A Few Friday Announcements!

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Zach Stepek, Maintainn, WebDevStudios, WordPress developer, hire a developer, hire a web designer, hire a graphic designerFirst of all, please join us in welcoming yet ANOTHER DEVELOPER to WebDevStudios, and, more specifically, the Maintainn team!

Zach Stepek is the newest member of our goofy and talented group! Pop over to the Maintainn blog to find out more about him and make sure you follow him over @zstepek!

Second of all, if you’re looking for a smart and informative way to keep yourself entertained on Friday afternoon (are you ready for the weekend? We sure are!), listen to Brian on the Conscious Millionaire podcast! He talks about how to create a big brand with WordPress–wise words from a wise man, so listen up!

Third of all, have a fantastic weekend!

Comic courtesy of xkcd

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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WebDevStudios Partners with Happy Joe

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A few weeks ago, we did our monthly non-profit spotlight featuring Happy Joe, an amazing non-profit that provides job training and opportunities to veterans in an effort to combat the employment struggles that many of our nation’s vets experience after their service. It was an honor for them to take the time to let us feature them, and now, we’re proud to say we’re taking it a step further: WebDevStudios is becoming a Hero Partner with Happy Joe!

What does that mean?

It means that we’re going to be putting our money where our mouth is, and taking our support beyond the blog by financially backing Happy Joe. As I said in the non-profit spotlight, our team is made up of veterans and family members of veterans, so the issue is close to the heart of WDS. We want to give our support back to those who gave their service and are still in need, and we believe that Happy Joe is doing incredible work that will make that happen.

Wait, that’s not all!

Happy Joe is hosting WP BootCamps, classes that teach crucial business know-how and WordPress savvy, across the US, and our executive team is going to be volunteering their time to jump in! They will be serving as teachers and mentors to the veterans who attend the events, and will be joining the rest of the Happy Joe WP BootCamp team to help students advance their skills and successfully transition into a new industry that needs well-trained, hard-working, intelligent folks.

We couldn’t be more excited to be a Hero Partner, and we hope that you’ll join us in supporting Happy Joe and their admirable efforts to serve those who have served.

WebDevStudios is hiring!

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You read it right! The WebDevStudios and Maintainn teams are continuing to expand, and we need YOUR help!

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 a rambunctious, hard-working, clever bunch (if we may say so ourselves), and we’re looking to add people to the mix.

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A Day in the Life of a WebDevStudios Developer

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A couple weeks ago, one of @WebDevStudios‘ followers on Twitter sent us this:

That got us talking and thinking about what a typical day for a WDSer looks like. I love reading fluff posts like this, and as I’ve been around long enough to get in the swing of things while still being relatively new, comparatively (about six months as of this post), I figured I’d write one.

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Tech Non-Profit Spotlight: Happy Joe

wordpress bootcamp, veteran job opportunity, veteran job training, wordpress classes, wordpress training, tech non-profit, webdevstudios

One of the major organs in WebDevStudios’ anatomy is its gigantic heart, and from it comes our contribution to the community in both charitable and educational capacities. As giving back is part of the core of WDS, it only made sense for us to turn the lens outward and shine a light on other people in the tech community who are similarly passionate and proactive.

As a result, welcome to our monthly spotlight on non-profits who are doing the good work–the meaty, meaningful stuff–and making the world a better place. Last month, we featured Girl Develop It, a nationwide non-profit organization that provides affordable web and software development programs for adult women.

If you’re at all familiar with WDS history, you already know that veterans hold a special place in our hearts. As a result, we are pleased and honored to be highlighting Happy Joe this month.

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Maintainn Gets a Refresh!

webdevstudios, maintainn, wordpress support services, wordpress support, wordpress tech support, site maintenance, site security

If you’ve been keeping your eyes on WebDevStudios news, you already know that Maintainn and WebDevStudios are family. They have a brand new site that looks absolutely gorgeous (thanks to the killer Maintainn team and to one of our teams headed by Jaimie, including Chris, Damon, DustyGreg, Ben, Simon, Aubrey, and Ryan). We are super proud to support them as they continue to grow and offer their incredible WordPress support services, and very excited to see where this new refresh takes them next.

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Read more about Maintainn’s update over on their blog, and hey, don’t take my word for how fantastic the new site looks–give it a glimpse yourself!

A Project Manager’s Guide to Being Productive

A Project Manager's Guide to Being Productive
In the infamous words of Jessie Spano, “No Time? NO TIME? There’s never any time!” While you’ve hopefully avoided the pitfalls of caffeine pills, you might find yourself feeling a bit like this on even the calmest of days!

For anyone dealing with an ever-evolving list of tasks: if you don’t have a good handle on how to manage your time, things are bound to go wrong. Even though it’s something we deal with every day, time management is still something a lot of people continue to struggling with. If you happen to be one of these people, no shame! Take a break from your frantic email checking and take a look at these useful tips.

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The Question That Never Gets Old: WordPress.com or WordPress.org?

wordpress.com vs. wordpress.org, webdevstudios, WordPress 101, WordPress basics

To start, this post is meant for new website owners and WordPress users. Those of us who have spent years learning WordPress know how hard it can be at the beginning, and it all starts with the basics; if you have any advice that you wish you had known when you were learning, share it in the comments!

Whether you’re a photographer or a business, WordPress is the perfect platform for any type of project. You can use it to maintain a business website or a blog. The best part of WordPress is that there are two versions you can choose from: a fully hosted version or a self-hosted version. One of the top WordPress questions out there is, “What version should I use? WordPress.com or WordPress.org?”

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