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A Decade of Contributing to WordPress

WordPress Trac ticket #17887 with a date of 10 years ago

Ten years ago today, I submitted my very first proposed change to WordPress itself and not long after, in August of 2011, I joined 10up. I have been fortunate to be a part of and grow with the WordPress community in the decade since. Not only have I grown from Web Engineer to Director of Open Source Initiatives at 10up, but also in that time, I’ve gone from being a first-time contributor to one of a handful of WordPress lead developers.

The power of open source and its communities continues to astound and humble me. I could never have dreamed this is where a little curiosity about the second freedom to “study how the program works and change it to make it do what you wish” would lead… and I look forward to seeing what the next decade of my career brings with it.

On Thursday, June 3 at 3:30pm EDT, I’ll be presenting “Editorial Experience: An Important Part of the Full Stack” at Click/Deploy, an event presented by Jamstack Toronto. If you’re intrigued by talk about Jamstack versus WordPress, this is for you. Then, on June 8 at 3:15 EDT I’m joining GitHub’s Global Maintainer Summit to present “You Can’t Have a Solution Without a Problem”. I’ll be talking about why I like to ask, “What’s the problem being solved for here?” and how that type of thought process can lead to better solutions. Both events are virtual and free to attend.

Helen Hou-Sandí Presents at the GitHub Virtual Meetup for Open Source Fridays

Working with WordPress GitHub Meetup

On Friday, April 2 at 10AM PDT/1PM EDT I’ll be joining Brian Douglas on GitHub’s Twitch stream for a GitHub Virtual Meetup Open Source Friday. Open Source Friday is a place for maintainers to share demos, stories, and inspiration with other GitHub users.

We’ll talk about using GitHub Actions to solve common problems in the WordPress development ecosystem, such as with 10up’s WordPress Plugin Deploy Action, and how the WordPress project itself uses GitHub Actions.

This Meetup event is free and will also be available afterward on the GitHub YouTube channel.

Helen Hou-Sandi Presents At WordSesh Americas 2020

Helen Hou-Sandi WordSesh Americas 2020

WordSesh is a live, highly-curated, free virtual conference centered around WordPress. WordSesh Americas 2020, happening this Wednesday, May 27, includes 12 sessions that touch on topics like headless WordPress, client services, and communication skills.

I am excited to be a part of the lineup, sharing how developers can make the most of a development tool they are probably already using: Github.

Github is used by many developers to build and manage both public plugins and themes and private work. My session takes a closer look at GitHub Actions, a newer feature to help with automation for repetitive tasks like testing and deployment. It will cover WordPress-specific Actions, tying multiple Actions together in a workflow, and ideas for how to continually improve development processes.

Register for free and join me!

!!Con 2020 (pronounced “bang bang con”) features two days of ten-minute talks celebrating the joyous, exciting, and surprising moments in computing. This pay-what-you-want conference is happening online May 9-10, 2020 and I am excited to share that I will be speaking at 1:00 pm EST on Sunday, May 10.

My talk, Sparking Musical Joy at Home With Magnetic Stripe Swipe Cards and Tiny Code, shares how I, a programmer and not a human jukebox, used a Raspberry Pi, magnetic stripe swipe cards, stickers, and a tiny Bash script to help my children enjoy curated music on their own terms.

10up Releases WordPress GitHub Actions To Streamline Plugin Deployment

According to GitHub, developers have contributed more than 1,200 Actions to GitHub Marketplace since GitHub Actions was released in beta last year. Our mission to craft tools for content creators — including developers — and our passion for open-source contribution led us to make a solution that uses GitHub Actions to radically streamline and simplify WordPress plugin release management.

Automating Your Workflow With GitHub Actions
GitHub Actions enables you to create custom software development life cycle (SDLC) workflows directly in your GitHub repository. You can write individual tasks, called actions, and combine them to create a custom workflow. Workflows are custom automated processes that you can set up in your repository to build, test, package, release, or deploy any code project on GitHub.

As a WordPress core lead developer and Director of Open Source Initiatives at 10up, I immediately saw the opportunity to use GitHub Actions to make specific tasks easier for WordPress plugin developers, like deploying a plugin and its assets/readme updates to the official WordPress.org plugin repository.

We previously introduced early versions of these Actions, and now they’re ready for primetime following the announcement of general availability of GitHub Actions — an announcement that took the time to spotlight our “WordPress publishing” solution:

WordPress GitHub Actions Mention on the GitHub Blog

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Distributor Delivers Enhanced Performance and Improved Media Handling

Distributor WordPress Plugin

Distributor—our plugin that makes it easy to syndicate and reuse content across WordPress-powered websites—was released in beta last year. Since that time, 10up has shipped several point releases, representing significant and continued investment in Distributor and delivering improvements in performance, smarter media syndication, and enhancements to the content “pull” feature.

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Introducing GitHub Actions for WordPress (Plugins)

Do you develop your WordPress plugins on GitHub? Then here’s a treat for you! We’re excited to release a GitHub Action that deploys to the WordPress.org Plugin Repository whenever you tag a new version on GitHub. You’ll be able to manage your entire development lifecycle in GitHub—no more futzing with local Bash scripts or controlling commit/push access in multiple places.

Keep reading for more details about GitHub Actions and how to get set up, but the gist is this: you reference our action in your plugin repo’s workflow file, filtered to only run when a tag is pushed, and set your username/password secrets. After that, each time you tag a new version on GitHub, whether by pushing a Git tag from the command line or making one using the GitHub releases interface, your plugin will be deployed to WordPress.org.

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Introducing Simple Podcasting

When a client with several podcasts expressed interest in a simple way to manage their casts from within WordPress, we began with a review of existing solutions and plugins. We quickly identified a gap between bare bones plugins supporting a single feed and complicated plugins designed for advanced workflows, such as sponsor management. To fill that void, we created Simple Podcasting, an intuitive, lightweight, and forward looking plugin that includes beta support for Gutenberg.

Our client’s ideal user story seemed common enough: they offer several podcasts across a network of news sites, with some sites featuring multiple podcasts. They wanted to fully manage and distribute their podcast feeds inside of WordPress, albeit sometimes hosting the media itself externally. Podcasts episodes would be managed as regular posts, and appear alongside their other news, enabling visitors to play an episode right from the website or by subscribing in iTunes or any other “podcatcher.”

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Ads.txt Manager for WordPress

We’re making it easier and a bit safer to manage the ads.txt whitelist for publishers using WordPress with our newest plugin: Ads.txt Manager for WordPress. Site administrators can add and edit their site’s ads.txt file from the WordPress admin interface, eliminating the need to upload a new copy of ads.txt with every change or correction, and applying some validation to prevent simple ads.txt mistakes.

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