It’s the hot topic all developers talk about. Their tool sets…and why their toolset is better than yours. Why [insert IDE here] is better than [insert another IDE here], and why you need an IDE over a simple extensible text editor. What debugging methods you use, somehow, means you are either a hack or a professional. You can try and deny it, it happens whenever two or more developers get within an earshot of each other. Heck, we’ll even jump into a conversation (sometimes leaving the one we’re in), because we overheard “how much better” something is.

Guess what?

We are ALL wrong

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Back in June, I was informed I was part of a social experiment. Topher DeRosia of X-Team sent me a tweet, that simply stated:

I was very intrigued by this, and when I questioned it, he said I was the only one in it. This lead to more intrigue. Over the next few months, Topher and I had many conversations on Twitter, surrounding WordPress, Geek Culture, and just downright fun topics. He’s an organizer of WordCamp Grand Rapids, which I just wrapped up speaking at. During foundation day we ended up at lunch together, sitting directly across from each other. It wasn’t until that day, on August 15th, nearly 6 weeks later, he told me what “experiment” I was a part of.
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I’ve previously written a few posts about using WordPress Actions and Filters to better extend your plugins and/or themes. This time though, I want to talk about leading by example, and using your own hooks and filters to add functionality. What does this mean? It means where a hook or filter exists, you should use it to add your built in functionality. It’s probably easiest to explain by example…so here is a recent issue I ran into. I wanted the ability to create an arbitrary number of ‘tab’ sections in a plugin settings page I was building. Something like this:
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The other day I got an interesting support thread for Easy Digital Downloads, asking for the list of files, and their sizes be displayed when viewing a product. Being that I only use it to sell WordPress plugins, it seemed pretty minor, but if you were dealing with larger Audio/Video files, or your consumers used their mobile devices frequently, I could see how this would be useful. So I put together a quick, single file, plugin that is now available in the EDD Library Repo on Github.

First, here’s the primary function that is run:
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Recently I was working on a ratings website, and needed a quick way to consistently generate the current star ratings of the items. Many of you are familiar with the ‘dashicons’ font that is shipped with WordPress, but if you aren’t, it’s a simple icon-font available to theme and plugin developers. You’re probably more familiar with it than you think, it’s used to add icons to the WordPress admin dashboard menu: Read Full Article

It’s tossed around on resumés, touted as why someone should be paid more, and used to taunt our prowess in the ever so changing world of software development. People with 18 years of JavaScript (but it was Mocha back then) experience, people who remember writing COBOL, and those who hang on to assembly as their crowning jewel of achievement in their development toolbox. Don’t get me wrong, all these languages and accolades hold their place in something each person should be proud of. If these people are still software developers though, the one thing they should be touting is, their ability to adapt.

Over time the languages, theories, practices, and tools of the software development trade change. One thing, however, remains the same: Change, and your ability to accept it. If you don’t, you become irrelevant and loose value. I was recently reminded of this by someone with FAR more development experience than I. Someone who can even add sections of the Windows 8 experience to his list of achievements. Even if you don’t like Windows 8 from a functional aspect, you can respect the level of software development it takes to write an operating system. The point is, unless you shift your point of view to see the larger picture, instead of your local problems, you’ll quickly loose ground in your career.
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Ask most sales/marketing people and they’ll tell you, pitches are a numbers game. The more people you offer to, the more sales you’ll get. They aren’t wrong, it’s a statistical fact. If you ask more people, you’ll eventually get more sales. Let me be the first to say, I hate this strategy. It’s inefficient.

I’m not your target audience

The other day I was walking through a supermarket to grab one thing, and one thing only. I knew where it was, took the most direct route, and still got caught by a pitch. DirecTV happened to be there trying to sign people up. Now, some of you might know, my family has been without Cable (or Satellite) for almost a year and a half now. The conversation went something like this: Read Full Article

So .club domains released today, and I decided to grab to help quickly showcase some of the top contributors on Easy Digital Downloads. Not sure where else I’ll go with it, but we’ll see.

Well that was embarrassing! Day 1 of a plugin release. One of my first customers. Boom, Fatal Error. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

In short, it was a simple mistake on my part, by using a function in PHP that wasn’t supported by versions of PHP lower the 5.3. Now, some of your purist developers and site owners might think “Well, that’s their fault for not having a modern version of PHP”. Let me remind you, WordPress still requires PHP 5.2.4 or greater. I write WordPress plugins, therefore I must support PHP 5.2.4 or greater. I’ll take full responsibility for that.

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