Last year I caught the State of the Word on WordPress.tv after the event. This was mainly because a) I was fairly new to all things WordPress and b) I didn’t actually even know it was a thing. This year I knew about WCUS well in advance so I registered for the live stream and planned my life to be able to watch Matt’s talk. I am so glad I did.
The new things planned for WordPress in 2017 are really going to shake things up. I’m not here to report on those changes, I’ve leave that up to people way better than me, Brian from PostStatus and Sarah from WPTavern.
My take away from Matt’s talk was a deep introspection into what areas of WordPress I want to grow into next year. My goals this year were a) become fully self employed b) focus on WordPress as a platform c) speak at WordCamp. I’ve managed to achieve those goals, so it’s time to push myself a little harder in 2017.
As Matt put it so well (quoting Krista Tippet)
“We only learn to walk when we risk falling down, and this equation holds — with commensurately more complex dynamics — our whole lives long.”
It’s time for me to fall down a bit (again).
A more stable work environment
This past year has had it’s ups and downs (in more areas than one). For 2017 I want to focus on doing three things better.
1) A better work/life balance
2) A 25%/70% split on client work and plugin development
3) Project estimation
That last one is pretty important. One thing I have learned is that I still (after 12 years of doing this) tend to under estimate my time when it comes to project work. For 2017 I want to manage this better, not only when it comes to how long I think something will take, but also to value my experience more. This in in turn will allow me to split my development time in a way that I control (not the projects I’m working on) and be able to spend more time with my family
5 for the future.
You’re probably wondering about that 25%/70% split above, and where the other 5% is. That 5% of my development time I want to use in contributing better to WordPress. Some of the areas I want to become more involved in next year include:
WordPress Core, Calypso
Two areas that fall under the 5 for the future banner above are core and Calypso. By the end of 2017 I want to have contributed at least one patch to WordPress core and one patch to the Calypso project. This will help me become both a better WordPress developer and force me to learn React and Redux, two areas I have wanted to look into for some time now.
WordPress theme review
The WordPress theme review team is extremely under supported so I want to try and learn how to review a theme with the goal of being able to actually do one theme review once a month. I don’ know how long it will take me to get up to speed, but I need to start somewhere.
This year saw the inclusion of a new locale for South Africa (Xhosa) and two new locales soon to be submitted. While I do not speak these languages I am excited to assist the new Global Translation Editors in getting these languages up and running for WordPress.
This year I spoke, next year I plan to be a part of it, either as a volunteer or a member of the organising team. Watch this space…
REST API powered plugin
Next year I want to either build a new plugin or rewrite an existing plugin that uses the REST API for at least some part of it’s functionality. I already have an idea for which plugin I will be doing this with and I hope to get started on it very early in the new year.
Twenty Seventeen theme
Another thing I would like to do is have my personal blog run the Twenty Seventeen theme. I’ll probably need to spend a bit of time learning all the new stuff that has been released, but I am hoping this will lead to a continuing trend of my blog always running the official WordPress theme.
This is a personal project of mine, a podcast by developers aimed for developers. I have a specific idea in mind here and it’s really a passion project that I know I will enjoy and I hope you all do to.
That’s a whole list of things I want to achieve. I’m not fooled into thinking I’ll be able to do all of them, but at least I can try.
What are your resolutions for the new year?