My experience on Trial at Automattic

Last week, I finished my Trial at Automattic. While I wasn’t successful in my bid to work for a company that I hugely admire, I appreciate the experience and insight that I was able to gain from my few weeks working with them.

How it all began

I’ve been toying with the idea of giving up engineering as my career and moving into web development full-time, as I’m enjoying it a lot more.

My plan had been to do freelancing full-time, but to give up a steady professional salary and benefits for the uncertainty of freelancing is daunting. If someone could pay my salary for 6 months while I build up my workload and client list, I could easily earn well in excess of what I make as a professional engineer. However, I haven’t had any applications for someone willing to do that for me.

So when I read that my friend Dustin Hartzler had recently landed himself a job at Automattic, it turned on a light bulb in my head. I started considering whether I wanted to work for Automattic, and the more I read, the more I wanted to jump right in (I’ll explore the benefits of working for Automattic later).

Default to text (HTML) editor in WordPress

The visual editor in WordPress is generally very good and helpful, but if you have code or special formatting on some of your posts, the visual editor can sometimes screw up the formatting.

This little snippet solves that by defaulting to the text (HTML) editor every time you open a post, while retaining the ability to use the visual editor if needed.

How to add custom buttons to TinyMCE in the WordPress editor

Some plugins add additional buttons to the WordPress editor to make life easier for functions such as entering a shortcode into the text editor without the user having to remember the syntax, or applying a specific style to a selected portion of text and this guide shows you how to do with relative ease.

CSS3 Patterns Gallery

These CSS3 Background Patterns are excellent for quickly applying a bit of texture to a background without overloading the page with background images.

WordSesh Recorded Sessions – YouTube Playlist

Today was WordSesh, a 24-hr event with the finest in the WordPress community giving 1-hr talks on a subject of their choice.

The organisers have already put all of the talks online and created a playlist for you to watch them all or pick and choose the ones that interest you most.

WordPress test data

I was recently enticed to come up with a set of test data for WordPress, to exhaustively test new themes. Most data sets didn’t seem to have enough of all the different formats that you can have in WordPress, particularly when it came to post formats.

Luckily, someone beat me to the punch and created wptest.io, which does exactly that, so I’m off the hook.