Leveling Up Your WooCommerce Builder Skills with Live Events

Do the Woo - WooCommerce Podcast, Community and News
Do the Woo - WooCommerce Podcast, Community and News
Leveling Up Your WooCommerce Builder Skills with Live Events

Zach Stepek is hosting a monthly event through our WooCommerce Community Builder Events that is aimed at helping you grow your WooCommerce coding skills. In this episode I am replaying his event where he went over what his plans on for these live coding events. If you are a WooCommerce developer and looking to grow and learn, you will not want to miss these.

What is Leveling Up?

Leveling Up is a monthly WooCommerce community event focused on deepening your skillset as a store builder. Through shared exploration of the four builder power-ups, Store Customizer, Extension Builder, Theme Builder, and Platform Contributor, we will embark on a journey together that will help you level up your skill set and improve the stores you’re building.

What’s the format for this meetup?

Each event will have a different structure based on the power-up or topic being discussed. Still, the core of each event is an open, interactive conversation about building better WooCommerce stores. There will be a mix of presentations, discussion, guided exercises, and knowledge checkpoints.

What topics will we be covering?

Each of the four power-ups will have different topics to discuss, with some overlap between them when applicable. For the Store Customizer power-up, we’ll dive deep into how WooCommerce itself works, using Action Hooks and Filters to change default behavior, and how to combine multiple customizations into a finished custom store. We’ll explore how you can take your customizations and package them into reusable products for the Extension Builder power-up.

For the Theme Builder power-up, we’ll discuss how custom visual design and theming can really make the WooCommerce sites you build stand out. And finally, for the Platform Contributor power-up, we’ll discuss how you can help the entire platform improve, which will give you both deep understanding of the core internals of WooCommerce and the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve helped to build the most used eCommerce platform in the world.

Keep on Top of the Events

You can always find the events listed here on our site to add to your own calendar.

You can join and RSVP the WooCommerce Builder Community events on Meetup.com

Subscribe and watch the events on our YouTube channel.

Also, find them on my LinkedIn profile, Facebook page, and, yes, Twitch.

The first event on May 27

The Anatomy of a WooCommerce Template – you can watch and join the chat at this event on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitch. (And if you miss it live, you can still find the archive there)

Bob: Hey everyone. BobWP here, episode 126 of Do the Woo and a special episode at that. You've been hearing some of our Woo Builder events through the podcast here and tomorrow on May 27th, the day after this episode, we'll be having the first leveling up event with Zach Steppick. Now these won't be in the podcast feed as we're hands-on live coding, but in those you'll be learning how to level up your WooCommerce builder skills. And trust me, Zach has something very cool planned. Most importantly, those of you who do attend will be driving future events.

Now a while back, Zach had a live event and he was explained more about what his goals are and what he's going to be doing with these monthly events. There was some fun interaction with those attending during that particular video. And you can watch the full video on the post for this episode, but I thought I'd edit it down and focus a little bit more on Zach sharing what he has planned with this monthly event. So I would suggest sit back for the next 10 minutes and learn what he has to share, and also at the end, I will share with you all the places you can watch it live, or catch the recordings.

Zach: Well, hello there everybody. Welcome to our first leveling up with WooCommerce session. Today, we have a bit of a prologue. We're going to talk about what the plans are long-term; what I think we're going to do, and hopefully you're going to tell me what you really want to do, because what I think is probably not exactly what we're going to end up covering in the long run. And what we're here to do is we're here to talk about how you can take your skillset as a builder from where you are to where you want to be. And I don't know where you want to be yet. So in order to find that out, I'm going to ask you, what are you doing now? Are you building WooCommerce sites? Are you primarily using a builder tool like Elementor or Beaver Builder or Oxygen? Are you writing any custom code today?

Where do you want to be? Have you always wanted to write some custom code for WooCommerce and make customizations beyond just what extensions and plugins and themes allow you to do? Because if you have, that's what we're here for. That's what we're going to be covering. So I've talked about four pillars, but four pillars has turned into four power ups. I thought it fit better with the theme of leveling up, right? We all want to get these power ups.

I'm going to take it a little further and create some badges for them just because I can, they're not done yet, but we're going to have a store customizer badge, we're going to have an extension builder badge, a theme builder badge, and a platform contributor badge, just for the people who are here. The only way to get to apply them is to either lie and say you've been here and done these things or to be here and do these things.

So the first power up, like I said, is the store customizer power up. And in those sessions, we're going to dive deeply into how WooCommerce works. What does that mean? Well, it's one thing to understand what WooCommerce does, right? But it's another thing entirely to understand how it does it and that level of understanding; going from just understanding what is possible with WooCommerce core and with some extensions, to how does WooCommerce do what it does, what's the code behind it that makes those things work, and how can I build things that customize how it works?

That's the power up there, taking the knowledge that you have of e-commerce and WooCommerce and turning it into being able to really, if you listened to the podcast episode, where Bob and Ronald and I talked with Mendel about what we're doing here, taking and bringing you from that point that you're at right now, the plateau you've been at and finding that new level of customization and being able to build anything.

When I said on that podcast, that I want to be able to tell every customer "yes", and I can with WooCommerce. This is what I was talking about. When you're using WooCommerce, you get the opportunity to build anything you want. And so that's a big piece of what we're going to be talking about here, during the leveling up sessions, is how to make WooCommerce do what you want it to do.

The second power up is the extension builder power up. Now, it's fine to build customizations. That's great. We want to do that. We want to build customizations and we want to build them in a way that they work for the sites that we're building. But what if we could take that skillset and we could build extensions that could be used on any site? And then those extensions could be offered through the WooCommerce marketplace, giving you a new stream of income.

That's something that we're going to discuss here is how to package the customizations that you've built into something that's saleable and something that is reusable. That way, you start to build a toolkit of pieces that you've already customized, that you can then use as your differentiating factor when you're talking to clients, we're here to make builders build better. And that's what we're going to do.

Speaking of builders building better, how many of you use a theme that is the same theme for every website? There's nothing wrong with that. How many of you are using an off the shelf theme that has a whole bunch of functionality baked into it? There's something wrong with that. We're going to talk about how you can build custom themes, how you can differentiate what those themes look like, what a theme is supposed to do, because what a theme is supposed to do is not necessarily what themes have been commercialized to become.

So we're going to talk about what a theme is supposed to do and how we can build custom themes. So really talking about custom visual design, custom theming, creating things that don't look like a WooCommerce site. And we'll talk about multiple approaches for how you can do that. One of those approaches is taking a theme like Storefront and customizing it to do what you want it to do, to look the way you want it to look.

Storefront's a great starting point. And as we get the ability to do full site editing inside Gutenberg, as that moves into WooCommerce and WordPress core, how do we use that to deliver custom solutions for our clients? So, that's theme building. The last power up is platform contributor. Now, this probably sounds more intimidating than it actually is. A platform contributor, writing code that ends up influencing WooCommerce itself, or even being packaged and used in WooCommerce core, being a part of that release.

That's an awesome, awesome way to contribute to the overall project and to level up your skills. When we talked about the store customizer power up, part of that is understanding how WooCommerce internals work, and there is no better way to do that, than to take some of the good first issue bugs that are out there, the tickets that are out there for WooCommerce, and figure out why that isn't working, figure out what the issue's root cause is and fix it.

There's no better way to understand the internals of how a platform works than to start building that platform. So that's our final power up, helping improve the entire platform as a whole. So these four or power ups are the things we're going to focus on, and we're not going to focus on all four every month because that would be insane. We would probably all have our brains melting, including me, if we tried to do all four every month.

So this will be driven by you; the pace at which we go, the topics that we cover, the way that we cover them, the projects that we tackle together, all of these will be driven by you. And that's why this is more of a conversation than a presentation. I want that interaction. I want to hear your thoughts, your ideas, I want to hear if we're on the wrong path, in your opinion. Everybody has a voice here. This is not for me, this is for you. I want to make sure that I open the floor every month that we do this, once a month, when we do this, I open the floor for you to talk about the struggles that you are having, the things that you're dealing with, and if I have an answer or a solution for those struggles at the time that we're discussing it, I will happily share my opinion, my thoughts, my ideas.

And if I don't, then I will ask you for a way to follow up and I will find an answer and send it to you later. And then, and we will share those answers that we're not able to cover immediately in the next leveling up session. So go to doothewoo.io, Bob's going to add a field so you can leave ideas and thoughts there. Those will get to me, and to Bob, and we will be able to process those and go through them and develop this into an event that is built around what you want.

So, I think one of the more important things is how are we going to work together there on some of these things. Every month is going to be different. So, if we are working together on learning how to customize a store, I may have a demo store that is ready for all of you to be able to install and work from.

Some months, we're going to start from just an empty WooCommerce install. And if you don't know how to do that locally, then please let me know. And we'll have a session on how to get that set up separate from these where we'll talk about getting your environments ready and everything, and we'll record that so that people can catch up later, we'll work together in a number of ways, I'll get the installs and all of that stuff built so that we have good starting points for every project that we tackle together, and those projects will be based on what you want to learn.

Bob: Well, that's it. Zach mentioned these are going to be recorded, but of course, attending the live feed will give you the chance to ask questions and contribute your knowledge, so I highly encourage that. It's a live feed that will be on YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitch. There'll be ways to add it to your calendar, ways to RSVP, so make sure and visit dothewoo.io/levelup, and you'll find all those links. You'll also find the archives and there'll be a forum, as he had mentioned during his podcasts, where you can make your suggestions for driving the next leveling up events, as well as asking questions or following up on something that he had already discussed.

So get ready because not only are you going to be doing the woo, but you can be leveling up your woo. So until the next time.