Over the years I have experienced a lot of things. Good, bad, terrible and amazing things. What brings up this little thought is the last few days. Recently I submitted two minor fixes to WordPress. They were minor in that they were spelling errors. This marks a great and amazing point in my life.
I know it does sound a little strange for some but for me I find it amazing. The reason being that WordPress is an amazing tool to learn. At least from my point of view. When I began using WordPress I felt a little lost and somewhat confused. The only reason was because I felt like this would be a huge undertaking for me. I was in for a treat.
Several years ago when WordPress was in version 2.8, I believe, I made a decision to start blogging about my daily life. [ This blog essentially ] I always kept wondering why they would say make sure your install is up-to-date when they would post about the development of WordPress. The only thing I really knew was that WordPress was a free blogging system and that was it.
I looked around for a blogging tool to not only document my learning as I was in school at the time and it just so happened that WordPress was one of them. The others just didn’t fully appeal to me for some reason. I made my first post followed by a second and then nothing. My mind went blank. Nothing was motivating me to write. School was over for me and I didn’t really have much else to say. At least I didn’t think so.
I chose to delete all the posts and the blog remained dormant for some time. I picked up again and wrote about anything that would come to mind even if it was nothing. Literally. The thought I had at the time was the phrase that was being typed out. Long after I wanted to expand on not only my knowledge of WordPress but web development as well and I went ahead and bought my very first domain. I tested and read as much as I possibly could about how to write code and write it well.
What did I learn?
I learned that I sucked which really isn’t a bad thing. Learning my flaws was a great thing to learn. I knew what I needed to learn and how to improve it. The next step for me was creating and customizing my site’s look. I turned to PhotoShop and started messing around with colors, layouts, patterns and of course typefaces. I had so many ideas that they all clashed. Typical me. So much to think about and not a way to combine it to make a good result. One more thing to add to the ever-growing list of thing I still can’t do right.
I signed up for the WordPress.org forums and read as much as I could about what it takes to create a theme; mind you after I Googled the terms: “WordPress theme create” and many other variations of that. It felt like I was never going to get the hang of it as if I was climbing Half Dome’s face without any lines and no net below me. It’s natural to be scared. Fear is a natural thing for what we don’t know. I chose to overcome that by doing both research and reading. Yes, if you couldn’t tell I love to read but only certain things.
I started looking around the forums to see how I could put my basic knowledge of coding/programming to use for others. With my basic knowledge I was helping just a few people left and right.
I started to see that a new version of WordPress was in beta. I jumped at the shot of testing something new and seeing how I could break it. I began reading the Make WordPress blogs and wanted to be a part of it. I read up on how to contribute to the project and so began my journey to being a WordPress contributor.
Recently I submitted two minor patches which corrected inline documentation but I still feel like that is a good contribution. That marks a small step in a long flight of stairs to where I would like to see myself in the next few years.
Until then I will not only read but will try my best to share my learnings with the community.