A new chapter

So I have some big news! As of today, I am now a WordPress Engineer for HumanMade!

As many of you know, I have spent the last two years working as the lead frontend developer for a local Magento agency. This pushed me into a new field and different direction from the WordPress community I had spent so much time in, and started out as an interesting challenge.

However, while I am grateful to have been earning a salary and not still working for myself, during this time – my stepdad was diagnosed with terminal Cancer and we lost him only 3 months after, and then less than 6 months after he passed away, my mum was also diagnosed with Cancer (which she thankfully beat), working within the Magento space was not something I enjoyed.

Frontend Development seemed almost like a second class citizen. Magento is a beast of a system and any real development needs a huge amount of knowledge of backend technologies. The way Themes have been introduced in Magento 2 (The official theme is built using LESS and compiled inside the admin – eh?!?!?), means that what you could do as a frontend developer was extremely limited.

Trying to create a new theme from scratch meant creating incredibly complex build scripts to cope with all of the symlinks needed in different development environments, or you could use a community build set up but that meant using their starter theme as a base. I did try extremely hard to love the community build scripts and workflow (even writing this post about them: https://kirstyburgoine.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/using-frontools-out-of-the-box/), but ultimately, I didn’t find the work I was doing was challenging or interesting.

Once you come to that realisation, then it is time to move on to pastures new! And that is what I have done.

I am extremely pleased to say that I have joined Human Made!

HM work on Enterprise level WordPress websites and are a company I have been aware of through the WordPress community pretty much since my first WordCamp, WordCamp Edinburgh back in 2012. Over the years, I have watched them grow and do some truly amazing work.

I will be joining them as a WordPress Engineer / Frontend Developer, which is so exciting I can’t even put it into words properly and I’m also happy to be back in the WordPress space again.

Onwards and upwards! šŸ™‚

Regular Sponsor of WordPress Birmingham Meetup

WordPress Meetup in full swing

WordPress Meetup in full swing with Johnny Allbut giving a talk

As many of you know, I’m a huge supporter of grass roots events, especially within the web and tech industries. Not only do I attend regularly, but I’ve also organised a fair few conferences and meetups in Shropshire over the years myself (see ShropGeek for more about whats going on in Shropshire).

So I’m really very excited to announce that as of December 2015 I am a regular sponsor of the WordPress Birmingham Monthly Meetup!

These meetups are casual evening events, usually run on the second Wednesday of each month.Ā The format is relaxed with 1 – 2 speakers and the opportunity to network afterwards. The talks cover a wide range of topics, some tech orientated and some not, making them perfect for anyone who has an interest in WordPress. No matterĀ whether you are a business owner, blogger, designer or developer there is always something to learn.

Why am I sponsoring?

Part of what I like about working with WordPress is the huge community that has evolved around it and thats partly because of events like these. But without regular sponsorship these events could not happen. I have learnt so much from meetups and WordCamps over the years (and still continue to do so) and also met so many really [awesome]awesome[/awesome] people, I decided it was time to give something back.

If you would like to find out more about these meetups or come along to the next one, (they are free to attend) check out their page on meetup.com or tweet them at @WPBhamUK.

Introducing (R)Evolution 2015!

Details of (R)Evolution 2015 so far have officially been revealed here: 2015.shropgeek-revolution.co.uk

Woohoo! Ā ~ grin!

As many of you know, we will be taking a break from organising (R)Evolution in 2016, so this year we are pulling out all of the stops. And honestly, I couldnā€™t be more excited about this yearā€™s event (I know I say that every year, but seriously its going to be so awesome!). We have lots of things planned to make the day even more special but for now, here are the important facts:Ā 

  • The conferenceĀ itself will be held in The Walker Theatre at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury, on Friday 25th September 2015.
  • We have what I consider to be the best lineup yetĀ and still more to be confirmed!
  • There will be workshops as well this year. Full details of those to follow soon.
  • Our now legendary after party will be back again this year. Venue to be confirmed (Itā€™s hard work testing all of the potential after party venues šŸ˜‰Ā ~ grin!).
  • And weā€™re also organising a number of other fringe events to make your weekend complete!

monster-dude-sqYou may also have noticed ā€œMonster Dudeā€ by now too. Weā€™re taking the conference in a different direction this yearĀ and all of the talks will have aĀ focus onĀ Evolution to one extent or another, and specificallyĀ technology. Weā€™ve beenĀ having greatĀ fun with this andĀ created a whole Sci-Fi / B-Movie theme, which Iā€™m personally so very excited about its been almost impossible not to put it on Instagram before now! I literally cannot wait to share the full website with you all!

Early bird tickets are now on sale for the teeny sum of Ā£75 for the full day so go and grab yourself one, and hopefully I will see you all there! Ā šŸ™‚

(R)Evolution in full swing

(R)Evolution in full swing

“The BIG Question” in the June 2015 issue of NET Mag

Each month Net mag askĀ a “BIG Question” and differentĀ people working within the web industry get to answer.

This month the question was “How do you build a sustainable web career?” and along with some truly awesome people, I was the resident expert answering. You can see my answer in the photo below. If you would like to read the whole article you can find it in Net Mag Issue 267 on page 38. Enjoy! šŸ™‚