I got my start with WordPress around version 2.9—"Carmen". I have a pretty typical story for people in my shoes: I started off by building sites for friends and family. I charged a few hundred bucks and popped out a theme with their logo on it.
College rolled around and I discovered that while the curriculum was helpful for learning the knowledge behind programming, it wasn't quenching my desire to work on the web. I was being taught C# and Java, as opposed to my interest PHP, JS, Ruby, Python. I dropped out with a couple years under my belt-ready to get started while appreciating some of the foundational knowledge I gained.
I then jumped headlong into freelancing. For my age and experience, I did pretty OK! I found most of my work via oDesk and the WordPress Jobs board. However, I was itching to be able to pursue more in-depth topics and abilities that my freelancing left no time for.
I started applying for jobs and was hired by an SEO/marketing/development firm in Charlotte, NC. I was quickly marooned into a world of custom plugins and themes that I was responsible for maintaining. Being the sole developer at the agency, I was the go-to for the full spectrum of web needs—front and back end. After a year there, the company dissolved; I was on my own once again.
With a bit more experience and knowledge under my belt, I started a partnership with a designer-friend of mine; we worked together for a little over a year. My role was a 60/40 split—front and back end. I came to greatly prefer working on back-end projects—integrating an API into a custom or 3rd party plugin, whipping WooCommerce into something neat, or just utilizing WordPress as a CMS/app framework.
In January of 2015, I took on an apprenticeship with the folks at Upstatement, and in March of '15, a full-time position at 10up.
Sole developer on all web-related projects.
- Front-end development
- Quoting projects
- Occasionally sitting in on discovery meetings to refine scope
- Converting PSDs from designer into WordPress websites
- Ensuring browser compatibility
- Maintenance of custom plugins from past projects (membership, widgets, post loops, theme helpers, etc.)
- Creation of custom plugins and extensions
- Integration of 3rd party plugins where appropriate
- Creation and maintenance of email accounts
- Spinning up new servers when needed
- Ensuring reliability of existing server stack
- Implementation of server monitoring and optimization tools
Full stack web developer using WordPress as a CMS/application framework.
Had my hand in turn-key business solution-plugins, mini social networks, membership sites, ecommerce sites, startups, and more. 80/20 split plugins/themes.
- PhpStorm—the best IDE on the block, with WordPress integration/support
- Sublime Text—text editor of choice when I don’t need the feature-set of an IDE.
- VVV – a vagrant configuration that is suited for WordPress development
- SourceTree—Git/SVN client
- Roots—starter theme that abstracts much of the WordPress theming system
- Gulp—task runner— and a handful of plugins, esp. LiveReload.
- BrowserSync—npm module that makes dev sites publicly accessible and sync-able
Partnered with a designer-friend to work in tandem on all front-end projects that come across our plates.
Unique process that presented content and business goals above all else.
- Holding meetings to determine site and business goals, target market, content hierarchy, functionality, and more.
- Working with designer to determine wireframes and content hierarchy
- Advising designer on current capabilities and guiding designs to be web-friendly
- Taking finalized designs/wireframes and creating a WordPress theme, site content plugin, and integrating all required functionality through custom and 3rd party plugins
January 2015-April 2015
April 2015-October 2015
October 2015-December 2016