Appreciation by doing

There’s an old saying that pretty much every one knows:

If you could just put yourself in his shoes for a moment, perhaps you would understand why it is not as easy as you seem to think.

But it’s often forgotten or not realised until it’s too late.


I don’t cook very often. In fact, when asked “can you cook?”, I often jokingly reply “I’m pretty good at making toast”. Growing up around chefs and spending years in Asia where a good meal costs less than $2 didn’t help. Also, I’m pretty lazy.

But tonight I cooked something. It doesn’t matter what it was or how it tasted but it did involve more than a toaster and took more than a minute to prepare.

It reminded me how hard cooking is. The simple act of combining several ingredients to make something tasty is really not that simple at all. Much like tech, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

When building an app, combining two services (like Instagram & Twitter) seems easy enough – but there’s an art to making it seem easy, and 100 ways to complete that same task.

Only after years of trial & error, painstaking rewrites and a deep understanding of your art – be it programming, cooking or cleaning – do you become a master.

This is more a reminder to me than anything else. Things always seem easier on the outside (and on the inside). It’s only through doing that thing that you can truly appreciate the finesse and years of experience required to do it well.

You’re Welcome, Hippo

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.

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Blogging for Hippo

If you keep an eye on WooThemes people, you may have seen the Blogging for Benjamin competition that took place last year.

Basically, a few of us Woo people are going to try write a blog post, every day, for the next month. It sounds crazy – it sounds improbable, but it’s true.

We’d all love to blog more often but tend to be pretty lazy, so we figured an internal competition to see who could keep it up for a month, would force us to fight through the laziness and blog daily.

It’s going to be called Blogging for Hippo, in honour of the impending WooCommerce 2.3 releaseHandsome Hippo.

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