Why I’m Relearning WordPress Development
Nearly eight years ago I started publishing about WordPress development here on WPShout. I was sixteen at the time, and had just discovered this magical publishing platform called WordPress. With a fair amount of time on my hands, I started to share what I’d learned.
When I started, it was a lot easier to run a site about WordPress development. Indeed, fairly quickly WPShout became one of the most popular publishers on WordPress development – full stop – without me really knowing what I was talking about.
That was fine eight years ago; vastly fewer people knew what they were talking about. It was a totally acceptable to publish a (not great) code tutorial and update it when comments and feedback offered better ideas. There’s a lot of truth in Jeff from the WP Tavern’s idea that we were learning together at the time.
Over the years I published hundreds of posts on WPShout. And as I started working more with themes (I even had an ill-fated attempt to launch my own theme shop), I gradually became closer to the development expert I’d positioned myself as all along.
But David & Fred KNOW WordPress Development
As WordPress grew, more people who really knew development started writing about it. Two such people were Fred Meyer and David Hayes. As I was starting university in 2013, I tweeted that I was considering selling WPShout, and David replied he was interested:
@AlexDenning You've piqued my interest. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
— David Hayes (@davidbhayes) September 4, 2013
The rest, of course, is history. Fred and David have done an incredible job in the last three and a half years producing very high quality content on WordPress development. They give it away for free on a weekly basis and are educating hundreds of thousands of people about WordPress. If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re familiar with their excellent work.
Whilst I could have legitimately described myself as a WordPress developer for a time, it was clear to me that my passion was writing and marketing. Indeed, to some extent WPShout’s initial success was down to my skills at that rather than the quality of my development advice. As I started pursuing writing and marketing more seriously my development skills waned. I had considered pivoting this site towards my interests, but given the audience was interested in development that wasn’t likely to be a huge success. I think it’s fair to say everyone’s learned more WordPress development since Fred and David took over.
YOU Can Learn WordPress Development
One of the great strengths and pleasures of working with WordPress is the space for anyone to step up and teach themselves everything they need to get started. As Fred wrote so eloquently a couple of weeks ago:
Virtually all web developers I’ve ever met are self-taught. I can’t think of a person I know who got an undergraduate or graduate CS degree to do WordPress development, and relatively few developers I know are even products of the code schools and bootcamps that are becoming more popular.
I was self-taught when I started writing WPShout years ago. After graduating university last summer, I’ve started handling content and marketing for WordPress businesses. Being back full-time in the WordPress space has made me look to address my long-running achilles heel: WordPress development.
I want to better understand what the code I’m working with is doing. I want to make my own modifications and be on the same page in technical discussions. I don’t think I want to start doing development client projects again, but I’d like to have the option open.
So how am I going about it? How should you go about learning WordPress development? How can one learn the sprawling corpus of WordPress information in a time-efficient manner?
Up and Running Will Teach You WordPress Development
We’re recording almost fifty new video tutorials, to accompany every part of the course. We think that mixed-media — video and the written word — will help people understand the concepts both more quickly and clearly.
Roughly a year and a half ago Fred and David launched Up and Running, a multimedia course for learning WordPress development. Its goal was to get you “on your feet” as quick as possible, so you can confidently be underway. That (old) course is a great product, feedback from students was overwhelmingly positive.
But eighteen months is a long time in WordPress, and a lot has changed since then. The REST API is the obvious game-changing innovation, but we’ve also seen a host of other improvements: custom templates for all post types (not just Pages), new functions like
get_theme_file_uri() that make a developer’s life just a bit easier, the ability to create your own REST endpoints, and a whole lot more. So, when Fred and David told me they were thinking of updating and relaunching their WordPress development course, I was keen to help.
Today we’re very excited to publicly announce Up and Running: Second Edition. It’s going to be the best course you can get for learning WordPress development quickly. I can attest to this, because I’ve been working my way through the course. I’ve gained a more intuitive understanding of WordPress, as well as a familiarity with some of the more specific technical intricacies.
But with my help, the second edition is going to be even better than the first. We’re adding new content in response to changes in WordPress. We’re tweaking things to incorporate feedback from previous buyers. And we’re recording almost fifty new video tutorials, to accompany every part of the course. We think that mixed-media — video and the written word — will help people understand the concepts both more quickly and clearly. These features will all live on a brand new course website, accessible on desktop, tablet, and mobile.
The Whole Course Comes in March, But You Can Start Today!
Up and Running: Second Edition launches in late March. There’s never been a better time to learn WordPress development. And I’m excited to work alongside Fred and David on a product makes learning it easy, fast, and accessible.
To get you started on your path of learning WordPress development, we’re offering a free five day course on the key principles of WordPress development. Sign up now on the Up and Running site and get the lessons sent straight into your inbox. Totally free, no catch.
Get the five key principles of WordPress development in your inbox and join me on a journey to learn WordPress development. Whether you’re starting from scratch, want to accelerate your learning or need a refresher, it’s going to be a great journey.