Learning WordPress and Python for work

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Learning WordPress and Python for work

Dave Tierney 〜 10/29/2023

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After learning I was going to need to work with WordPress and Python after starting my first job in programming, I was feeling very apprehensive. I had just spent 6+ months learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and React, and now I was going to have to learn two more technologies. I was worried that I would not be able to learn them fast enough to be able to do my job well.

WordPress uses PHP, which is a language I had never used before. I had heard that it was a language that was outdated, disliked, and not worth learning as a web developer in 2022. As a new developer to the languages I had previously experienced, this seemed pretty daunting. It is wild to see how the JavaScript ecosystem has moved to more SSR (server-side rendering) which in ways is similar to PHP.

Learning PHP and WordPress was still a tremendous challenge, and I am far from an expert at this point. I was able to create custom pages and combine it with client side JavaScript to achieve the goals set for me. I could see the benefit of letting our host server compile the web pages ahead of time, and serve them to the client, as opposed to having a lot of client JavaScript slowing the performance of the site. With many users accessing our website on mobile devices, this was a huge benefit.

My employer runs a Python project that acts as a server and interacts with our database. I could see the similarities to the languages I already knew, like JavaScript, but that helped me see how its differences have a lot of strengths to achieve other goals. When interacting with data, Python has some major upsides. In rendering that data to a client, I found some obstacles. Those give and takes helped me grow as a programmer greatly.

I likely would have never pursued any of these technologies on my own. I feel more confident in my ability to learn new technologies, and I have a better understanding of the pros and cons of different languages and frameworks. I am excited to see what I will learn next.