How we contribute to the developer community
For me, it’s easy. I just run npm install and composer install, watch for a while when packages are installed to my project. Suddenly I have thousands of lines of code in place. For me, it takes a few minutes but there are hundreds of thousands of hours of work behind the lines. And for me it costs nothing. That’s the beauty of open source.
At the same time, I feel like we are responsible for giving back to the community. There are multiple ways to do that: you can contribute to open-source projects, write blog posts, share your findings, give speeches or organize events. This blog post sums up what we have done for the developer community.
Organizing WordPress Meetups
Our developer Oliver ‘Olli’ Granlund has been an organizer in WordPress meetups of Helsinki this year. These include the WordPress Meetups Gutenberg, Teamwork needs work and Growth hacking in practice.
“I’m used to organizing events, so giving a hand in hosting WordPress Meetups seemed like the natural thing to do. I’ve participated in them several times and it felt good to “give back” by helping with future events. The Meetups have brought up interesting things that I can make use of in my daily work. Also, the people attending these events are awesome and I’m more than happy to grab a beer with them.”, Olli says. Organizing events takes time and headspace and he will now opt-out from organizing these events at least for now, but our intention is to start to sponsor Helsinki’s upcoming WordPress events financially.
Giving speeches is a great way to contribute. We have participated in WordCamps and given three speeches so far. Julius Haukkasalo was on the main stage at WordCamp Nordic 2019 with his topic 5 big mistakes I’ve made as an entrepreneur that you can avoid that highlighted the learnings of his entrepreneurial journey.
In the same event, I gave a speech about Environmentally friendly WordPress development. I had some practical examples of how different optimizations affect server power usage. Even though my approach was playful, the topic itself is serious. It has been estimated that data centers will consume 20% of Earth’s power by 2025!
I was also on stage two years ago at WordCamp Helsinki. I was talking about Growing pains of a WordPress agency, mostly from a developer’s point of view. The topic shed light on Evermade’s journey with WordPress: we had a phase where we thought we should focus on ExpressionEngine. After a year or so, we changed our minds and decided to go with WordPress again and very soon after that, we started to grow. The hassle thought us a lot about how should we work together as a team.
Sharing our way of working
Here at Evermade, we are working on WordPress projects every day and solving real-life problems. We have been trying to share our learnings in our blog and GitHub account. The biggest contribution is our yearly State of Development at Evermade blog post where we share our current tech stack as well as future plans. We have also created a tech radar that guides our focus and helps us learn the right things.
I would like to open-source every possible repository we have. Usually, the reason why we can’t share it all is that it is client-related or not yet finished. The last one is very difficult, because is anything really ever finished or “good enough”? If you’re a developer, you know how it is!
We have, however, published a number of open-source projects. Our long-time base theme Swiss is available on GitHub (https://github.com/evermade/swiss) while our completely reworked base theme will be released in the near future. We’ve also shared our base Docker image. I have made a little oneliner tool to quickly spin up WordPress stack for testing purposes. We are currently exploring how to best support our developers who contribute to open-source software in their own time. We are still ironing out the details, but we will tell you more about it soon!
Participating in events
Build code, not walls. That was the slogan of React Day Berlin that was held on the 6th of December last year. “React Finland is good too, so it’s not always worth it to go abroad for an event like that. But hooks were just published for React, and Ken Wheeler had a really interesting demo related to it at React Day Berlin. I also like those events because you meet other people part of the “scene”: you get new ideas and a more comprehensive view of your industry”, says Pekka, one of our developers, who attended React Day Berlin.
We also participated in React Finland with Pekka. Excellent stuff and inspirational speeches from a wide variety of speakers! Many of our developers have also been to smaller events like local WordPress meetups, for example, WordPress Helsinki: Headless WordPress + React.
Juha participated in a Turku <3 Frontend meeting last year. “We talked about testing methods and the EU accessibility directive. The event was great for networking”, he says.
We are still on the winning side
Sometimes I feel that we haven’t done enough, but when I look back for a year, I realize that we are not completely freeriding. I hope that in the future we can be active in events, keep sharing our findings and also share more work at our GitHub account. See you around!