WP Chat is currently hosting an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) session with Justin Tadlock, founder of Theme Hybrid and co-author of Professional WordPress Plugin Development. Tadlock recently joined forces with fellow WordPress.org Theme Review team member Emil Uzelac to provide theme review as a service.
Leland Fiegel, founder of WP Chat, invited Tadlock as the first guest in a series of AMAs with WordPress community members. If you’re new to the format, Fiegel recommends that you check out Matt Mullenweg’s AMA, which was hosted on Reddit a year ago. Fiegel has a similar question-and-answer setup running Discourse, which is less ideal to navigate but gets the job done.
Theme Hybrid is one of the oldest WordPress theme shops in business. As a long-time theme and plugin developer, Tadlock has witnessed WordPress trends over the years and has helped to shape theme development best practices. So far, a couple of the highlights from the AMA include:
Q: Advice for someone working full-time in an unrelated field trying to break into the WP business? I’ve been waking up at 5am for years to learn and practice WP dev but it sure seems slow going with the full-time job necessary to feed my family.
Start a WordPress-related blog. Write tutorials. Share things that you learn. Learn things by writing about them. That’s how I got to know people in the community. It’s also how I was able to successfully launch Theme Hybrid.
And, always reply to comments on your blog. You’ve got to interact with your readers. At a certain point, that gets tough, but keep the conversation going.
Q: What is the worst thing about WordPress (the software) in your opinion? How can it be made better?
From a pure user perspective, I’d like to see the admin simplified even more. Get rid of anything that’s not necessary. I’d drop the theme/plugin editors and tools screen for starters. Then, I’d work on figuring out how to simplify the post screen as much as possible.
Ever curious about the future of post formats, I asked Tadlock if he likes them and if he believes they have a future. He replied:
I love post formats. They’ve really been around for as long as I’ve been using WP (anyone remember Matt’s asides?). I think the initial build was put in too soon, so it’s created some problems for theme authors. I feel like I’ve overcome most of those issues with the post formats-related code in Hybrid Core.
If you’re a new or experienced theme developer, this is your chance to ask Tadlock anything. The WP Chat thread will be open for approximately 24-36 hours, if you have a question for Tadlock and want to join in.