What Should a New Developer Interested in WordPress Do?

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I love the fact that I can share other perspectives here on Do the Woo. Especially from developers who are immersed in the code that surrounds us, the changes that are being made and, yes, don’t always have a voice.

On the other hand, many do have a voice. My friend Chris Wiegman, who is currently working at WPEngine, wrote a post recently and admitted to striking a nerve on Twitter.

For Those Entering the Space of WordPress

There was one specific piece of the post that I felt would be helpful for a lot of builders who are entering this ecosystem.

What can someone new to WordPress do to get involved with WordPress?

If you want to build a site, WordPress still makes it easy to do so. For site builders I think there are enough tools out there today in page builders and corporate plugins to continue to build sites for small clients without much change to their ideas or, as they get more involved, businesses. Over time it will hurt clients who may quickly be locked into a host they don’t understand but the general model of how a site is built won’t change a whole lot.

For someone who wants to extend the platform, particularly developers, my best advice would be to ignore the hype. For now things can still be built without all the fancy tools. The difference is that I think it is safe to say few getting into WordPress development will have the next big plugin or theme. What is more likely is that new developers in WordPress will have rewarding careers working for hosts and other larger, established companies in the space.

For someone wanting to making an impact on the community the changes are even more apparent. Your impact won’t be the next million dollar security/SEO/form/etc plugin. Your impact won’t be 2 million downloads of a product you built on your own.

What your impact will be is what you can share with others. Courses, blog posts, videos, talks; these all make a huge difference to the WordPress community and those in it. A great developer is still a great developer but now those skills will make less of an impact with code and more in how you can share those skills with those around you to help them be the next great developer.

More Perspective and Conversation

Again, you can read his full post The Changing WordPress Ecosystem.

And something else to note. Another friend of mine, Jeff Chandler, at WPMainline, took some of the chatter around this topic, dissected it and came up with his own insights. For yet another perspective, take the time to read his post Learn WordPress Is Perhaps the Project Developers Need to Contribute Too.

A podcast episode from PostStatus adds to the conversation with views from Cory and David.

Justin Tadlock over at WPTavern chimes in as well with Is WordPress Development Really All That Hard To Get Into Today?

Eric Karkovack adds his .02 about adapting to the changing landscape of WordPress with As WordPress Changes, the Pressure to Adapt Rises.

Francesca Marano takes the perspective of WordPress as having self-growth opportunities of WordPress.


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