The Role of a Project Manager

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Why do I have a project manager on my team? What does my project manager do all day? Why am I paying for a project manager?
The role of a project manager can be loosely defined as the point of contact for the client, team planner…or the greatest multi-tasker alive.
While most of those descriptions are true, in all seriousness, a project manager may just be one of the most important roles on a team. I am going to walk you through a few key reasons why you may want to think twice before starting a project without a trusty project manager having your back.

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WebDevStudios and Maintainn are Hiring Developers!

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One of the things that makes WebDevStudios (and our support team, Maintainn) work so well is our fantastic team.

Maybe you’ve gotten to know some of us through meeting us at events, through Twitter , through here on our blog, or heck, maybe you’ve worked with some of our folks through previous/independent collaborations. If we have had the pleasure of meeting, you already know that the folks on the WDS team are brilliant, irreverent, and hardworking folks with huge hearts…and we’re looking for a few more rad folks to add to this mix!

We’ve announced it on Twitter and otherwise, but both WDS and Maintainn are hiring! We’re seeking folks with WordPress development experience (you might have guessed that one!) who are comfortable working remotely and who are ready to join a team of incredible folks.

Check out the links below for more details on the available positions:

Share the links with your fellow dev friends and help us find the next additions to our crew! Maybe we’ll see YOU…in our virtual office!

3 Great WordPress Themes for Portfolio Sites

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Recently, we showed you how to create a filterable portfolio and included a free starter theme suitable for portfolio sites. However, if you’re more of a designer than a developer, customizing a starter theme might not be what you prefer to do. To save you the time, we’re going to showcase three great WordPress themes that will fit any portfolio site. Best of all, they’re free and you can download them straight from your WordPress dashboard.

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10 Things I Learned Migrating Websites to WordPress

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Since joining WDS, I’ve had the awesome opportunity to be a part of our internal migrations team and create scripts to help migrate sites for Microsoft to WordPress. It’s an ongoing joke about my joy for migrations because in my initial interview I expressed that I wasn’t too fond of them and plugins were my thing. Boy, was I in for a surprise, because I’ve been studying and writing migrations scripts for almost a year now.

This post is born out of a year of challenges, growth, and my new found love and respect for the beast known as WordPress Migrations. Its purpose is to help those who may be entering this space for the first time or needing to refine their processes become more efficient (and make some more money) doing migrations.

This is not an exhaustive list, but here are ten things that I learned migrating websites to WordPress:

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Empowering Women in WordPress

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When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, “What will I be?”

I used to think that the only jobs for women included only nursing, teaching, or being a mother. I had no clue that there would be something called the Internet, and that I would be making websites for it and teaching others how to code. Since its inception, the technology fields have always been under-represented by women, and there is a lack of positive female role models in the computer and IT Industry as a whole. One place where the balance is more equal is within the WordPress Community.

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Mapping Icon Fonts with Sass

Mapping Icon Fonts with Sass

I love Sass, and I love using icon fonts.

However, I do not like the limitations of using inline non-semantic, presentational markup to place these wonderful symbols, e.g.

<i class="fa fa-trash-o"></i>

What if we could keep the embellishments in our stylesheet, minimize the HTML markup, and keep things a bit more semantic?

I think we can, and this is what we’ll accomplish in a few steps. I first came across this approach from Jayden Seric’s post, Fun With Sass & Font Icons.

We’ll be using the Font Awesome icon library for this example. Font Awesome offers a comprehensive library of icons, and they’re all free and GPL compatible.

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WebDevStudios Does PressNomics 2015!

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We’re excited to say that several members of the WebDevStudios team will be in attendance at PressNomics 2015! It’s almost here!

For those of you who aren’t familiar:

PressNomics is a conference that was started by Joshua Strebel, CEO of Page.ly, in an effort to create a space where the economics of WordPress could be discussed by the “who’s who” of WordPress business owners and innovators.

WDS has attended for the last few years, and our own Dre Armeda is known as “The Godfather” of PressNomics. After all, the idea for PressNomics was inspired by some good old-fashioned Skype brainstorming over whiskey and “Josh-tinis” (ingredients: top-secret) about what Joshua and Dre would like to see develop in the WordPress community. While Dre was focused on WordCamp San Diego, Joshua stepped forward to make their vision a reality, and PressNomics was born.

The first PressNomics started with a mere 125 attendees, but in a few short years, has grown dramatically. This next PressNomics is anticipating 270 WordPress minded folk to skill-share, network, and examine the industry that has been born of our favorite platform’s flexibility.

Will we see you there? If so, make sure to let us know! Brad, Lisa, and Dre will be in attendance; be sure to say hi if you can! We’ve created a small resource guide below–here’s a few things you definitely don’t want to miss (oh, and a few places you’ll be able to track us down for that hello!):

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Getting started with Vagrant & VVV for local development

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When I started doing web development, I think I started the way a lot of us did. You have a site you want to work on, so you connect with FTP, download a file, modify it, upload it back up, and then refresh the page to see if your changes worked. This process doesn’t really work when you’re working with a team of people, or on a site that people are actively going to. If your teammate edits the same file as you, someone’s changes may be lost, and if you upload something with an error in it, you may break the site for people currently browsing it. This isn’t a fun process.

The solution to combat this “cowboy coding” is to not work directly on a server, but rather on a server that is on your local machine. There are a ton of ways to do this, and I’ll walk you through what I do.

When doing any sort of design or development, you want to work locally. This is the best way to develop, and has tons of benefits. Like these:
  • Faster. No waiting for files to upload via FTP before you can refresh your browser and see your changes.
  • Easier debugging. Because everything is running on your system, setting up and using xDebug or other debugging tools is quite a bit easier.
  • Don’t need an internet connection work on things.
  • Less fear of screwing up. When working locally, you’re free to experiment and play around, as your work is not affecting current users.

I use Vagrant and a nifty tool called Varying Vagrant Vagrants (VVV) to power my local development. This, coupled with some tools I’ve written to make my life easier, is a very enjoyable way to work locally. I’ll walk through setting up VVV, as well as a helper tool VV, and how to use both.

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Welcome in the New Year with WebDevStudios

If you were wondering whether WebDevStudios has a new look, you have one keen eye! What better time to start fresh than at the beginning of the year? For many folks, the new year is a time for reflection, reassessment, and setting the bar that we each measure ourselves by just a little bit higher, and WDS is no exception.

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We have been around for quite some time now; for those of you who aren’t familiar with our history, WDS started as a two man operation that is now a team of over thirty folks. The site you are familiar with has been our mainstay (with a few updates here and there) for the last five years; we’ve grown so much since then and we wanted to launch a new site that reflected not only who we’ve become, but who we plan to be.
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