Hope everyone had an awesome summer. I had an awesome time participating in GSoC this year. It was a very different experience, and even though there was no office or faces to connect with, the experience was valuable and unique. My project initially set out to orient new users to WordPress, and though the final result is not quite a LinkedIn-esque setup completion bar, I sincerely believe the result maintains and accomplishes the overreaching goal. There were a lot of rewrites that took place over the course of development, and ultimately I learned that each “task” had to be treated individually. There were a lot of factors considered while developing, and they included:
- keeping the code reliable for future WP updates
- drawing productive commonalities between tasks
- integrating with an existing system in the least invasive, most straightforward way
Never before had I integrated with such a wide-reaching system. My background is mostly 3D game development, and whereas game development tends to be esoteric and isolated, changes made to WPress must be neatly encapsulated and play nice with the rest of the system as well as foreseeable 3rd party components. I learned a lot about stepping through design decisions carefully and thinking about them in an iterative context. Even though web development is much more focused on stability and accounting for a variety of end-user environments/contexts, you still ultimately need to code something (that’s the iterative part). As a result of working with my mentor, Mark Jaquith, I am now enjoying David Allen’s Getting Things Done (http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280). I am happy to have started developing for WordPress, which was a goal I had prior to GSoC and which also served as the impetus for getting involved. Thank you to everyone else involved :)
EDIT: I have posted a more in-depth Post Mortem on my page which I will update soon-ish: http://gsoc2010.wordpress.com/mike-whitfield-setup-meter/
Here’s a video below of the work completed. Please note that the mic I recorded with could not pick up sound well, so the volume is low.