development

Happy Anniversary, How I Built It!

One year ago today, I launched Episode 1 of How I Built It, the podcast I started to learn from other business owners. I announced it by telling the story of Il Duomo, which I had seen in person 2 months prior. That’s still a great story that gets at the heart of what I’m trying to do on the podcast: learn from other people. I knew when I launched that it would be successful if I got great advice from people who’ve built great things. What I did not expect was the other successes I’ve seen. A year in, I have over 72,000 downloads. Each episode gets downloaded at least 1200 times 2 weeks after launch. And podcast sponsorships have become a major part of my income.

Simplecast Episodes Version 0.6

Over the weekend I released Version 0.6 of my @simplecast plugin, Simplecast Episodes. Aside from some smaller internal changes, I added what I think is a pretty nice feature to coincide with WordPress 3.9’s new feature to create media playlists from audio and video: the ability to download episodes directly into WordPress, adding them to the media library.

Sass, Sublime Text, Github, and Changing my Development Workflow

When I left the full time freelancing world 2.5ish years ago, I had a very specific way I did things and I enjoyed it; however, admittedly, it wasn’t the best. I was using Coda, not making local copies, not using any form of version control, and my frameworks were becoming stale. I’ve been going to lots of WordCamps lately, talking to a lot of coders, listening to a lot of podcasts, and I came to the conclusion that the way I did things when I left the freelance world, the things I still do today, are not only outdated, they are slowing me down, and are dangerous (in the case of data loss). I decided to change  that.

Announcing Responsive Design with WordPress

rwdwp-coverIf you’ve been milling around the site lately, or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, or Dribbble, you’ll know I’ve been working on a book. Last week I officially launched the site for @NEPABlogCon and I’m happy today to officially announce my second book, Responsive Design with WordPress.

Responsive Design with WordPress shows readers Responsive Web Design principles, as well as how to develop responsively when using WordPress. With a greater push towards mobile and the emergence of Responsive Web Design (RWD), more and more WordPress developers are looking to create responsive themes for their websites. The book goes into detail, covering what default CSS classes WordPress uses and how to handle them when creating responsive designs. It shows how to implement the multiple images sizes and readers will learn to plan responsive layouts for common WordPress templates such as Archives, Search, Comments, how to find responsive friendly plugins, and more.

I got the idea earlier this year when I was doing a lot of work creating responsive themes in WordPress and felt that this would be a great follow up to my first book, Building WordPress Themes from Scratch. I decided to send a proposal to a Peachpit/New Riders (or Voices that Matter), a publisher I deeply respect as they’ve published some amazing works by Jeffrey @Zeldman, Dan Cederholm (@simplebits), Jesse Friedman (@professor), Ethan Marcotte (@beep) and more. I was put in touch with Michael Nolan and am eternally grateful that he has given me the chance to write this book with a fantastic team of people.

The book comes out on December 16th, 2013 – just in time for Christmas 😉 . You can pre-order it at rwdwp.com. Keep an eye out for discounts, giveaways, and more in the coming weeks!

PS- If you’d like me to speak at an event regarding the book or RWD/WP in general. please get in touch

 

The Web Designer’s Guide to Google Glass

Yesterday, Web Design Tuts+ (@wdtuts) published a somewhat lengthly article I wrote about designing websites for Google Glass. I cover quite a bit, from device usage, to UX, to Mobile First and RWD. From the article:

…we as web developers should be mindful of how we develop our websites. As it turns out, the principles I’m going to discuss aren’t all that new, but suggest a future-friendly approach to web design; important as devices like Glass (or even Apple’s fabled iWatch) are released to the market.

I will also be releasing an e-book sometime in the near future delving more into this topic, along with some sample code. For now, if you’re interested, check out the article!

The Web Designer’s Guide to Google Glass

 

The Best Ways to Troubleshoot Tech Issues

“It’s not working” is terrible feedback. It tells me nothing about what you were doing, what you were trying to do, and what the app didn’t do. It’s akin to looking at menu items without descriptions of the dishes. When you run into an issue and need to fill out a bug report or support ticket, try to answer these questions…

Some Interesting Links & Podcasts

I just started listening to podcasts regularly so I figured I’d share some of them, as well as your normal cool links.

Stuff You Should Know: A podcast from How Stuff Works about general knowledge stuff that covers a wide range of topics from Bitcoin to Torture. Very interesting stuff!

Stuff You Missed in History Class: Another podcast from How Stuff Works that covers topics you may have not learned about in school.

ALA’s 2013 Summer Reading List: @alistapart is the best source on the web for web development and design articles. This is their recommended reading list.

Yesterland – Tobacco Shop: In looking for a cigar shop around Disneyland, I came across this interesting bit of history regarding Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom Disneyland. This talks about the Tobacco Shop, one of the first shops in the strip.

How to not be Alone: A really interesting article from @nytimes about how technology affects us. My favorite quote: Technology celebrates connectedness, but encourages retreat. 

The Missing Linc’s Doctor Who Viewing Guide – Series 1: I recently started watching Doctor Who. My friend Joe (@iammissinglinc) created this nifty viewer’s guide to help you learn what’s what!