Back in September, team 10up gathered in Atlanta from around the globe for four days of knowledge sharing, team building, and face-to-face time. Our days were filled with inspiring, educational presentations from our peers, while the evenings let us kick back and relax with teammates whom we normally only see on our computer screen.
The event began with an in-depth keynote presented by company leadership: our own 10up State of the Union. The keynote was followed by more than a dozen sessions presented by 10uppers who contributed their time and effort to share their knowledge, lessons learned, and perspective. Topics—to name a few—explored:
As we continue to add inspiring, award-winning clients to our roster, we continue to expand the 10up team. We can’t deliver outstanding client experiences and websites without first-class project managers at the helm, so while we continue to hire across our disciplines, we’re especially focused on adding qualified Senior Project Managers.
If you want to work with some of the biggest brands on the web with industry leading talent, let’s talk. Start by downloading the Senior Project Manager job description (or read on), and visit our Careers page to learn more about working at 10up. When you’re ready to apply, send your résumé and cover letter to [email protected].
I am honored to be stepping in for Matt Mullenweg as the WordPress 4.7 release lead, slated to go from mid-August through early December. Being a release lead for such a big and varied project is no small task, especially since it doesn’t mean I stop being a lead developer, core committer, or 10up’s Director of Platform Experience. I previously led the 4.0 release in 2014 and provided the background music for the video – I might make that a tradition, following an upcoming piano performance for my WordCamp Europe 2016 talk in Vienna (a city associated with composers like Mozart and Schoenberg).
In 2014, we instituted Rocketrip, so that 10uppers could earn points for shared savings on business travel. These points could be redeemed for rewards like gift card and donations. Earlier this year, after we decided to sunset the program, our team had a few weeks to redeem their points.
Something wonderful happened. A few of us decided to pool our points for a group charitable gift, spurring dozens of other 10uppers to donate their points to the pool. This week, we donated to Girls Who Code – whose mission is to close the gender gap in technology and engineering. We’re proud to support an organization consistent with our values, practices, and culture.
A few weeks ago, we pushed out our newest open source project: Flexibility, a polyfill that back ports Flexbox support to Internet Explorer versions 8 and 9.
Flexbox is one of the most significant advances in front end website layout since the advent of CSS, empowering us to build beautifully responsive and flexible layouts using pure, clean CSS. Here’s a short explanation from a great overview prepared by CSS-Tricks:
The main idea behind the flex layout is to give the container the ability to alter its items’ width/height (and order) to best fill the available space (mostly to accommodate to all kind of display devices and screen sizes). A flex container expands items to fill available free space, or shrinks them to prevent overflow.
Unfortunately, Flexbox support wasn’t added to Internet Explorer until version 10, leaving older versions – still popular in some corners – out of the Flexbox revolution. This idea didn’t sit well with 10up’er Jonathan Neal, tasked with engineering a beautiful layout for a Fortune 50 forced to contend with supporting older versions. We decided to subsidize his time to see if we could introduce Flexbox support under less-than-ideal browser requirements. The result was Flexibility: a smooth front end experience for older browsers, without compromising our ability to use pioneering layout technology.
With 2015 coming to a close, I’ve been reflecting on the ElasticPress project’s accomplishments since its inception one and a half years ago.
Today, we released ElasticPress 1.7, which completely restructures post meta storage. This enables performant post meta queries with complex comparisons against data types, such as integers, dates, and times. We also fixed some bugs.
Like many of our popular open source projects, ElasticPress was originally conceived as an internal tool designed to support some specific client needs. Since open sourcing the project, ElasticPress has garnered over 30 contributors (most of whom do not work at 10up), 16 major releases, and a thriving Github community where developers and site owners are collaborating. ElasticPress is used by major hosting companies and across hundreds of websites, some of which serve millions of pages each month. I have introduced developers to ElasticPress at speaking engagements around the world.
We’ve also learned our fair share of lessons since initiating the project. Here are a few that stand out.
Rumors of a WordCamp Sacramento started in 2012, after I rebooted the WordPress Sacramento Meetup. Fast forward to 2015: there are 4 meetup organizers and northern California’s WordCamp San Francisco has been displaced by WordCamp US. The Art Institute of Sacramento volunteered its campus for an event, a professor offered himself as lead organizer, and indispensable local leaders stepped up to take an active role.
I’m proud to have played a small role in co-organizing the first WordCamp Sacramento, which takes place tomorrow, and even more proud that 10up is sponsoring the event. I’ll be joined at the event by three 10uppers who are speaking: Sacramento’s own Ben Ilfeld, who will be teaching site advertising basics, Northern California’s Vasken Hauri, who promises to improve lives with event-driven caching, and Luke Woodward, joining us from out-of-state to debut “Robots Write the Docs.”
It’s easy to take open-source software for granted, and to forget that the Internet we use every day depends in part on the freely donated work of thousands of programmers. If open-source software is at the heart of the Internet, then we might need to examine it from time to time to make sure it’s not bleeding.
I’m proud to be a part of 10up because we are eager to support a platform we use heavily and that powers a significant percentage of the web. I am sponsored full-time as one of the six lead developers of WordPress, and am very excited to announce further expansion of our support for WordPress. As a fellow committer for WordPress, Drew Jaynes will now also be enabled to work full-time on WordPress. Drew has been instrumental in creating awareness, standards, and output in our developer documentation, as well as contributing in many other areas in the core software and in community projects such as the WordPress.org site itself.
As a part of this expansion, we’ve created a Platform Engineer position and transitioned Drew to his new title. While we’re not currently hiring for the position, we’ve intentionally left the title open-ended as we continue to grow our support for and even build web platforms. We’ve dedicated significant resources to WordPress as well as projects like sanitize.css and VVV, and envision a future in which we continue to do the same elsewhere.
10up also has the rare opportunity to take advantage of a confluence of timing, a core WordPress initiative, and an employee who already runs the effort. We are doing this by donating 100 hours of Scott Kingsley Clark’s company time to the ongoing Fields API project, starting today. Scott has already assembled a strong group of contributors and laid a solid foundation and roadmap, and we feel strongly that supporting this initiative will help move it into a viable state for potential inclusion in a near-future release of WordPress. As a company with a central mission of creating great publishing experiences, the user and developer experiences a fields API can improve are something we are particularly well-versed in.