A new (WP) Beginning

Since July last year, I’ve been lucky enough to work on the most interesting WordPress project in Australia: the WordPress foundation used for article editing on The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Financial Review, one of the country’s most read and influential news networks.

This product can in no way can be considered a typical WordPress instance as it is a highly customised edit screen used for creating articles. This was my second go round on the project; the first time I was a senior engineer at Human Made, working on it as a greenfield project. This time, I was an employee of Nine Publishing working on it as a mature project.

Yesterday was my last day at Nine Publishing, and after a lovely farewell get together with the team I signed out of G-Suite, Slack and I deleted my local Git repositories. Working on such a project once is privilege enough, to have the chance to work on it twice was an immense pleasure.

I’m taking a three day weekend before starting at the new job on Monday.

So what’s next? A few weeks ago a post from WP Beginner was retweeted into my timeline… I don’t know, roughly 200 times… their parent company Awesome Motive was looking to employ a developer to work on WordPress Core almost full time.

BuiltWith reports WordPress powers 10% of all websites they monitor, and 34% of the top one-million. W3Techs report slightly different numbers based on the top ten-million. I find the percentage of all sites slightly more interesting, because that includes everything from small sites, like this one, right through to news outlets getting a ridiculous amount of traffic.

Regardless of the numbers you find interesting, the point is that WordPress powers a lot of websites and a lot of different types of websites. To me, that makes it one of the most interesting CMS projects in the world. So I quickly decided to apply for the role at Awesome Motive.

As a result, from next week, I’ll be working on WordPress Core four days a week, and on Awesome Motive’s FOSS plugins for the remaining time.

At this stage, I am hoping to split my WordPress time between working on public tickets and other projects in the background. I have tickets and components I find interesting, no doubt my new boss, Syed, has his interests and, of course, there is the WordPress roadmap too.

Exactly what the new role will look like, I am yet to find out. What I can tell you is that I am very excited that I will be able to spend more time working on WordPress than I have previously had available.

When working on WordPress I try to focus on what is best for the product, from small through to large sites. That is a goal I hold dear and the starting point of this new role. I’m looking forward to seeing how I can put this in to practice with more dedicated time on the project.

Thank you to Dee Teal and Toby Sullivan for reviewing a draft of this post.

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Categorized as General

By Peter Wilson

Peter has worked on the web for twenty years on everything from table based layouts in the 90s to enterprise grade CMS development. Peter’s a big fan of musical theatre and often encourages his industry colleagues to join him for a show or two in New York or in the West End.

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