Latest Posts

  • Allow developers to make mistakes

    Occasionally I look at the theme for one of the first WordPress sites I developed. I look at my early PHP, my early CSS, my early JavaScript & my HTML about ten years into my career.

    The HTML has at least lost its font tags and table based layouts but my overall reaction is to wish I could curl up and hide. Continue reading Allow developers to make mistakes

  • 100 words 16: The best developers

    Someone has started the the best developers shit storm on Twitter. Again.

    The best developers are lucky enough to do work that pushes them to grow.

    One of my earliest jobs was at Rove Live. I thought I’d hit the big league but, thinking back, my code could have been better. I improved as a dev.

    I developed corporate sites next, small shops and sole traders. My code was better and I thought I’d hit the big league. I improved as a dev.

    I’ve been lucky enough to spend the last year working at Human Made and on WordPress core…

  • 100 words 15

    I enjoy public speaking. I am very thankful to James for years of gentle cajoling to get me on stage at the WordPress Melbourne meetup.

    I’ve realised the audience is at a meetup or conference to enjoy themselves, they’re on the speaker’s side and they want them to do well.

    The audience will forgive a speaker stumbling over a sentence or fudging a line because the audience wants to learn from the speaker.

    I still get very nervous and need to sit quietly before a talk but knowing the audience is looking to have fun does help settle the nerves.

     

  • 100 words 14

    The language of technology is easy. It’s evolving so new terms come in the lexicon gradually and we pick them up as they arrive.

    At least, that’s how I find it. I’ve grown up with tech – right back to the secondhand Apple IIe given to me as a kid and the World Wide Web I discovered at university.

    For someone obliged to use technology it’s harder. Mention browser tabs to them and they may ask what a browser is? What does it do?

    When creating websites it pays to remember that for most people: the language of technology is hard.

  • 100 words 13

    The new WordPress default theme includes a block of CSS to fix layout of the headers in browsers supporting the object-fit property.

    The CSS makes use of feature queries. It’s the first time a WordPress default theme has used @supports and I’m really pleased to see it.

    Despite wide browser support, feature queries are rarely seen in the wild. Feature detection started as a JavaScript technique and it’s easy to ignore a method that comes along later.

    I was reminded about feature queries earlier this year when I saw Jen Simmons speak. I’ll be keeping them in mind more often.

  • 100 words 12

    I just spent an hour or so debugging some JavaScript.

    The code was simple, concatenate a string to form a selector: '#in-category-' . termId. Undefined. Always undefined.

    I started dumping all sorts of things in the console to debug. termId was defined. The code was passing through conditional statements correctly.

    I was just about to send the diff to my work mate Dzikri with the note “this is the general idea but I’ve made a silly mistake” when I saw it.

    I was using PHP style concatenation in JavaScript.

    I’ve noticed this immediately in people’s code. I’m sure you did too.

  • 100 words 11

    I’m not sure what bothers me the most. How quickly I got used to them, or their presence.

    The them I am referring to are the armed guards at the Nasdaq headquarters in Times Square. They’re armed with assault riffles.

    This freaked me out when I first passed the building. We have armed guards in Australia, never have I seen anything more than a revolver. On my second or third passing, it just became part of the background.

    The question I’ve been asking since is: Times Square is famously crowded day and night, how does this go well? It can’t.

  • 100 words 10

    Over in the Notes section of my site, I wrote a diary of my trip to New York for a short break followed by a trip to Philadelphia for WordCamp US.

    Each of these entries were 100 words. Exactly 100, no more, no less.

    It was an idea I adopted from Jeremy Keith who wrote one hundred entries.

    For some time I’ve been thinking about doing it, I’m not sure I’ll make 100 entries, I don’t think I’ll do it in 101 days. I’ll see what happens.

    I’m using the count in the WordPress editor. Parameters are key, not the definition of a word.

  • Respond 16: Performance – HTTP2 in a 1.5 World

    As we transition from HTTP 1.1 to HTTP 2, developers need to consider how the visitor’s protocol affects the performance of our sites. Code that improves performance over one protocol, can hinder performance over the other.

    HTTP2 is the first major update to the HTTP protocol in around 20 years, taking into account the way we use the web today. Even front-end developers can benefit from an understanding of the protocols.

    Earlier this year I spoke about HTTP2 and performance at Web Directions Respond in both Melbourne and Sydney. If you were unable to attend, here’s the video of the Melbourne event followed by the slides. Continue reading Respond 16: Performance – HTTP2 in a 1.5 World

  • Back to the client services game

    Friday, work published the post announcing I’ve joined Human Made.

    In a relatively short time at the new gig, I’ve started feeling quite at home, in no small part helped by the fact I already knew the Australian humans from within the Australian WordPress community. A lot of the Human Made staff globally contribute back to the WordPress, many of them I had met through Slack channels, at WordCamps or otherwise.

    Two years ago I wrote about moving from client services into product development at Exari. I’m incredibly proud of the work I did at Exari, working with the team there helped produce some of the best code I’ve written over the course of my career. Continue reading Back to the client services game