This is a Work-in-Progress
I have a new idea for a podcast-blog where I could hopefully add some value to listeners. It would be about enterprise level application development using WordPress. I am not yet a senior dev, but through focusing my energies and through research and development, I hope to grow the blog as the blog grows me. I call it ‘EnterPress’. (‘SomethingPress’ names are freakin’ everywhere in WP culture, but I think it is a great name and is moderately available). EnterPress will fill the cracks of my maturity over the next two years, shadowing me and providing an outlet for the things I want to do anyways.
Here is a quick over-generalization: The WordPress arena is awful. I don’t mean to create a false or unfair ‘Us vs Them’ dichotomy, it’s just that the ‘Us’ faction is so loud. Announcing myself as a ‘WordPress’ (or even PHP) developer to a developer in another paradigm receives its share of snickering and rightfully so. The WordPress community is full of ‘experts’ and ‘developers’ who ‘can totally edit that css’. There is also an ugly entitlement perspective for many of the common users, who think that quality development and expertise emerge out of thin air.
This doesn’t speak for everyone in the community, obviously. I don’t have any numbers and I’m not going to attempt to persuade you that this is the majority perspective, just the loudest. This is also not the same in other software industries. The barrier of entry into WordPress is very low, perhaps the lowest of any technology platform I can think of, with the exception of automobiles and Apple products.
I have met my fair share of high quality devs in the WordPress community. They are very smart and particularly quiet people. I’ve also seen more than a few just get burnt out offering their services to people who just don’t understand the time value of money, technical investment or ‘free’ as in ‘speech’. Serious, professional developers don’t mature into WordPress. WordPress is just not attractive enough and comes with too many headaches. WordPress thus far is for marketing, not application development.
— WordPress Gigs (@WordPress_Gigs) January 6, 2015
WordPress is also over saturated with beginner and introductory courses and tutorials. Some publications are better that others, but most are pretty awful. When I say ‘most’ and ‘awful’ I mean they are alright, but typically built by beginners for beginners and not entirely professional.
Here is a quick list of the good ones
- Dustin Hartzler of http://yourwebsiteengineer.com/
- Tuts Plus http://code.tutsplus.com/categories/wordpress
- Tom McFarlin tommcfarlin.com/
- currently building…
WordPress is a quickly maturing platform that is working really hard to become a professional app suite. Here are some of the projects and ideas adopted in the last few years
- WP-Json https://wordpress.org/plugins/json-rest-api/
- Notifications https://pushupnotifications.com/
- currently building
PHP is also maturing rapidly with the release of 5.6 and HHVM.
Overall, WordPress and PHP will have to put in a bit more time to shake their reputation, but I believe they are on the right track and moving very quickly.
EnterPress would be a blog and podcast about WordPress in the enterprise. I don’t quite have the robust experience yet to be much of an authority on the subject. This can change in 2015, especially as I dedicate and focus my efforts.
EnterPress could almost be defined by what it won’t be:
- No ‘css tweaking’
- No ‘how to use this plugin’
- No ‘why you should have backups’
- No convincing users they should have a staging environment
- currently building
These things are givens amongst professionals.
EnterPress will be WordPress from the software developer’s point of view.
- OOP, seriously
- TDD (or at least just tests)
- Auto testing/deployment w/ Jenkins
- Event driven app management
- Advanced nginx configuration and caching
- etc, etc
WordPress is not the right tool for every job. Beyond marketing sites, it’s not even the right tool for most jobs. However, the WordPress core team has made significant efforts to mature in the last few years and there are a subset of apps that can and in my humble opinion should be built on WordPress.
Of course, when I say ‘enterprise’ that can mean so many things to so many different people. I don’t really think I can influence the typical corporate software developer to walk away from java or .net, or to build banking or cryptography software on a WordPress LAMP stack. By ‘enterprise’ though, I mean WordPress can do some serious app lifting and should be taken more seriously.
The major problem with this idea so far is that I am not yet of a high enough caliber to publish with any authority. Here are the things I would like to learn before I think I can legitimately provide lectures on enterprise app development:
- WordPress TDD
- Make 6 months of consistent WordPress core contributions
- Present at least one WordCamp presentation
- That WordPress ‘Hooks’ plugin I got kickin around
- Mastering posts-2-posts (the lib not the plugin)
- Building a load balanced server system on DO
- General php application development
- Release a plugin on .org
- Develop something in backbone
- Develop something on AWS
- currently building…