After a multi-year hiatus, Elliott Richmond has relaunched his WordPress advent calendar and is looking for volunteers. The WP Snippets ’til Christmas site will host 24 days of WordPress code snippets starting on December 1 and lasting until December 24. With each passing day, a new code snippet will be revealed.
Advent calendars are special types of calendars used to count down the days until Christmas. They are often a part of religious celebrations but can be used for other purposes such as family traditions and games. For Richmond’s advent calendar, it is a way to contribute something back to the WordPress community.
Richmond opened the site for developers to make contributions to the 24-day event. “I’ve been in touch with the original contributors in the hope that they’ll submit again and registration is also open to anyone else who wishes to contribute,” he said. “Otherwise, it will just be the Elliott Richmond show.”
He would rather have community submissions than attempting to write all 24 code snippets alone. Jeff Starr, Zac Gordon, and Tom McFarlin, all prominent developers in the WordPress community, have already signed on to submit code. Author’s note: I am also considering joining because it sounds like fun.
Anyone who wants to receive updates each day of the event can register for free on the WP Snippets ’til Christmas website. The same signup form is available for contributors.
There are no limitations on the types of code snippets that contributors can submit, only that they should be related to WordPress. Richmond says he has some ideas such as a WP-CLI script and a deployment tool for use on the command line. However, code snippets can be something as simple as sticking a basic function into a theme to more complex scripts.
“I come from a frontend world and I’m a self-taught PHP developer,” said Richmond. “I’m evolving constantly and always eager to learn new things. I think WordPress is similar, it’s always evolving and inspiring innovation. If you put any limitations on things they rapidly become stagnated.”
The code snippets are not aimed at any type of WordPress user in particular. “I think it’s really useful to see bite-size code snippets to help those in the community who are taking that next step into development,” said Richmond. “To those more seasoned developers, I think it’s always useful to see how other developers approach things.”
Each code snippet will have an open comments section similar to a traditional blog. This will allow others to say thanks for sharing or to jump-start a conversation.
The Road Back to the Advent Calendar
Richmond has been a WordPress user and developer since the launch of the platform. He is the director of Square One Software, a software development company that specializes in WordPress development.
He last ran the advent calendar in 2013. After the success of the first year in 2012, he decided to put it together for a second round. He wanted to keep it going beyond the first two years, but work and other commitments took priority.
In the years since, Richmond met other local WordPress enthusiasts at WordCamp London. He now helps host the local meetup in Cheltenham, UK. With the help of the community, he organized four teams of local project managers, designers, developers, and content writers for a local do_action event. “I’m still an enthusiastic proponent of giving back to the community and actively encourage others in our local community to share their experience and knowledge,” said Richmond.
do_action events are charity hackathons that use WordPress to help provide local charity organizations an online presence.
“Every single team and team member did an amazing job on the day for four local non-profit charities, putting together a functional WordPress website for each charity while I personally gave a charity representative some hands-on training,” said Richmond. “Taking away some of the overhead of creating a website for the charities allows them to concentrate on what they do best, which is raising money for their own community.”
Richmond described needing to find something to do next while still riding the buzz from the event. That is when he decided to relaunch the WP Snippets ’til Christmas event.
Because it is the season, Richmond crowned “It’s a Wonderful Life” as the greatest Christmas movie.
“I love classics and this one is a true classic, pretty apt in the current move to make people aware of mental health,” said Richmond. “The movie starts with depression and pending suicide when a guardian angel is bestowed to the main character George Bailey. George is shown how many lives he’s impacted on in his own local community and how things would have been if he didn’t exist, a real heartwarming feel-good reflection on the things that we take for granted in our own existence.”
With this upcoming holiday season, considering taking the time to give back to both your local community and the WordPress community. One great way to do that is to contribute a code snippet to WP Snippets ’til Christmas.