Life… life finds a way.

Well, here we go! It’s already mid-March – how am I doing on all those goals I set back at the beginning of the year? I’d say uneven.

The good news is that I submitted a pair of talks to both WordCamp Kent in June and WordCamp Sacramento in September. In my goals, I outlined that I wanted to submit to a non-WordPress conference, but at the time, I’d completely forgotten about the fact that I still haven’t spoken out-of-town, an Unconference session about Xdebug at Pacific Northwest PHP several years ago notwithstanding. I actually updated that post after I initially published it to reflect that change.

I’ve given one of the two talks previously at WordCamp Minneapolis-St. Paul last year – Modernizing Your Development Workflow Using Composer. Composer is one of those utilities that I use in almost all of the work I do, and still, I’m learning more and more about it every week. I’m looking forward to potentially having the opportunity to share what I know with folks at those two conferences.

I also submitted a new talk, titled return new Presentation( ‘Software Architecture in a WordPress World’ );. At WebDevStudios, we recently released the 0.1.0 version a package I’ve been working on called OOPS-WP, which is a collection of interfaces, abstract classes, and traits intended to improve the consistency and speed of scaffolding common data structures needed for object-oriented programming based plugin and theme development. With WordPress’s recommended version of PHP set at 7.3, and minimum requirements finally updating from 5.2.4+ later this year, it’s high time to start having some serious conversations about modern development practices, including use of namespaces, SOLID application design, abstract data structures, and more.

Coincidentally, coinciding with my OOP talk submissions, Carl Alexander released his new book, Discover Object-Oriented Programming Using WordPress. Which is to say, I think we’re going to start seeing much more of this in regular conversation, and I’m happy to help contribute what I can toward broadening the OOP skillset of WordPress developers.

Another goal I’ve succeeded at in a big way is working away from home at least 1 day per month. One day in January, I worked out of the George Latimer Public Library in Downtown St. Paul, and in February, I booked a last-minute trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and split time between working in my hotel and the FreeRange Co-Working Space. Albuquerque is a great town, and it was fun to spend a week in another city while working remote. I’m hoping to do it again later this year.

Other, smaller progress: I’ve worked a bit on my Gutenberg education, going through tutorials on and creating the example blocks, versioning that work in my Block Study repository. I attended some WDS growth calls the first week in January, but haven’t been back yet – I love my morning time too much. I started building the 2019 infrastructure for this site in December, but haven’t gotten back to it. Maybe that’s less of a win, but it’s a good reminder that I set the groundwork for that to happen this year. And, of course, I’m writing this blog post, so that’s 1/12. I’ll count it as development-related. :)

The rest of the goals, well, I haven’t gotten there, but writing out all my successes is making me realize that I’ve accomplished quite a bit in the past 2+ months. Hopefully I can keep this momentum going and close out a few of the tasks and start making progress in others.

The big news, of course, and something that I think will help be a catalyst for further progress: I deactivated my Twitter account yesterday. I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time despite knowing I would miss the lack of direct connection to people I respect in not just the development community, but also the indirect connections between those doing good work in the social and political spheres. That said, I didn’t like the way I was personally responding to the firehose of bad news, and felt it was better for my well-being to end my association with the service. As a new goal, I’m looking to find better, healthier ways to connect with the people and communities I care about. Submitting talks, traveling, and attending my local meetups will be one such way to make those connections. If you are one of the few people who reads this infrequent blog, I hope to see you around.