A Web Developer’s Reflection On 2020

With the past year being one of remote working, there were a few challenges in finding a development workflow that worked best for home and office. Some of the key tasks such as managing projects and maintaining existing projects changed slightly but overall, the development team, in my opinion, were successful with the transition.  

Throughout the year, I have also found that my development strategy has changed somewhat with my approach to projects, and the goals I want to set for using modern and advanced technologies when creating new projects. 

Experience from the Year 

WordPress is the primary Content Management System (CMS) for brochure sites and where I spend most of development time in to meet the goals of the design and the clients brief. With my first year at Brace under my belt, my approach for projects has changed to facilitate the faster pace of project assignment, which comes in the form of template development.  

When creating a template, I use Advanced Custom Field’s (ACFs) flexible content field more than I have ever previously as a powerful solution to streamlining the number of templates that are present in the project and to make it easy for an end user to quickly create a new page from a list of pre-built and designed modules. 

Seb Kobersy - Web Developer

Not only does this reduce the number of templates but also allows for reusability across the site, which speeds up development and helps deliver the projects on time and on budget. The reduction of templates to just a few core files also makes it easier for other developers to work on and help maintain other projects without having to dig through a large code repo to find what they need. 

My experience in using WordPress’s native AJAX abilities have improved vastly with creating bespoke solutions for clients who, for example, want to have a blog with a load more button functionality or a tabbed category page that loads posts or items when clicking on a tab without the page reloading. 

In other areas of personal development, my first foray into JavaScript frameworks was developed when using Gatsby, a static site framework to create a lightning-fast website for a client who required a simple site with no need for a CMS. This was a great learning opportunity for me as JavaScript frameworks are becoming the leading technology to use and to keep pushing forward the web. 

Moving Forward 

Moving forward, I would like to see more time spent on optimising WordPress projects, so that everyone on the development team is working from the same code base for a unified development strategy.

While we are effective at working within our own code bases, a unified development solution would ensure complete uniformity across all the projects and make maintaining older code bases even easier. 

I am also looking forward to more JavaScript based projects that are coming and to keep advancing my personal development by creating superior projects that are modern and fast and will therefore exceed client expectations. 

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