I was asked to introduce Matt Mullenweg and Philadelphia Councilman David Oh at this year’s State of the Word. Although my part was brief, it’s safe to say it was the biggest crowed I’ve spoken before.
When I joined Automattic almost two years ago, it was my first opportunity to work with WordPress full time. Up until I joined, WordPress was only a hobby, though I did some client projects and administered a multisite network at the company I worked for during college.
I joined as a Theme Wrangler, and managed to release only eight themes on WordPress.com during my stint with the Theme Team. The primary reason was probably my WordPress.org focus, working on Twenty Thirteen and Twenty Fourteen, and submitting and maintaining our free themes in/to the Theme Repository. The two default themes were some of my proudest work, and among the most rewarding projects that I had the chance to work on. Especially Twenty Thirteen since I got to do the majority of the development work on it, before it hit Core for breaking.
In December of 2013, after a little over a year with the Theme Team, I switched to a more development-heavy role, working on improving the user experience around finding and selecting themes on WordPress.com. It was a great learning experience for me, predominantly working on a Backbone application, with some REST API sprinkled in between, and creating an internal Theme Utility API (around WordPress.com’s theme showcase) along the way.
Today, I’m changing roles again, joining a new team at Automattic. Alongside of Andrew Ozz, Gary Pendergast, and others, I will be contributing to WordPress Core full-time! I can not put into words how happy this makes me and how excited I am!
Yesterday I spoke at the Creative Corridor WordPress Meetup in Cedar Rapids, IA about Twenty Fourteen and default themes. It was the first time I did a video Q&A and I had a great time doing it!
Over the last 18 months I worked on three default themes, Twenty Twelve, Twenty Thirteen, and Twenty Fourteen. Each project was a little different from the other, and on each project my role differed too.
Twenty Twelve was initially designed by Drew Strojny, with Lance Willett creating the templates, leading the project and herding volunteers. It wasn’t ready for WordPress 3.4, but was released with 3.5. I joined them in the 3.5 cycle I started helping out with testing and bug fixes.
For Twenty Thirteen, I was the main developer. Joen Asmussen designed the theme, and it was my job to take his mockups and make them work. Lance was again leading the project, reviewing and committing fixes after the theme was initially introduced to Core.
We took a different approach for Twenty Fourteen, where we ported over an existing theme, Further, designed and developed by Takashi Irie. Lance’s role stayed the same, while Takashi took on a more active role in bringing in fixes, and I reverted back in a more supporting role like in Twenty Twelve. Continue reading
I recently spoke at WordCamp Los Angeles about WordPress’ Customizer and the video of that session has recently been released on WordPress.tv. Here it is for your viewing pleasure: