December was tiring. Several of us WooThemes ninjas spent the month writing a blog post, every single day, just for the sake of it. But it was fun. It pushed us to hit the publish button, produce more content and improve our writing.
But that’s over. Now it’s time to really push ourselves. This isn’t a kids game anymore.
Welcome to The January Commit, a 31 day challenge demanding each participant makes at least 1 commit on GitHub daily throughout January.
I’m not quite sure if I’m happy or sad, relieved or disappointed, but today, after 31 consecutive days of blogging, Blogging for Hippo, is finished. If you haven’t been following along, several of us WooThemes Ninjas committed to a full month of blogging, in honour of the upcoming WooCommerce 2.3 – Handsome Hippo release.
While I suppose the ‘purpose’ of the ‘competition’ was to cheer on and celebrate the almost-ready release, it probably did more harm than good, as it occupied quite a lot of core developer Barry Kooij’s time, along with a lot of my spare time that I’d usually commit to WooCommerce contributions / bug fixes.
But we had fun. I think. And I don’t regret it. That much.
Regardless of how well you write code or develop products, updates are mandatory. When it comes to the software, the phrase ‘nothing is perfect’ is especially true.
So you’ll need to make updates. Probably a lot of them. Not just to cover bugs and improve compatibility, but also to add new features and enhancements to keep new and old customers happy (and coming back for more).
Today I want to preach to you the power of simplicity. There is a discreet and utter beauty in the very concept of ‘less is more’. I feel like we often use the expression in hopes of justifying our lack of effort or enthusiasm, but actually, we should strive to do less – strive to work less and think less.
Simple is Supreme
Remember those words next time you dream up the ultimate settings panel or try and take the toughest route.
When you get to the top of the mountain, with nothing but stunning views and steep edges surrounding you; the clouds so close, you can touch them, it’s easy to get comfortable. You deserve it. You climbed for weeks, months, years. You suffered through insufferable environments, trekked unknown terrain and conquered altitudes never thought possible.
Take a rest. Or keep going. That’s the next mountain to climb.
I’m a little bit confused at the moment. I’m stuck at a crossroads between the easy way and the hard way.
In life, I’ve always taken the easy way. If it’s time to eat, I’ll eat out. If something’s not working, I’ll buy a new one. But when it comes to stuff I’m more passionate about, things change.
I start to do things the hard way. My entire perspective changes and I begin to consider everything. My natural decision-making process goes from 5 seconds to 5 minutes. My palms start to sweat, my head aches. What the f@*k am I doing?
When we do something we love, something we have a deep and profound care and respect for, we want to do it right. And the right way, is often the hard way.
If you’ve be listening to me blabber on for the last 3 weeks (actually 22 days – yes, I’m counting) during Blogging for Hippo, then you’ve either grown to love me or hate me. Either way, it’s cool.
But this weekend, from Saturday 0:00 UTC to Sunday 0:00 UTC, there’s something very special taking place – WordSesh – a “full day of live WordPress presentations from all over the world streamed live to you wherever you may be”.
And I’m speaking at it. Woo!
It’s awesome. It’s fresh. It’s WordSesh. (I’m came up with that myself!)
When I first started developing WordPress stuff years ago, I had no idea what ‘hooks’, ‘actions’ or ‘filters’ were. I saw them written about, used, discussed and explained countless times but I was afraid to try understand them. They scared me.
But I grew up. Like all good developers do, I eventually got over my fears and dedicated some time to really get my head around them. So I read a lot of guides, like this one, this one, and especially this one – it all started to make sense!
Creating a plugin for WordPress is a fun experience. You get to build something that eventually gets used by countless people, makes their lives easier, perhaps makes you a profit and in general just makes the world a better place.
But don’t be the jerk that overstays their welcome. When your plugin creates ‘data’ on a user’s site, like a post type, page or setting, you have a responsibility to remove that data when a user decides to delete your plugin. If you neglect to clean up after yourself, you’re imposing a lifetime of DB clutter on your (ex-)user and making the world a worse place.
I was sitting here, in the dashboard of my blog, staring at the screen trying to think of something to write about today. Nothing was coming to mind and I was getting a bit bored, so I decided to pass the time by checking my Recipe Hero WP.org page and seeing the downloads / support threads for today.
Today it finally reached 2,000 downloads. That doesn’t sound like much and in all honestly, it isn’t, but it felt good. Small victories feel good. They hold everything together and keep us going. You don’t get those huge, significant wins without the many, small victories that come beforehand.