I will never stop learning

That heading is the first line of the the Automattic Creed and now that it's 2018 it felt a good time to review what I've learnt over the next year, as well as look forward to the coming year.

2017 was my first year at Automattic and, in particular, the VIP team. My knowledge of WordPress was constantly stretched and, so, most of the year has really just been learning my role.

However, at the end of the year I took some time to learn the dark-art that is Git and Github. VIP clients use it and although I had a vague idea of what PRs and merges were, it wasn't until after I spent some time immersed in the subject that I knew it more fully. Indeed, I find the best way of testing your learning is to use it "in anger", so I moved all my plugin development to Github. All of them made the transition and I've made a number of changes since, all PR'd and merged via Github.

At the end of the year I, God help me, volunteered to re-write all of our SSL documentation, both private and client-facing, to the point where our Systems team are happy. That's already started and I have two of my colleagues helping me out.

However, it's the rest of the year that excites me most for learnings. Here are my plans…

Gutenberg. Due to hit in April, I'm one of those in the VIP team tasked with ensuring a safe transition for our clients. For this reason I want to learn more of the technical side, not just the operational. This has already started and is my initial priority.

PHPCS. PHPCS, aka PHP_CodeSniffer, is a great way of checking your code against set standards. WordPress has its own and so does VIP. I want to integrate this into my workflow and understand how to use it better.

OO PHP. I know PHP quite well but my OO knowledge is not so good. So I want to spend some time learning how to write PHP in OO. Again, my own plugins will be an obvious target to practise what I've learnt. Once I have a better grasp of OO that will lead me onto…

JavaScript. I know the basics but I need to know it better.

Committing to Core. I know this seems an odd learning but I suspect many people are put of get involved in WordPress Core simply because they don't know how to. I've been a Core contributor before but have never committed code myself. I want to do this.

Finally, somewhere in all this, I'd like to do a WordCamp talk too. I already know what it will be about but will need to do some further investigation and writing up (scripts, slides and even documentation to provide further assistance).

I've given myself quite a commitment here but I'm sure I can achieve all of this. If not, expect to see the excuses in about a year's time 😉

Thanks to my colleague Doug for giving me the idea after he published a similar post on his own blog.

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