Another Developer? Heck yes! Meet Cameron!

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And another one aboard! Meet our newest developer Cameron Campbell!

Here’s a little bit about him:

Cameron comes from a traditional design background but fell in love with code somewhere along the way after learning HTML and CSS. Not long after that, a developer friend encouraged him to check out WordPress and he was overwhelmed by the helpful community and passionate developers working on core.

Cameron has worked at design agencies and most recently been a successful freelancer but was drawn to WebDevStudios by the immense talent and friendly people. He has a passion for learning and is currently exploring every resource he can to further his design and development knowledge.

When he’s not working, Cameron enjoys spending time with his wonderful wife, Charity and their dog, Frothy. Cameron and Charity are expecting their first child and couldn’t be happier!

You can follow Cameron @bezierer and find more ways to stay in touch here. As we said last week, if you want to join our amazing team, we’re still accepting applications! Check out our jobs page for more details.

Oh, and happy Fourth of July to our US-ians! Have a great weekend everyone!

 

The Future of JavaScript: ECMAScript 6 and You

ES6 Sample

Today, JavaScript fills every aspect of our online lives: it checks your e-mail in the background, it guides your online shopping cart, and it even autosaves your blog post as you write. From the client to the server, JavaScript is everywhere. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that this wasn’t always the case.

When I started writing basic web pages in the late 90’s, “DHTML” was the acronym describing the use of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS; the “D” stood for “Dynamic.” DHTML sites were heavy and sluggish, yet they showcased the power of JavaScript (or JScript, depending on who you asked). They also served as a reminder of why many developers shied away from JavaScript at the time: it was resource-intensive, and implementations varied from browser to browser. At the time, I only knew a handful of people who did any kind of web development–we were, after all, more concerned with the issues of how much AP courses “sucked” and whether or not we could get tickets to see Blink 182. For us, the consensus was that JavaScript was for show, and any website could do what it needed to do without it.

JavaScript has now made a name for itself as the go-to for interactive sites. Gone are the days of full-page Flash applications, Shockwave Player, and Java as a general “necessity” for the web. JavaScript has even found it’s way onto the server with projects such as Node.js. Automation of screenshots, converting web pages to PDF, or headless testing can all be achieved from the command link using PhantomJS, a headless implementation of the WebKit engine. On the wider web, JavaScript gives us the little spinner that eventually leads to a table of search results populating without a page reload, or dragging-and-dropping an image to upload it to Imgur. Even some of the apps on the smartphones in pockets around the world use JavaScript. It’s no longer just for hobbyists or experimentation – knowing JavaScript is a part of the job.

Which brings us to ECMAScript 6, or ES6. JavaScript is an implementation of ECMAScript, which also covers languages such as ActionScript, JScript, QtScript, and many others. ES6, codenamed “Harmony,” has been in the works since 2008 and periodic drafts have been published since 2011. This month, June 2015, ECMAScript 6 was formally announced and released and includes a lot of new and interesting tidbits for developers of the modern web.

Below I hope to cover some of the new features, but by no means all of them, as that would be far beyond the scope of this post. For more information, you can check out the full specification PDF to get a look at all of the stuff coming to a browser near you.

Author’s note: the following will include some code examples – some modern browsers may still not recognize certain keywords or agree with their use. For instance, Chrome requires “use strict” to make use of the “let” keyword.

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Welcome to the team, Jeremy!

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Whew. Yes, it’s that time again–meet another developer who has joined the WebDevStudios family!

This is Jeremy Pry, and here’s a little more about him:

Jeremy started building websites in 2009 with a simple XHTML and CSS brochure site. In 2010, he discovered WordPress and fell in love with its simplicity and flexibility. He delved further into WordPress to create websites for local clients ranging from churches to state representatives.

Until 2012 he worked with WordPress mostly as a self-taught hobby but he found that he enjoyed it so much that he wanted to pursue a career as a WordPress developer. He is always looking to learn more and use what he learns to help others, so he found working in the WordPress community to be both fun and fulfilling.

As a professional developer he has continued learning about WordPress and good development practices. He continues to be involved in the WordPress community both inside and outside of work, regularly attending Meetups and WordCamps in and around the Philadelphia area.

When he’s not behind a computer, Jeremy loves to spend time with his wife, Elisa, and his daughter, Katherine. He and his wife will soon be welcoming their second child into their family (due July 2015). He enjoys participating in his Church and plays Ultimate Frisbee each week. He also has a passion for cooking, baking, and grilling, as well as photography, and nature. In his spare time he likes to build furniture and make projects with a Raspberry Pi. He has also been known to build websites for friends and family.

You can follow him on Twitter @JPry and find more ways to connect with him on his team page. We continue to grow and we’re still accepting applications for a variety of positions, so if you’d like to join the raddest team in town, check out what other roles we’re looking to fill.

Summer Reading List Must: Professional WordPress

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Hey, happy summer! It wasn’t too long ago that we did our last giveaway, but the weather is getting toasty, and we figured you might need a good summer read. Plus, we find these giveaways to be a lot of fun, and we hope you do too!

By now, we assume you’re familiar with the Professional WordPress books written by Brad Williams, David Damstra, and Hal Stern. The third edition of Professional WordPress was released in January, and since then we’ve done two giveaways of the book (and a few other small goodies). To kick off a bright and beautiful season, though, we wanted to go bigger. Like the sun.

This time around, we’re giving away a copy of Professional WordPress (signed by Brad, naturally), and in addition to that, we’re also giving away a one year membership to the Apple Developer ProgramYup, you read that right! We are mighty privileged to be a part of this community of developers and designers and WordPress lovers, and we wanted to give something back that’s extra sweet for you folks.

Let’s keep this short and sweet and simple: As per usual, click through to the Rafflecopter to enter! As we did last time, if we beat 250 entries, we’ll give away some rad Maintainn t-shirts and stickers and other goodies as second and third place prizes.

Good luck!

 

The Questions You Need to Ask When Building a Team

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Building a team is one of the hardest things to do, and yet it’s so crucial to creating a sustaining, successful business with happy employees. We’ve heard Brad share his basic philosophy on this a few times, and the value of it cannot be overstated: Work with people you like.

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While that’s a simple foundation to start from, there are also some key questions to ask and qualities to look for when you’re building up your team. One of the best things about WDS is the fact that it has so many amazing team members, many of which have backstories that, from the outside, may not make them look like the obvious best fit for a web development agency. The reason that we have such an eclectic crew, though, is because the questions that our folks ask themselves (and of prospective team members) when expanding are often questions that cannot be answered by reading a resume.

Today, a few WDS leaders share their insight on how to effectively build a skilled, capable, and downright rad team. All three of our Project Managers, Cristina Cannon, Melissa Hoppe, and Jaimie Olmstead, chipped in, as well as our VP of Operations, Dre Armeda, and the founder of Maintainn, Shayne Sanderson. Each person comes at this from a different angle, not only because of their own personal perspective and past professional experience, but because the various roles they have at WDS can vary wildly, so the answers are all a little different, and may help you next time you’re looking to expand your recent venture.

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WDS Github Releases for May 2015

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Every month, WDS releases a bunch of goodies over on Github (and occasionally WordPress.org and elsewhere). While we typically share the links on social media, we know that it’s easy for things to get lost in the noise, so we will be bringing you our top releases of every month. While the vast majority are on Github, we’ll sometimes also be featuring non-Github releases as well.

Catch up on last month’s releases, and check out our choice releases for May 2015:

WP Contributions

WP Contributions provides an easy way to display your WordPress.org Themes, Plugins, Core tickets, and Codex contributions with handy widgets and template tags. It was also featured on the Tavern!

CMB2 Date Range Field

MORE CMB2 GOODNESS FOR YOU, this time from Dusty! CMB2 Date Range Field adds…well, a fancy CMB2 date range field type. This is particularly great for events, bookings, and the like.

WDS Custom Login Page

Ever want to have a login page for your site that’s not the wp-login.php page? This plugin gives you the ability to have a page in the WordPress admin act as, and override, the default wp-login.php page. It works with any workflow you might be comfortable with; you can use a custom page template, you can use a named page template (page-login.php), you can use a template tag to display the login form, or you can use a simple shortcode.

WDS Simple Page Builder

We already featured this, but Chris wrote a blurb that may give some greater insight to those who want to learn more about what WDS Simple Page Builder is about:

WDS Simple Page Builder is a plugin that allows you to build and arrange custom layouts for pages out of template parts in the theme. It’s designed primarily with custom WordPress themes in mind and was originally built for the new Maintainn redesign. Instead of overloading content editors with layout and formatting options for widgets and component types and forcing them to learn or use HTML to create custom-designed elements, these things are built by the theme developer and all the content manager needs to worry about is arranging them on the page. Recent updates remove the requirement for an already-existing CMB2 installation and the ability to set a global template part configuration that can be used for all pages instead of requiring each page to be set up manually.

WDS Browser Detect

Here’s a lightweight plugin to detect browsers, operating systems, and devices. It’s powered by a (slightly) modified version of Chris Schuld’s https://github.com/cbschuld/Browser.php

Yeoman WordPress Plugin Generator

This update has three new sub-generators for creating widgets, custom post types, and options pages to be bundled with your plugin-wp generated plugin…and many bug fixes too!

And as per usual, special thanks to Justin Sternberg for helping me put this post together!

Did any of you out there use any of these this month? Did you see other Github releases that tickled your fancy? Tell us! 

 

An Alternate Git Flow for Client Work

wds-git-flow

We’ve mentioned it before, but at WebDevStudios, we use git flow–a specific git workflow first proposed five years ago, though the original author, Vincent Driessen, says he had been using it for a year before posting about it. Git Flow works best when you are developing a product that has definitive releases, but this gets really gray when you have a handoff process where you build a complete site and then give it to a client. We’re working on developing a Git Flow process that adapts Git Flow for use in client work.

First, let’s review how Git Flow works.

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WordCamp Philly 2015 is Nearly Here!

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I know you didn’t think we’d miss announcing the next big event we know we’re stoked on! WordCamp Philly 2015 is THIS WEEKEND, June 13th-14th!

Although I find it hard to believe that any of our regular readers are unfamiliar with WordCamp (come on, now!), for those of you that are completely green: WordCamps are events held all over the world where WordPress nerds unite to share their skills, insights, and learn a whole lot from a bunch of other smarties.

This is a big one for us since Philly is where WebDevStudios HQ is located! This is the fifth WordCamp Philly, and not only will a bunch of WDS folk be there, but there are some other special events taking place that we hope those of you attending will participate in. Rami, Justin, and Brian will be speaking, and Brad, Corey, and Jaimie will all be attending as well, so make sure to grab them and say hello!

Here’s what you won’t want to miss:

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Say hi to our new developers, Rommel and Brianna!

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Oh snap! That’s right! We’ve added two more to our team! Join us in welcoming Rommel Castro and Brianna Privett! Rommel is joining the Maintainn team, and Brianna will be here over at WDS!

Here’s a little bit more about them:

Rommel Castro

Rommel got into Web Development when he was 15 and started building websites with just HTML & CSS. Since then he’s been passionate about web technologies and has worked with multiple platforms including NodeJS, .NET and PHP on the back-end and front-end side.

He’s been in love with WordPress since version 2.7, and loves building solutions based on WordPress.

He started a local WordPress group in Costa Rica and is also active on forums helping people with their issues.

When he’s not solving problems with code, he’s reading or probably traveling. You can follow him @cleanXcoder.

Brianna Privett

Brianna Privett is the founder of Utopian.net and the TechnoSiren Pattern Library for WordPress.

She has been building websites and applications since 1996, and developing for WordPress since 2005. She lives on a small farm with her two sons, fifteen chickens, three pigs, two rabbits, and a greenhouse with killer wi-fi. You can follow her @briannaorg.

And lastly, we’re still hiring! Take a look at our jobs page and if you think you’d be a good fit, submit an application!

Lesson Learned: PHP Memory Limits

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If there is one thing I really love to do, it’s migrations. While the requirements for a migration vary from project to project, the purpose is generally the same: Get data from point A to point B in a reasonable amount of time, and automate it as much as possible. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I realized I hadn’t ever recognized the impact of full-on automation, and the implications of forgetting about PHP’s memory.
In this post, I’m going to try and give you some insight on what goes into a migration, the memory implications, and hopefully you can learn from my forgetfulness!

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