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art and entertainment shows and events sports event

I miss sports

I didn’t quite realize how active our family and I was until we’re now on home isolation due to coronavirus. Between the sports the kids play after school, their gym class and recesses at school, playing with their friends after school, and general park and playground time they used to get a LOT of exercise. Similarly I used to get to the gym early in the morning and then plenty of other activity running the kids around town for their after school activities. Now, we get outside 1-2 times a day, weather permitting, for a long walk or a bike ride around a blacktop nearby. It’s just not the same.

On top of that, with no live sports on tv, we’re now realizing how much we all watched sports whether that was our kids games or college and professional games on tv. There are some great historical games being replayed, but for the most part unless you had zero idea of the outcome it doesn’t hold the same level of suspense.

So in order to bring some sports back to my daily life, I’ve decided to limit my wardrobe for the foreseeable future to the various sports jerseys that I’ve accumulated in my closet. Starting with a fantastic Orioles jersey featuring the long lost 2005 season Sammy Sosa had with the team. A big thanks to Dan Baldwin who gave me the jersey, though I think it was mostly as a gag.

Let’s see pictures of you all in your favorite sports gear in the comments or over on Twitter! #IMissSports

Categories
cuisines food food and drink

Comfort meals

On a normal cold and rainy day, like it is here in Chicagoland today, I enjoy a good comfort meal to warm up both physically and mentally. It’s interesting what people view as a comfort meal as it usually relates to something they had as a child. With all the uncertainty in the world lately due to coronavirus, it makes a comfort meal all that more mentally comforting.

So today I introduced my kids to one of my favorite comfort meals. Grilled cheese with tomato soup, but the real important item that caps it off for me is a diced hard boiled egg in the soup.

a piece of cake on a plate

So I’m curious, what are some of your favorite comfort meals? What are you enjoying lately that’s helping ease your mind from the concerns on coronavirus?

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Asides

How you can contribute to WordPress (yes, 👉 YOU!)

Me: Do you regularly use WordPress? 📇

You: Yes, I love it, it’s fantastic! 😍

Me: Have you ever thought about helping contribute to WordPress? 💡

You: No, I am not a developer. 😥

Me: Well, good news, you do not have to be! 🎉

You: Ok, tell me more… 🤔

Whether you have considered it or not, I am absolutely certain that you CAN contribute to WordPress that I will personally offer to help you find a way to do so. I will outline some options below, but feel free to reach out to me directly and I promise to do the best I can to help!

How you can contribute to WordPress (yes, 👉 YOU!)

Note that this post is an update and refresh of a prior post on make.xwp.co.

But first, a little background on me… 🎞️

I graduated from college in 2001 with a degree in Computer Science, but have not spent any significant time coding since then. I have held roles in project management, product management, and team and customer management. The way I tell it, no one would realistically hire me these days for fine-crafted engineering. And yet, there has been a fantastic opportunity for me to help contribute to WordPress starting as a deputy release lead on WordPress 4.7. While this was a significant time commitment for me, there are many ways you can contribute with minimal time commitment.

Now let us focus on how you could contribute… 🕵️‍♂️

I am going to give you some options to describe yourself and then help show how different types of people within the WordPress community can contribute. It is like a choose-your-own-adventure!

Are you a project or product manager? 🗓️

Wonderful! There are WordPress component maintainers (in most cases, developers) that would love help running their regular meetings, taking actionable notes and publishing them, and tracking work against a roadmap. Read through the different components and reach out to the maintainers on Slack for whichever component is of most interest to you, they’ll be able to tell you how best you could help them. Come help ensure WordPress continues to deliver regular updates to the community!

Do you enjoy testing software and trying to find deficiencies? 🐛

Fantastic! There are many defect and enhancement tickets that have untested code available that would benefit from being tested appropriately. There are also many platforms that WordPress supports that would benefit from specific, detailed testing and issue logging. Take a look at how you could contribute with testing and then dive in whether it’s with automated testing, beta testing, user testing, or one of many other ways to help with testing. The best team to join is the Test team, so read through their handbook, and follow along via the #core-test channel in Slack. And remember, even something as simple as a well-defined bug report is a beautiful thing!

Do you speak a language other than English? 💬

Magnifique! There are many parts of WordPress that have not yet been fully translated into the 192 locales (and growing!) that are supported. Start by reading through the “get involved” portion of the Polyglots’ handbook, then read through how the translation process works with Glotpress, and then start translating. The Polyglots team welcomes you with open arms!

Do you enjoy organizing events? 🎪

Awesome! The Community team oversees official events (WordCamps), mentorship programs, diversity initiatives, contributor outreach, and other ways of growing the community. These ALL need help coordinating and would love to have your help! Take a look through the various handbooks for the team, read through the active projects to see which interests you most, and then follow along in the #community-team channel in Slack.

Are you a designer? 🎨

Marvelous! There is a constant need for usability testing, wireframing, prototyping, and visual designing to ensure that the user experience of reading and writing on WordPress is as seamless and graceful as possible. 34.7% (and growing!) of websites on the web need you! If you find interest here, then read through the Design handbook and follow along in the #design channel in Slack.

Are you a developer? 🏗️

Super! There are defects and enhancements both large and small that await your attention. Start off by reading through the Core handbook on how to “contribute with code” and “fixing bugs”, find a “good first bug” ticket to work on, ensure you’re following the WordPress Coding Standards, and then get to work writing a patch. If WordPress is going to continually deliver updates to the community and march down the roadmap that is constantly evolving, then we need your help to engineer that future!

Are you interested in mobile application development? 📱

Brilliant! Then check out the Mobile team and the iOS and Android repos on GitHub and read through their guide on contributing to WordPress apps.

Do you believe in making sure everyone is able to access the web? 🖥️

Fabulous! Then check out the Accessibility team, read how you can get involved with improving accessibility within WordPress, and then follow along in the #accessibility channel in Slack.

Do you enjoy helping others learn how to use WordPress? 📕

Excellent! Then check out the Support team, read their handbook, re-read the “giving good support” section as you will be the face to WordPress users in need, and then follow along in the #forums channel in Slack.

Do you love having beautiful, functional themes in the theme directory? 🌅

Outstanding! Then check out the Theme Review team, read how you can get started with theme reviews, request a theme to review and run through the review tests, and then follow along in the #themereview channel in Slack.

Do you love having secure, functional plugins in the plugin directory? 🔒

Terrific! Then check out the Plugins team, read through their handbook with specific focus on the “get involved” section, and then follow along in the #pluginreview channel in Slack.

Do you enjoy ensuring documentation is updated and accurate? 🔎

Incredible! Then check out the Documentation team, read through their Gutenberg HelpHub documentation, Codex to DevHub migration, and API documentation projects to see which interests you most, and then follow along in the #docs channel in Slack.

Do you enjoy teaching others how to use WordPress? 📝

Phenomenal! Then check out the Training team, read through their handbook and then the “getting started” guide, consider whether you want to help with writing, copyediting, testing, auditing, connecting or reviewing, and then follow along in the #training channel in Slack.

Do you just want to build WordPress sites? 🇼🇵

Groovy! Then check out the Meta team, read through their handbook, review their list of current and upcoming projects to see which most interest you, and then follow along in the #meta channel in Slack.

Do you enjoy video post-production? 🎥

Sensational! Then check out the WordPress.tv team, read through their handbook, decide if you’re most interested in helping with video editing or managing subtitles or captions, and then following along in the #wptv channel in Slack.

Are you none of those things I have mentioned above? 🎯

Perfect! You are unique just like all of us in the WordPress community.  Please reach out to me via the Comments section or my contact information below. We will work together to find a way for you to help advance the WordPress community!

WordPress Slack: @jeffpaul

Twitter: @jeffpaul

Email: jeff.paul+help@10up.com

Abdullah Ramzan on Contributing to WordPress

I love seeing people contributing to open source, with particular joy when that’s to WordPress. Sometimes though, it’s hard to know where to start contributing. I’ve written previously on high-level areas you can go to get started on contributing to WordPress, but Abdullah Ramzan published an introduction on how to contribute via reporting bugs, patching bugs, and testing bug patches. It’s worth a read if you’re technical and looking for examples on how to get started:

Categories
Asides

Farewell to XWP

I’m re-posting something I shared in XWP‘s internal Slack a couple weeks ago with some minor edits. It’s a good recap of how I felt in deciding to walk away from work and dear friends at the end of 2018.

As I unplug from XWP, I’m reminded of the many amazing people I’ve met and worked with over the last almost three years. The best way I can explain how I feel is via a Dave Matthews Band video:

If you keep your eye on Carter Beauford (the drummer), you’ll see him watching and enjoying how others in the band are improvising all while still jamming to the song together. He’s also keeping the rhythm going as others diverge from the “normal” arc of the song and not missing a beat in the process (pun intended for you punsters out there). You can start to see a lot of this happening around and after the 3m20s mark as Carter plays under the horn section while the trumpet and sax play what comes to them.

This is exactly how I’ve felt working at XWP; namely that I’ve had the fortune to watch amazing people showcase their individual talents all while I merely “kept the beat going” alongside and underneath everyone else’s work. I have had the privilege to be the face to our clients for this amazing work and I wish you all the very best in the future. Please do stay in touch!

Categories
Asides

Complaints on Gutenberg rarely include alternatives

I understand the people who feel that Gutenberg does not serve the best interests of the WordPress community, but my concern is that I rarely hear a “I think we should be working on *OTHER REALLY BIG THING* instead”. If you are going to critique the WordPress core development roadmap, then please offer alternatives.

Disclaimer: I disagree that Gutenberg only serves Automattic or other large hosting players in the WordPress ecosystem. As it evolves, I feel that it will enable easier site and content editing compared to the current set of WordPress capabilities and that very much serves a large swath of current (and hopefully future) WordPress consumers.

Related reading, especially the comments:

We Called it Gutenberg for a Reason

Matt Mullenweg

What Gutenberg Means For the Future of WordPress

Morten Rand-Hendriksen
Categories
Asides

Game Over: NBCUniversal Edition

That pesky Bowser took out my last life, so unfortunately we won’t be working together to rescue Princess Toadstool from the castle. Hopefully we’ll meet up for some two-player action again, but until then may your travels through Mushroom Kingdom be safe and enjoyable. Player One… out.

Categories
Gallery

Nautica Malibu Triathlon training #throughglass

I’ve worn my Google Glass(es) while training for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon the last few weekends and wanted to share some of the pictures of the area around Zuma Beach that I’ve taken with Glass… enjoy! If you’d like to donate to my fundraising in support of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, then please graciously do so here: http://nauticamalibutri2013.kintera.org/faf/r.asp?t=4&i=1059352&u=1059352-322595231&e=7084305771.

Categories
Asides

Diverse Teams + Desire To Disrupt Status Quo = Breakthrough Ideas

Earlier today I sat in on a webcast that Joi Ito from MIT Media Lab hosted with David and Tom Kelley from IDEO where they discussed how to foster a culture of innovation and maximize the creative potential of said innovative organization. Then this evening I attended an intimate discussion hosted by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce at WeWork between Kevin Winston of Digital LA and Eric Garland of Live Nation Labs. I’ve excerpted some of both discussions below, but more interestingly I’d like to analyze some commonalities. The brothers Kelley came at the discussion from an agency, teaching, and author/public speaker background while Eric had an entrepreneur turned corporate research & development background, but both ended up hitting on some similar topics. Namely: hiring the best people, fostering their communication, and then getting the hell out of the way.

A common thread has emerged lately in articles I’ve read, videos I’ve watched, and events I’ve attended where managers response to the general question of “what was most important to your success?” is almost always along the lines of “I had a great team”. Clearly some people long for a shortcut to success, but the common answer tends to be “hire great people”, “set your team up for success”, “rinse & repeat”. So then how do you go about hiring great people and setting them up for success? The Kelley brothers seemed to say that having a diverse background was valuable for their team members (I seem to recall one of the brothers noting an opera singer on staff) and that diverse employee base allowed for a wide-ranging set of experiences from which to draw upon during creative sessions. That approach may work well for an agency in that they often work on varying projects and clients and need to have a different approach on a regular basis. However, I wonder how that applies to someone like an entrepreneur or someone  locked into a specific marketplace (e.g., Eric Garland’s focus on the music industry and advancing Live Nation’s business via his Labs team).  Can those teams afford the luxury of a diverse employee base or must they stick to the “engineers and designers with pre-existing experience in the music industry” bit that seems to permeate job postings? The answer, in reality, seems to be against a diverse employee base (see Live Nation Labs job postings for an answer to that). But this is a small sample size, so if you’re aware of teams who hire specifically for diverse candidates I’d love to hear about them to compare their success and failures against organizations who hire for job-specific talents with marketplace experience. My second question of “how to set up your team for success” was hit on by Eric during his discussion; he seemed to say that allowing the team to work when, where and on what they wanted while keeping them physically and mentally separated from upper management was a key to success. Any additional thoughts you have on this topic would be warmly welcomed in the comments section below; let’s chat!

Categories
Link

News Roundup: Google Glass and Healthcare

A roundup of articles covering the intersection of Google Glass and Healthcare topics…

Five Potential Healthcare Applications for Google Glass — http://thehealthcareblog.com/blog/2013/07/17/five-potential-healthcare-applications-for-google-glass/

Inside The Operating Room With Google Glass — http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnnosta/2013/06/21/google-glass-in-the-operating-room/

“OK GLASS:..TEACH ME MEDICINE!” — http://rgrosssz.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/ok-glass-teach-me-medicine/

TEDxDirigo – Rafael Grossmann – iPod Teletrauma: the $229 130 million sq. ft. Trauma Room — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9QW5jhuPKI&feature=youtube_gdata_player#mHealth