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Back to basics

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Sometimes you just need a fresh start.
Or to go back to your roots. In my case, I did both 😁

I always liked to write. About various things. Even in high school, I loved to write essays. There is something powerful in knowing that you can put your thoughts on paper. Or on a screen. And it’s even more powerful knowing that there are people out there who will read those thoughts.

I’ve neglected that duty in the past few years. I was always too busy (what an original excuse).
Ever since I started to work at Infinum, I was constantly learning new things. It’s just the kind of environment that pushes your limits. You are surrounded by excellent people and top developers. So you want to prove yourself. It’s a combination of imposter syndrome and pride. So you neglect certain parts of your life.

Improving yourself often means that you need to prioritize things differently. In my case, my writing stopped. I didn’t write any more tutorials. And that was a huge miss for me. I should have written more.
So, I’ve set myself a new task (as if I didn’t have enough of these): I’ll redesign and built a better website. This will get me to write again. The previous one was ok. But I didn’t really like the design. I’m no designer. But I always wanted to have a nice web site. Something that can grow, and a place where I could put my thoughts.

Image of the old madebydenis website design
How it all began, back in 2016

So I tried by implementing my theme from wordpress.org, but I wasn’t happy with it. It was so 2016. At the time I created it it was ok. But it was influenced by my work on themes that were sold on ThemeForest. Boxy, with a lot of customizer options, and a code that is definitely not up to par with my current coding knowledge.
I grew, so I thought that my website needed to grow.
I was also told by a good friend, who happens to be a designer, that I shouldn’t put too much on my site. I’m doing coding tutorials. The focus should be on the code (content), not on gimmicks. That doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate clever websites that are marvelously done. I do like those. But I don’t think I have the kind of content you can do much with (animations and such). Again, who knows what the future brings.

After much prolonging, and procrastinating I decided that enough is enough. I need to get this done and activated. I do have things I’d like to write about. So it took me a week of on and off working to finally get the site designed and coded. What I like the most about it is that it’s simple. Clean. I still need to add a few details like search to it, but for now, it’s operational. I couldn’t delay it anymore. It’s a similar thing when doing any kind of online product: a website, a SaaS product, an API, or an app. You need to get the minimum viable product (MVP) out of the door as fast as possible. And iterate as time goes by.

To the new beginnings

So now that we have an MVP out, we need some fresh content on it, right? And fresh content you’ll get. I’m in the process of doing two big things in my open source career.
One of them is the refactoring/redoing my Woo Solo API plugin. I’ve gotten too many features and issue requests on it so I decided to redo it properly. I’ve added tests, I’ve added dependency injection container to it, using PSR-4 (like a real developer 😆), I’m doing things properly. So I’ll start by writing articles on how I structured my code. The architectural decisions I’ve made. How to set up tests with Codeception. How to use Gutenberg as a plugin settings page, etc. There is a lot of write about. So you can look forward to that 🙂.
Another is the GitHub review flow for themes at wordpress.org. It’s something that I’ve also postponed too long. The plan is to start working on that once I finish the refactor of my plugin, And with that, I think I’ll cover things like Github Actions more. I’d also like to write a bit about writing sniffs. But I’ll need to actually start writing them again to be confident enough to actually write any kind of tutorial about it.

So there are a lot of things to write about. I’ll also try to share my ‘reviews’ of books that I’m reading. And if the inspiration hits me to write about random things in my life I’ll write about that too 😁.
It’s my website I can do what I want 😆.

Thank you all for reading, and I’ll see you all around 👋🏻.

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