10up at WordCamp London

WordCamp London 2015

WordCamp London is happening this weekend, March 20-22, and our CEO John Eckman and I will be flying over the Atlantic to join in on what is sure to be a fantastic event. I’ll be speaking on Saturday on what it means to apply a user-first approach to metadata and fields, a topic that is near and dear to anyone who’s extended the WordPress admin, as well as on a core developer Q&A panel on Sunday.

The entire schedule looks great, in addition to Friday’s Contributor Day. We’re especially looking forward to seeing:

Between all of the great talks, networking, and delicious food (who says the British don’t have good food?), this will definitely be a memorable WordCamp. If you’re on Twitter, follow along with WordCamp London on Twitter and via the #wcldn hashtag.

10up turns four

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Four years ago, 10up came to life with a couple of clients, and a centrally located team of one. Today, our 100+ team of engineers, designers, and strategists span the globe,  privileged to serve Fortune 500 (and 50… and 1…) clients, as well as an array of well respected startups and lesser known brands invested in first class technology solutions. Here are a few highlights since our last birthday:

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Jake Goldman

Three and a half years after her very first props in WordPress core and two years after becoming a core committer, Director of Platform Experience Helen Hou-Sandí has been promoted to Lead Developer for the WordPress project. She joins 5 other leads atop the WordPress credits screen, including project founder Matt Mullenweg. 10up is now the first and only consulting agency to have the honor of a Lead Developer in its ranks, as well as the only agency with not just one, but two WordPress release leads. We’re proud of Helen, and proud of our growing contributions.

Drew Jaynes selected as WordPress 4.2 release lead

Drew Jaynes at Write the Docs10up Web Engineer Drew Jaynes will be leading the WordPress 4.2 development cycle, slated for release in April 2015. WordPress’s releases come a few times a year and involve hundreds of people and thousands of lines of code. A release lead coordinates all of these contributors and contributions, while also managing schedules, priorities, and announcements. As a committer for the past year (with direct access to change the source code) and a driving force behind WordPress documentation, Drew has proven that he’s well-suited to the task, and we’re looking forward to this next release.

As a part of our commitment to the WordPress and open source community, roughly half of Drew’s time is donated to working on core and community initiatives. Building on my own experience as the WordPress 4.0 release lead and fellow committer, I’ll also be close at hand as a ready and willing mentor. We were really excited to be the first agency to sponsor a release lead, and we’re even more excited to do it again so soon. Please join us in congratulating Drew!

ElasticPress and 10up at WordCamp Paris

ElasticPress is coming to Paris this weekend. I will be speaking at WordCamp Paris on January 23, 2015. Day one of the camp is being held at MAS Paris, and day two is at the EEMI school.

My session, occuring Friday at 3pm, is titled “Modernizing WordPress Search with Elasticsearch”. I will describe the limitations of WordPress search and present an alternative, Elasticsearch and ElasticPress. I will explain some basic Elasticsearch cluster configuration tips, run through ElasticPress setup, and demonstrate some really interesting queries that can be achieved with the plugin.

Whether you are a novice WordPress developer or an expert systems engineer with Elasticsearch experience, my session will demonstrate the power of WordPress and ElasticPress and hopefully spark some ideas on how you can improve your site’s search experience.

If you are attending WordCamp Paris, please come say hello! 10up is hiring, and I am always happy to chat about opportunities.

Gif the Halls: Holiday Cards Gone Wild

When WP Engine came to us to help engineer Gif the Halls – part digital holiday greeting, part holiday art exhibition – we were more than a little intrigued.

The WP Engine Labs team commissioned six digital artists to create holiday themed animations, to be projected onto buildings in San Francisco – and they needed a way to collect holiday messages from the masses. Enabling visitors, directed from the exhibit, to build digital holiday cards on the (WP Engine hosted) website was the easy part.

Gif the Halls

First, we had to build an output system to project cards onto the buildings in San Francisco, and that output system needed a queue manager, so that only approved cards would appear. Still doesn’t sound too hard?

We also had to engineer remote controlled video capture. Collecting and displaying cards wasn’t enough: we wanted to capture reactions to the exhibit right on the street. Our set-up would determine when a camera should record, transcode that video recording, and share the reaction with the original card creator, who would in turn share the video with friends and family. Without getting too technical, we created a bridge between WordPress and a digital SLR so that when cards are presented, the camera in San Francisco begins recording.

You can check out the result of our partnership with WPEngine, featuring art curated by Grey Area and presented in partnership with YBCBD, by heading over to GiftheHalls.com and visiting the Humboldt Bank Building or Monadnock Building on Market Street between the hours of 6pm and 6am, December 20-22.

Rachel Baker

On December 16-17, the third annual BackboneConf will take place in Cambridge, MA. BackboneConf is conference about building real-time applications for the web, with a focus on the Backbone.js library.

I will be giving a talk on the WordPress JSON REST API. I have been actively involved in the REST API project over the past year, and I am excited to share our efforts with a new community. In my presentation I cover some of the challenges building an API for 23% of the web brings, and what the project means to the future of WordPress.

If you are interested in getting involved with the WordPress JSON REST API proejct or working for 10up pull me aside.

WP Engine Mercury: Building a WordPress Jet Engine

WP Engine MercuryPutting problem solving before technology often means figuring the technology out – sometimes as we go. From push notifications and search to standardizing local development, we’re most proud of contributions that advance markets and platforms, not just 10up.

Months ago, WP Engine, a market leader in managed WordPress hosting, reached out to us for candid feedback with an eye toward the platform’s future. The Labs team was determined to invent not only the future of WP Engine, but the future of WordPress hosting; to be as disruptive as WP Engine was in its earliest days. From better hardware and developer tools to bleeding edge performance technology, the vision was compelling, and it was clear that from CEO Heather Bruner to Founder & CTO Jason Cohen, they were all in.

Its 10up’s position that a rich, forward-looking ecosystem of managed hosting choices is vital to the success of a web platform; we’re only as strong as the weakest part of our stack. Membership, integrated social engagement – even e-commerce – are increasingly entangled with content and publishing, and there are, unsurprisingly, a dearth of hosted WordPress choices tackling these use cases. As the fail-whale oft-reminded us, these cases are very hard to scale, particularly with run-time languages like PHP atop traditional SQL databases. Just ask Facebook. (Actually: we did. Read on.)

WP Engine wanted to tackle this problem. They had us at “do you want to help us build it?”

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John Eckman

I’ll be headed to Atlanta today for Confab Higher Ed, where I’ll be speaking tomorrow on “Engineering Influence: Talking to Developers About Content.”  It’s part of the confab series of events which I’ve always found to be very well put together, and I’m proud to be part of it.

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Work/Life Balance at WordCamp Raleigh

WordCamp RaleighThis weekend I’m speaking at WordCamp Raleigh, at North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus. Centennial Campus is a research park and campus that is home to the NCSU School of Engineering along with the Hunt Library, ABB, and Broadband.com.

Saturday Afternoon, I’ll be presenting my talk, “The Art of Untethering: How Is Your Work/Life Balance?”, on the Power User’s Track.

In this talk, we will discuss what work/life balance is; how to see the warning signs that the paths are crossing; and how to maintain the balance so that both work and life are enjoyable and fulfilling.

Also in attendance, you’ll find 10up Web Engineer Amy Hendrix.

There are still tickets left, so come out to the Oak City this weekend and catch myself and Amy at WordCamp Raleigh.