J. Michael Ward

Web Developer, Drummer, and Teller of Bad Jokes

2016: Better Late Than Never

Oh, hey.

I launched a little redesign of this site at the end of 2015, placing my blog front-and-center with the idea that I’d suddenly catch writing fever and generate all sorts of content. It’s mid-March, so I guess we’ll call that little experiment a failure. 2016 goal: do better.

A lot has been happening, too. Most significantly, I accepted a WordPress Developer role with 3five, and since February 1st, I’ve been working remotely from my little home office. In the short time that I’ve been there, I’ve been getting up to speed on modernized deployment stacks and development tools, racing through a couple of quick turnaround client projects, adapting to remote life (and sharpening my electronic interpersonal skills), and trying to figure out ways to improve our internal processes. It’s great working for a company where my input is not only valued, but also solicited, and I’m feeling optimistic about our potential to achieve great things.

In related news, last month I applied to speak at WordCamp Minneapolis, which will be held from May 20-22, and I’m excited to announce that my proposal was accepted! The title of my talk is “Good, Fast, and Cheap: How Modular Design Improves Our Projects”. This is my first time speaking at WordCamp, and also my first time speaking in an official capacity at a conference (I previously gave a talk, “Getting Started With Xdebug”, at the Pacific Northwest PHP Conference Uncon track in September, and also to some local user groups), so I’m thrilled to have the opportunity. I’m working on my slides now, but some general concepts I want to touch on include: Atomic Web Design, why companies should agree upon an ubiquitous language, how patterns libraries can streamline development, and how this all comes together for a team focused on WordPress development. Anyone who has worked with me in the past has heard me evangelize the importance of designing reusable components for website development, so I’m hoping I’m able to distill this information down into a helpful and meaningful 45-minute presentation.

And…well, there’s more, but I’ve got a friend stopping by to play some board games any minute now, so that will have to wait until another time. Better to publish than to wait until all of my thoughts are compiled in one place.

Until next time…