The Code Block : WordPress Plugin Development Block 0

The very first class at The Code Block at The BlockYard is going to begin the journey with WordPress plugin development. This is a starting point only. Something to get the ball rolling. Anticipate multiple forks as we start down the “Code Block chain”. We most certainly will end up in places we don’t expect as we follow this coding journey were it takes us over the next 6 months.

What to expect for Block 0

Block 0 is the very beginning. We assume those attending the class understand basic computer concepts and rudimentary coding concepts but do not have a solid foundation of where to being learning how to code real-world applications.

We will start with setting up the toolbox with the applications you’ll need to be able to write and debug code efficiently. We will focus on the tools used for WordPress development but many of the concepts we discuss will also apply to other application stacks.

We will be learning how to setup a virtual machine, a code repository and the tools to manipulate it, and a code editor.


The tools of choice will be those I know well:

  • VirtualBox – the virtual machine manager
  • Vagrant – the generic virtual machine management scripts
  • Varying Vagrant Vagrants (VVV) – WordPress-centric scripts for Vagrant
  • Sourcetree – a graphic interface for git repositories
  • phpStorm – an integrated development environment, though any code editor will work I prefer phpStorm for its built-in PHP and WordPress autocomplete as well as xDebug tools. phpStorm is a paid app but you can use it 30 days for free (a request has been made for coupons for 6-months free use).

If you want to get ahead of the game before the first coding session you should download and install the apps noted above. Don’t worry about configuring VVV or Vagrant or Virtualbox. Installing them is enough. Since Vagrant and VVV require other languages (Ruby) to work you may need to install those as well.

Block 0 – Agenda

For the first session we will make sure everyone has the development environment setup and installed.

We will create the first BlockYard hosting account and test repository.

We will discuss “Project One” — our first open-source WordPress plugin. Please bring your ideas for a simple plugin we can work on together as we learn to code.

Block 0 – Logged

Block 0 has been added to The Code Block ledger. The very first class at The Blockyard is now official. You can find the notes on what we tried to do and what we actually did here:

Long Term Goals

You will learn how to setup a sandboxed development environment, how to work with code repositories in a structured and team-friendly manner, how to debug code in real time using proper debugging tools, as well as how to build on object oriented coding principles and how it compares to procedural/inline coding.

Technologies you will learn will include git, PHP, JavaScript, Vue and Vuetify, MySQL, REST and AJAX. We will briefly touch on WordPress basics, Node and the node modules, and lots of ancillary concepts related to building commercial software.

What is The BlockYard?

The BlockYard is a true concepts collision space for tech professionals.

A 28,000 square foot facility on the Old Navy Base in Charleston South Carolina is the home base for the operation. It is accessible to active members only. The Code Block classes will be held on premises for members on the first iteration — though we expect to have off-campus classes to provide our classes to non-members in the near future.

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