Posted on

Canvas Theme for WordPress

As some of you may know, I work over at Automattic on WooThemes themes within the Themes Team. My primary project is the Canvas Theme. I’m currently in the middle ofĀ making it even more awesome, and I thought I’d put my money where my mouth is and set it to be this site’s theme of choice.

I previously used The One Pager, and it was great for a while, but I no longer want to generate leads from the site – I’m just going to be blogging for a while šŸ™‚

So sit back, enjoy the posts, and keep an eye out for some cool updates coming to Canvas soon!

Posted on

Thoughts on 2015

Yes, I know, another year in review type post…but for me this year has been profound in a variety of different ways.

Today I finish up my 2015 working year, and return in early Jan, but it’s also the end of the first 6 months since Automattic acquired WooThemes. It’s been quite a time of nostalgia for me, particularly yesterday when some framed photos of each year’s WooTrip arrived at the Cape Town office.

It’s funny how after 6 years so much has changed. I look at that photo of the 6 of us, and even though only 4 are still around, it’s pretty crazy and extremely humbling to see what has been accomplished since then.

Woo Photos
Woo Photo wall, I’m furtherest on the left in the top left framed picture.

 

When I joined Woo, WooCommerce was merely a thought, no code, just an idea. And we wondered when we would get to it. It’s funny how a single product can changeĀ a business and capture the embrace of a community.

It hasn’t been all roses to be honest over the past 2 years for me. There have been times where I’ve been unsure of things and my future, but I’ve sought prayer and wise counsel throughout and I’m grateful for those people in my life.

Probably the biggest change this year for me was the shift away from doing additional freelance work (outside of Woo). I did freelance work mostly for fun and if there were interesting projects, not as a “have to”. But looking back, I probably took on more than I should have, and that sucks.

It’s been well documented by several people that Automattic has a COI policy – and, I don’t think it’s bad, I actually think it’s great. For me, I’m pretty drained at the end of my work day these days, and I don’t want to see a screen! I just want to relax with my family, pickup my guitar, have a swim, see my friends, basically detach from the world of tech.

This has been a massive mindshift.

I used to be “always on” but now I try to focus all my energy during my work day and detach after hours. The funny thing about that, is I’ve found I’m a lot more productive these days. I feel more focused at work, I get more sleep, and I’ve built a more meaningful relationship with my wife and daughter.

All in all, it’s been a tough year (in a good way), but has been a very rewarding year. I honestly feel proud of what I’ve been part of accomplishing at Woo, and now at Automattic, how things have changed for me personally, and the outlook for 2016. It’s an exciting time and I’m looking forward to connecting again next year, whether it’s online or in person.

So, for now, I’m signing off. Hope you allĀ have a wonderful Christmas and New Year period.

See you later!

Posted on

Native vs Hybrid

2 weeks ago I went to our annual Automattic grand meetup in Park City, Utah. It was a great experience, of which I will write about soon šŸ™‚ But one of the cool things I did there was to take a class – an intro to iOS development with Swift.

I enjoyed the class and it was good to do something different from PHP and JavaScript, but more than that it helped me define something I have had trouble with for a while. And to be honest, I liked the style of how Swift coding works, it reminded me of my C# coding days – yes, I love C# more than PHP/JS even though I don’t actively use it anymore (cue haters)

I’ve been using Ionic to tinker with apps for a while now, and my role at WooThemes is primarily working in JavaScript. But, what I’ve been wondering is whether or not to make the switch to using native SDK’s for buildingĀ free iOS apps.

My conclusion is that it really doesn’t make sense unless I want extreme control over memory allocation, as from what I can tell, getting an app up and running using a framework like Ionic, or React, would simply take so much less time, with no real performance differences, andĀ most importantly it would leverage my existing JavaScript strengths.

So for now I’m going to stick with JavaScript for building iOS/Android apps – here’s to a 2015 release! šŸ˜€