WordCamp T.O. 2014

I attended my first WordCamp on the weekend and had a really great time. Though the talks are fairly short and somewhat introductory (at least in the Advanced Developer track which I was following) there is a lot of information given, and it is a good overview of where WordPress is headed. I now have a pretty good list of topics I need to delve into, and am already figuring out where I can apply some of the new knowledge in a practical way.

Some of the topics on my list:

Backbonejs – Since WP has now included Backbone in the core (for the admin area for now) I think I should get familiar with it. The demonstration was great, and it really made things look slick in the dashboard. Since it is bundled all that is required is to enqueue it in the usual way and have it there ready to do my bidding.

Angularjs – I have been fiddling with this a little anyway, but again, though not part of the core, a very powerful javascript framework that offers some great features useful to WP. The syntax seems simpler than Backbone, but then I haven’t really explored enough to know what I’m talking about just yet.

WP-CLI – I have looked at this before and passed it over, even though I love command line stuff. But so many of the developers at WordCamp swore by WP-CLI that I realise I better give it another look. Anything that improves workflow, speeds up development and helps eliminate the mundane is tops in my book.

Unit Testing – I have a bit of experience with unit testing in straight php environments, but never in WP. I didn’t even know that WP has unit tests built in, for both php and javascript. Very cool. Need to get this built into the flow as well.

Vagrant – I’ve played around with Vagrant after being introduced to it in my php meetup, but have not made it a regular part of my workflow. Generally I am in control of the server environments that I work with, so I haven’t seen it as being all that useful. However lately there have been a lot of problems related to FastCGI, Nginx, Plesk, etc. that I am reconsidering. I would like to at least experiment, and see if it does indeed improve the dev environment.

SASS – I have used SASS before and loved it, but have not touched it in awhile. It’s used a lot now, and significantly improves performence. Plus it’s pretty fun from what I remember, and seems to integrate well with other tools. Definately on the ‘brush up’ list.

All in all it was a great experience, well worth it. I would highly recommend attending a WordCamp when one comes to your town. And of course it is all recorded, so you can ‘attend’ anytime by going to WordPress TV.

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