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! 🙂

A Web Community

Yesterday I was witness to something very special indeed…

I went to UpFront Conf in Manchester, and while it was utterly awesome in its own right, there was one very specific highlight that surpasses anything I’ve ever seen at a conference before. And that was Eric Meyer’s video address to the conference at the end of the day.

Eric sent an extremely moving video to Upfront. He talked about the loss of his daughter Rebecca and how the web industry showed their support by adopting the colour purple on social media, and even some websites changing their colour scheme for a day.

This resulted in the proposal to get the named colour ‘rebeccapurple’ added to the CSS specification and was approved by the CSS WG in June 2014.

Eric’s message to Upfront about this was:

“We are not a web industry we are a web community”

This.

This is such an important message and encapsulates everything I love about working in this industry.

It is why I go to conferences, it is why I go to meetups, it is why I have organised conferences, it is why I still organise meetups. It is all about supporting and growing this amazing community.

It doesn’t matter what framework you use or what CMS system, whether you’re a full stack developer or digital marketer, it doesn’t matter. Our community makes it possible for us to learn together, push each other to do better work, support each other in good and bad times and create a better web for the generations to follow.

It is a phenomenal thing to be a part of and not something I believe other industries have the opportunity to experience to the same degree.

Well done us 🙂

Lightning Talk at FrontEnd North 2016

On Friday September 30th I was lucky enough to be included in the lineup for Frontend North in Sheffield. For those fo you that don’t know what Frontend North is, it is a full day conference held in Sheffield full of frontend goodness! Full details can be found on their website here: http://frontendnorth.com/

I spoke about some of the basics of Flexbox and how awesome it is during the first session of lightning talks (which I have to say, I was relieved about as it got it out of the way so I could enjoy the rest of the day).

It was a really very awesome day. I’m immensely honoured to have been invited to speak and I learnt absolutely loads. A huge thank you to Kimb, Dave and Matt for organising it.

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HeroThemes Tutorial: Creating a search widget using the WordPress REST API

Following on from Heroic Tutorial: What you need to know about the new WordPress REST API, this article covers how to use the WordPress REST API to create a widget that can search an external WordPress website and display the results in the widget.

Once you are through the tutorial, I’m sure you will agree that the WordPress REST API is pretty cool! Enjoy 🙂

You can read the full article here

The code for the tutorials can be found on Github here.