Join K.Adam White for WPSession #5: WordPress Unit Tests on Saturday, November 30. He’ll be talking about JS Unit Testing.
Where can we find you on the internet?
My personal site is kadamwhite.com, but updates aren’t exactly a daily occurrence. You can more reliably find me over on Twitter as @kadamwhite, or track me down on GitHub or Flickr. I work for the amazing folks at Bocoup, an Open Web technology company in Boston — we’re over at bocoup.com (@bocoup on Twitter). Check us out on the web, or if you’re in Boston drop by for a meetup, training, or just to grab a coffee!
When and how did you get started with WordPress ?
Some time in 2006 I was sitting in our college cafeteria and saw a friend updating a really cool-looking website. I asked her what she used to run it, and she told me WordPress. I got my own site up and running on our house server in early 2007, and went from there. I returned to WordPress after graduating, when I began picking up web design work from my friend Joey Brunelle, founder of Goose Rock Design. I began to teach myself PHP, then jQuery, and WordPress lead me into all the programming roles I’ve held since.
What resources do you turn to when you want to learn something new?
I’m lucky enough to work for a company where I am surrounded by amazing coworkers who don’t shrug off questions and curiosity, so I soak up as much from my team as I can. As a consulting engineer at Bocoup I get to work with a variety of clients, which keeps me exposed to a range of new technologies. And of course I love attending conferences and meetups—I’ve never come away from a conference or WordCamp without a list of new friends, and new things to learn!
What is your favorite WordPress feature/aspect?
I used to say the ecosystem, meaning the flexibility of plugins and themes: If you want to do X in WordPress, you’re pretty likely to have a choice of X 1, X2 , and X3, if not more options . These days I think I’d have to say the philosophy, though. The strong guiding principles of the project (and the lead team’s dedication to upholding them) sets an example for other open source projects to follow.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve learned/discovered while unit testing?
Unit testing makes me consider more angles as I code. When you’re thinking about every input/output scenario, you catch edge cases and weird conditions earlier, and sometimes you find ways to optimize the code. Writing a test this summer lead to removing an entire module from our app, for example: Once I tested it, I realized it wasn’t doing anything useful!
What advice do you have for others looking to become WordPress experts?
Keep an open mind; get to as many in-person events as you can; smile; listen; ask “why” when people tell you what to do; and try ignoring their advice at least once, to see what breaks!
Bonus Question: What is one interesting non-WordPress-related fact about yourself?
Coding is still only the second-most-fun paying gig I’ve ever had! I DJ’d in college, and (while I don’t play much these days) I still love finding new interesting blends of musical styles. At one point, I was pretty sure I had the largest bagpipe techno collection in the midwest!