Being a WordPress Developer

We consider ourselves to be WordPress developers here at Pixel Jar. While we’ve certainly used other tools over the years, as a company, we focus our learning, marketing, and teaching efforts on the WordPress platform. This means that we focus on a specific platform that handles many of the core requirements for any project. We’ve talked about why we use WordPress and even talked about some of the tools we use when developing projects in the past, but this post focuses on what it means to be a WordPress Developer.

The Technical Perspective on Being a WordPress Developer

As a WordPress professional there are several coding languages that you need to understand. While WordPress is built in PHP, much of it is abstracted away. That being said, knowing what PHP syntax looks like is important to getting a jump start on working with WordPress. When you’re ready to leverage the power under the hood of WordPress, having a deep understanding of PHP will help you find and modify the internal code much more easily.

WordPress is a web based interface that stores data in a database. It takes care of the heavy lifting for you, but if you want to extend the WordPress data architecture you’ll want to know how to interact with MySQL using SQL.

In addition, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are the primary languages for working with themes and other user facing plugin interfaces. Many companies divide their workforce into front-end and back-end roles. This helps WordPress developers of both types to have a deeper understanding of their tools. While it’s important to have that specialization, most WordPress developers will need to understand the basics of either side.

Beyond the language requirements, as a WordPress developer grows their skillset, they’ll be referencing the developer documentation built and maintained by the WordPress developer community.. This developer reference covers all of the nuts and bolts of developing the WordPress way.

Educational Opportunities Within the WordPress Community

One of the great benefits of working with WordPress as a developer is the availability of information. Whether it’s an article on a specific integration, a white paper on a new technology, or just a forum for polling a group of users – WordPress users are everywhere. We’ve met many of our peers through our local meetup or at WordCamps throughout the country.

The WordPress website has a great support system. So if you’re looking for help with a specific plugin, you can check out the support forums. If you’re looking for more detailed documentation on a feature of WordPress, you can find that in the aforementioned resources. There are many educational websites like WP101 and WPBeginner if you’re just getting started and services like Treehouse or Lynda if you’re looking for some specific training.

Finally, WordPress thrives because of the community that supports it. While you’re getting up to speed on the platform, fellow community members will be your best resource for overcoming hurdles. Your city or region probably has a WordPress meetup or WordCamp. These are great places for you to go to learn and share what you’ve learned. We host one of the many meetups in Orange County and solve attendee problems as a way of giving back. We’re firm believers in lifelong learning, and this interaction allows us to keep knowledge flowing.

It’s a great time to be a WordPress developer. New information is constantly created, and being a part of the local community helps keep us informed of the ever-shifting scene.

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