Joost de Valk publicly announced he is stepping down from his role as Marketing Lead, a position he held for about six months. Joost will return to Yoast in the role of Chief Product Officer.

Joost gave more than one reason for making this move but emphasized “feeling left out of all the decisions” that would make him useful as a marketing lead:

Iโ€™ve not encountered (or been brought into) any discussions about our product vision… I was expecting there to be some backchannels where these discussions were had and these decisions were made, turns out these simply donโ€™t exist.

Joost says the decision-making process (including Matt Mullenweg‘s involvement in it) should be “opened up.”

As strides are being made in improving communication and leadership, it's hard to say this isn't a step backward for WordPress. ๐Ÿ˜”

Chris Lema is hosting a virtual summit for companies “trying to hit the one million dollar milestone” on June 18th. He is joined by Carrie Wheeler (COO, Liquid Web), Nathan Ingram (iThemes), Chris Teitzel (Founder/CEO, Lockr), and others. ๐Ÿ’ฒ

If youโ€™d like to get started leading WordPress teams, then check out the material Josepha Haden posted to “help Team Leads get going.”

As she notes in the post, this is a public call for comments and questions, so it's a great way to provide feedback on one form of leadership in the WordPress space. ๐Ÿ’ฌ

John Bogna covers a type of accessibility that isn't discussed very often โ€” financial accessibility:

The sheer mental stress of poverty utterly changes our relationship to technology… research has shown that just being poor puts people in a state of chronic stress and impedes their ability to make decisions.

We're happy to hear that Jason Bahl is now going to be working on GraphQL for WordPress full time. The project is picking up steam, and I'm expecting significant updates soon. ๐Ÿš‚

Kjell Reigstad, a designer at Automattic,ย has developed an experimental WordPress plugin for design testing in wp-admin.

Wordup is an extension for Visual Studio Code that makes it easy to develop, manage and export WordPress plugins or themes. ๐Ÿ”Œ

Ryland Goldstein nicely summarizes the core problems with Medium. Most people think it's the “paywall,” but that is an optional feature selected by authors. The real reason why “Medium sucks,” says Ryland, comes down to “slimy business tactics” and “terrible user experience.” ๐Ÿคข

Bill Erickson walks us through the basics of setting up an AMP site. Along the way, he provides some handy helper functions to make AMP site development a bit easier.

Many media organizations are devoting significant resources to focus on privacy. For example, The New York Times is launching an ongoing examination of privacy that will unfold over several months. They already have some interesting takes on the ways information is exchanged in several industries. ๐Ÿ•ต๏ธ

Thomas Lombart laid out the “soft skills” that every developer should have. Some of the highlights include:

  • Be curious. Always learn new things. Learning publicly is even better.
  • Be creative and proactive. Take the lead of topics and keep the big picture in mind.
  • Be egoless. Don't make fun of others, accept criticisms with kindness.
  • Know how to communicate. Listen to others and learn how to be understood.
  • Help others. You'll be more trustworthy.

I also appreciate the point of not being shy about setting boundaries: “You should know when to say no to something.” ๐Ÿ™…โ€โ™€๏ธ

If you're interested in a “barebones” approach to building a WordPress theme, then take a look at this tutorial written by Adam C. Hodson. โ˜ ๏ธ

Adam says his advice is intended for people who are new to WordPress, and his template is just a starting point: “Feel free to expand on it and modify it as you see fit.”

CheckoutWC demonstrates how to add a Shopify style checkout to WooCommerce using their plugin. CheckoutWC is a paid plugin I'm not familiar with or endorsing, but I'm very interested in the differences in user experience shown between the two platforms. ๐Ÿ›’

GiveWP has a useful infographic that breaks down the differences between many online fundraising solutions. This comparison will be a huge time saver if you need to select one for your fundraising campaign or a client's.

Sarah Chima has written an excellent article for developers about local storage โ€” what it is and JavaScript methods can be used to manipulate it. ๐Ÿ—„๏ธ

Monica Lent shares seven absolute truths that she “unlearned” as a junior developer. ๐Ÿง™โ€โ™€๏ธ

A few struck a chord with me:

  • “I'm a senior developer” โ€” Truth: “Not all experience is created equal… job titles donโ€™t ‘make' you anything.”
  • “Everyone writes tests” โ€” Truth: “Loads of companies and startups have little or no tests. In addition, no company has a perfect tech setup.”
  • “Code quality matters most” โ€” Truth: “When it comes to coding ‘good enough is good enough,' but code quality is still important.”

Ryan Sullivan reviews some of the best WordPress plugins for site backups. Ultimately Ryan recommends Blogvault, but there are a variety of good options out there, and many of the plugins Ryan covers would be good choices, depending on your needs.

I would also make sure your host is doing regular backups, so you are double covered. โฎ๏ธ

Josh Pollock covers some TypeScript basics for WordPress developers by walking through the ways you could use TypeScript to display posts. He also compares TypeScript to PHP.

๐Ÿ“บ I only found one video worth watching this past week, but it's a big one:

  • “The Economics of Open Source” was an outstanding talk given by C J Silverio at the recent JSConf EU 2019. Who really owns open source and how organizations aren't acting in your best interest are subjects that touch all WordPress developers. C J's talk focuses on JavaScript package management, but most of what he says applies to the WordPress space.

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ I've had less time for podcasts lately, but here are some standouts:

  • Elliot Condon (from Advanced Custom Fields) appeared on the Pressing Matters podcast to discuss plugin development, becoming a father, running a business, and Gutenberg.
  • WP Press This covers ways a developer can get started contributing to WordPress Core, featuring core committer Anthony Burchell.