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Interview, Startups, Work/Life

WordPress for Publishers and the REST API with Rachel Baker

For me, and hopefully for you, this episode opens you up to two areas of WordPress interest:

  • Learn what it’s like to be the Lead Engineer at The Wirecutter. Hear all the fancy things they do with WordPress.
  • Learn what the REST API is, what it can do, and kinda-sorta grasp why we don’t have it yet.

Let me get this out of the way first: If you’re interested in learning how high-traffic WordPress websites and larger publishers use the popular CMS — this episode is for you! How Rachel and her team bend WordPress to to their will is quite impressive. In fact, it was even more impressive to learn what WordPress doesn’t power at the popular review blog, and how they’ve solved those particular challenges.

Interview with Rachel Baker

Learning more about the REST API

The second part of this conversation is all about the REST API. Over the last year or so, some of you have asked me what the REST API is, what it can do, and how could you leverage it in your own WordPress business. Rachel helps define some of that for you, and debunks the myths surrounding it.

Again, if you’re here to learn about that, queue this up!

Why can’t we have the REST API?

I’m not in the trenches like Rachel and the team behind the REST API initiative, but I do know that it’s been particularly challenging for them.

I wish I had better insight, I wish I knew the answers, but all I can do is speculate. Well, speculate and have intelligent conversations with people like Rachel. Which leads me to another thing: Humans.

Or, maybe it’s politics? Human politics?

My friend Jeff posted a piece on the Tavern, Us vs Them, not-so-hinting at the fact that core teams shield the rest of “us” out. The way I see it is, sometimes it’s Them vs Them, Us vs Them, and even Us vs Us.

It’s been said before, but a lot of WordPress community “problems” are natural human problems. Look at Federal Government, your place of work, heck even your softball team can’t get out of it’s own way half the time — this is humans being humans — not core team versus contributors.

I’m excited for the REST API, for what it can do and where it can take WordPress, but I don’t have skill set or the credentials to talk about it in core meetings. The nature of this software community is very much that — software. For folks like me, there is no outlet for non-tech speak, there is no “Super-fan” Slack channel.

I show my support by blogging, podcasting, and taking the occasional survey. It’s not much, but it’s the best I can do. Maybe the best you can do too?

Like you, I don’t know why, but I know I want the REST API, and I’m glad folks like Rachel are pioneering it for us.  Perhaps the best way to show support is to thank Rachel and the rest of the team on Twitter.

The links

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