A big field in a park, in the fall, with lots of blue sky.

New From Plugin Machine: Josh As A Service

One of the most common questions I get about Plugin Machine is if it can be used to create a plugin that does [insert list of specifications here]. And yes, it can be used to generate the boilerplate code for all kinds of plugins and you can use Plugin Machine as part of a CI/CD pipeline to test and package your plugins.

I don’t have some type of AI-powered text to WordPress plugin system, yet. But I am an intelligent organic lifeform with lots of experience in WordPress plugin development, and with Laravel and React. I am now offering consulting or development as a service.

So, to celebrate Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc. I am launching some new product offerings. These offerings have a price and that price may increase, decrease or stay the same after this intial launch promotion. Look, pricing is an experiment, you know this, I’m not here to bullshit you.

What I am offering is to help you with your WordPress, Laravel or React projects. I am offering zoom-based consulting. I have listed a few packages on the services page.

The simplest offering is a quick way to book and pay for a two hour zoom call. Send me a link to a Github repo or your site, you want me to look at in advance. We can disucsss refactoring, testing, security, performance or whatever.

The services page was updated Monday, 28 November to simplify pricing. It’s a list of ways I can help, and three prices, each with different amounts of time.

Future Machines

When I started working on Plugin Machine, my IDE was able to auto complete one or two words at a time, and I was getting really into setting up snippets in vsCode to generate boilerplate. One of the ways I considered building Plugin Machine was as a vsCode extension on top of that feature.

What’s changed since then is I’ve been using Github copilot. It doesn’t write all of the code for me, but when I’m doing something simple, it gets the code 80% or so right. I don’t think AI is going to put software engineers out of business soon, but it should change how we approach writing code. Knowing the difference between close to correct and correct, as well as dealing with the less simple parts are now even more important.

I suspect that in the future, engineering is going to be more like curation.

Being able to write tests to ensure that the generated code works as expected is super important. It’s no secret I’m a big fan of automated tests. I write tests as I write code.

When I talk about test-driven development, I don’t mean what a lot of people mean when they think of “TDD”. I write tests while I write code, a lot like I used to use var_dump and die or xdebug to step through code until it works. Now as I debug, I use assertions, in my tests.

This has allowed me to write better, more reliable code and reduced my stress. It’s a big change, but it’s also something that makes it less stressful for me to itterate on my code. When it’s time to refactor, I have assurance that

If you’d like to learn those skills, I’m offering help setting up and learning automated testing. If you want to stand out in the competive job market or help one of your employess or mentees level up, I can help. I am offering small packages as well as on-going coaching, to help you or your organization adopt automated testing.

Learn More

This is a link to the page with more information about these offerings.

New eBook

Refactoring WordPress Plugins

The PHP Parts

 For experienced WordPress developers who are looking to improve the PHP in their plugins, use new modern best practices and adopt test-driven development.