Daniel will be joining us for WPSession #3: Performance Driven Development on August 4th, 2013.
Where can we find you on the internet?
When and how did you get started with WordPress?
Oddly enough, my first WordPress site still lives on. A buddy and I wanted to get our student newspaper on the web, so we created a WordPress.com site for it. It served our needs for roughly six months, then we went about setting up a WordPress.org install. I can’t claim any credit for it, but The Pioneer has gone on to win a few awards for their online presence.
Also funny in hindsight: I distinctly remember scratching my head the first time someone tried to explain to me how The Loop works 🙂
What resources do you turn to when you want to learn something new?
It really depends on what I’m working on. If I’m approaching an entirely new technology, API, etc., I’ll do a bit of research (aka Googling) to see if anyone has written a nice introductory post to it. Otherwise, it’s straight to the documentation, then on to see if I can apply it.
Specific to WordPress, learning how to read core is a godsend. If I ever have a question about how something works, it’s straight to the code.
What is your favorite WordPress feature/aspect?
The usability of the WordPress admin. It’s the lingua franca for managing content. When working on a project, as long as I stay within WordPress’ UI conventions, I hardly ever have to explain how a feature works to an end user.
What is your favorite development tool and why?
Salt (and Vagrant). I know I should say WP-CLI, which has also changed my life, but the Salt / Vagrant combo has radically changed my development / deployment workflow.
Salt is a way of describing a server with easy to use YAML configuration files. Vagrant makes it possible to boot that server locally.
What advice do you have for others looking to become WordPress experts?
Find someone you can work on a project with (open source or otherwise) who will tear your code to shreds. Literally.
Criticism is the only way you’ll become a better developer — hubris gets in the way of learning.
Bonus Question: What is one interesting non-WordPress-related fact about yourself?
I’m (hopefully) running 41 miles around Mt. Hood in a few weeks!