day 2!) and the Pink & Yellow NFP Society for helping organize and take care of the finances for the event.
You can find the finalized code for the themes on Github, more photos (all photos by Morten) from the event on Flickr, and tweets from the event at #ThemeWeekend.