Of course, not all things can be anticipated or shared, but on a recent podcast I invited Allen Smith, Developer Advocate at WooCommerce to share some of the development action we can expect on the horizon.
WooCommerce Development in 2021
Just a few updates about what we’ve got in store for WooCommerce developers as we head into 2021. First, I’d like to point out a couple of things that are currently in progress.
We are working hard to prep WooCommerce core for the end of the Brexit transition period, which is happening January 1st of 2021. It’s a very complex overlap of economic, political and geographic domains, but we’re working hard to make sure that WooCommerce core can continue to support merchants and developers who are doing business in and around the UK.
Support of WordPress 5.7
We are working hard to make sure that WooCommerce supports WordPress 5.7, which will be released in the New Year as well as PHP 8, which has been phased in over the past several months. We’re still working on making sure that we are compatible all across the platform there.
Standardizing Labels in Public Repositories
We will be standardizing the labels in many of our public facing repositories on GitHub, which should help streamline the triage process. It should make a more consistent developer experience for anybody who contributes to these projects or files issues, submits pull requests, etc.
Testing Infrastructure and Quality Engineering
We’ve been doing lots of work around our testing infrastructure and quality engineering, making sure that WooCommerce core continues to be a reliable platform that is built on standardized principles and quality engineering. So all of these efforts have led to a lot of new utilities and tooling that we have put together. We’re going to be releasing some of that. Some of it’s already released, which is really exciting, but keep an eye out for that as we head into 2021.
Developer Office Hours and Community Chat on Slack
We are going to keep doing developer office hours. We hold those Wednesdays at 1400 UTC in the developers channel of our community on Slack. We’re also going to keep doing our monthly community chats, which typically happen near the end of the month. Sometimes they are shifted around as we try to be a little bit flexible with those based on release dates, holidays, etc.
We have some process improvements that we are implementing in the New Year. We’re going to be sharing what we call developer advisories. You may have seen some of these already come out in the past few months. We’re going to try to do those more consistently, more frequently, to make sure that developers are aware of any changes that affect their code.
We’re also exploring options for helping developers support each other in more efficient and scalable ways than just helping each other one-on-one in Slack. That has limitations. It’s a great platform for connecting with each other, but there are some limitations there. We would just want to make sure that that developers have the resources they need to support each other.
We are going to be working on some authoritative guides for developing different key areas of WooCommerce. It could include building an extension, theme or an external app that integrates with WooCommerce. They’re going to be forward facing and respect that react based environment and workflow that we see in a lot of the new features that are coming out and WooCommerce.
But we are mindful of the fact that there are lots of developers who are veteran PHP WordPress developers. We want to make sure that we bring you all along for this transition as well. So we want to respect that with the guides that we’re putting together as well. We’re also looking to put together some guidance that lets people use some of the tooling that we’ve put together over the past year or so, as we have built out our testing infrastructure and our quality engineering practices.
Measuring Developer Satisfaction
What we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be measuring developer satisfaction as a dimension of our overall platform and ecosystem health. We’re still ironing out some of the details of this, but we are going to put together a developer satisfaction score. We’re going to measure it and how we’re going to go about analyzing that feedback and taking action on it. But one thing to be on the lookout for is that you’re going to be hearing from us more frequently in 2021, asking for more specific feedback on what you need as a developer and how we can help you build with WooCommerce.