Chasing Tools

Mostly, I think the evolution is healthy. We should be iterating and improving on what we know. And each build tool does things a little differently and different people will find one or the other fits their workflow a bit better. The problem is if we blindly race after the next great thing without stopping to consider the underlying problem that actually needs solving.

Tim Kadlec explains the web industry’s obsession with tools perfectly.

Twenty Seventeen in Trunk

Screenshot showing the initial commit of Twenty Seventeen

Last night, I made my first commit to WordPress!

It’s exciting!

Twenty Seventeen, the next default theme for WordPress, is now in trunk – the latest development version of WordPress. It’s been a busy week after a flurry of work from an amazing 59 contributors so far on the theme. 59! As one of the leads for the theme, that’s a number that I’m most proud of, and want to see grow.

You can read more about Twenty Seventeen in its merge proposal on the Make WordPress Core blog. Please continue to test the theme so it can be its best when it ships to the world. And thank you to all the contributors so far! This wouldn’t happen without you.

Themers in a Photo – Grand Meetup, 2016 Edition

Many themers posting in a photo both, holding signs, silly props and wearing funny masks and faces.Many themers posting in a photo both, holding signs, silly props and wearing funny masks and faces.Many themers posting in a photo both, holding signs, silly props and wearing funny masks and faces.

This past week, Automattic held its annual Grand Meetup, where the entire company gets together to talk about the past year, plan ahead for the next one and work on a few cool things…

Oh, and we throw a party at the end with a photo booth. As you can see, my team, the Theme Team, knows how to take a good photo. 🙂 I’m lucky to work with such a great group of people. They’re more than coworkers – they’re friends. People who inspire me, push me, teach me, make me laugh and probably overuse the 💩 emoji. Nobody’s perfect.

Skywalk Trail on Rainbow Mountain

This past week, while at Automattic’s annual Grand Meetup, I completed the most difficult hike I’ve ever done. Myself and a small group of Automattician’s hiked up Skywalk Trail on Rainbow Mountain – a challenging hike full of amazing views. It’s near Whistler, British Columbia in Canada.

A screenshot of Fitbit, showing 34,033 steps.

I say difficult because about an hour into the hike, I wasn’t sure I would make it. I huffed and puffed up a few steep hills and had to take a lot of short breaks. But I pushed through and enjoyed the best payoff – the views (see the photos!). I felt it the next few days with sore calves and quads.

A big thanks to Joe Boydston for organizing the hike, Stu West for hiking back down with me, and the rest of the group for being such great company.

We’re the Only Plane in the Sky

I love oral histories, and this is one that’s been largely untold about one of the most defining days in U.S. history.

If you’re an American, you remember how confusing, sad and scary that day was when you read it. But you also remember ordinary people did extraordinary things.

Thank you to all those who serve, from the armed forces to the first responders.

Have empathy today. Tell people you love them. Be nice to one another, even if you disagree with their politics, and especially if you’re unfamiliar with their background or where they’re from.

Hello Twenty Seventeen

After years of contributing to WordPress and its default themes, I get to help lead one – Twenty Seventeen! To say I’m excited and honored would be the understatement of both 2016 and 2017. 🙂

I’m looking forward to bringing a new theme to WordPress, and with the help of the WordPress community, making it the best it can be. I’ll be working with Mel Choyce, who designed Twenty Seventeen, and Laurel Fulford, who will help me give the theme life. Sure, Mel has designed some of the most beautiful themes out there and Laurel can code up anything, but that’s not what has me the most excited.

What I love most about open source, and the WordPress community, is the people. All artful creations carry inspiration from other sources, and I believe you can’t create anything worthwhile alone. That’s why Twenty Seventeen needs all the help it can get from as many people as possible.

If you’ve ever wanted to find a way to contribute WordPress, to take part in something that millions of people will touch every day, now is the time. Drop a comment on this post if you want to help. Let’s do this!

Introducing Theme User Experience Requirements

At Automattic this year, we’ve focused heavily on improving people’s experience using themes on It’s one reason we introduced the TUX List, a set of theme user experience requirements. Putting these best practices into your themes on and elsewhere means anyone using them will have an easier time getting to what they really want to do: publish their site. Not fiddle with theme setup and options. Making themes easier is a job for everyone, so let’s keep working at it!