We work quite a bit with Genesis here at WisdmLabs. So I end up reading a lot about it. Most of the times, I end up reading this one particular blog. For those of you like me, here’s a tip. If you’re looking to tweak your Genesis theme, or looking to learn something just out of curiosity, this blog has you covered.
The tutorials are lucid, and the writing is conversational. (If you’re a Genesis developer, just go ahead and bookmark this site).
In fact the blog author pops-up in my head when people ask me to list Genesis experts. It could be because Genesis has listed her as a recommended developer.
So, when Wisdmlabs began a series of interviews, her name had to definitely be featured on the list.
I’m talking about none other than… Carrie Dils! (you knew that 😀 )
You know, Carrie’s site is more than just Genesis articles. It’s about her. That’s why I enjoy reading it. I like reading her experiences, thoughts and confessions. She’s honest and open about the lessons she’s learnt and the mistakes she’s made. This makes me trust her when she talks about things which work and things which don’t.
When I asked her for an interview I wasn’t expecting an immediate reply. But even though she was busy, Carrie got back to me within a day, and was extremely polite throughout the entire process. Much appreciated!
(About time I stop my jabbering right!)
So folks… Here’s Carrie Dils for you 🙂
How do you go from being a Starbucks employee to a recommended Genesis developer?
My pre-Starbucks career was in web technologies. After nearly a decade with Starbucks, I was ready for a change. I started taking on freelance projects while I was still a partner and when I crossed the line of making more freelancing than I was slinging coffee, I made the jump back into full-time web consulting.
Do you think Genesis is the best theme development framework? Why?
I’m not intimately familiar with every framework out there, so I can’t make a definitive statement, but I do know that Genesis is extremely well built. It’s a solid product with a ton of education and community support around it, which makes it a fairly easy product to ramp up with quickly.
I don’t think frameworks are right for everyone, but I do like the idea of a re-usable code base and, for me, that’s what Genesis is.
Which are the 4 must-follow web development practices in your ‘Coding Bible’?
The quality of your code will improve over time, so I won’t harp on coding practices. The main thing is to document your code, both for your benefit and the benefit of other developers who look at your code. A year from now you won’t remember what a bit of code you wrote was supposed to do, but if it’s nicely documented, your future self will thank you!
How does a great web developer balance design and usability?
I don’t consider myself a designer or a UI expert… that said, I tend to err on the side of simplicity.
How do you ensure plugin compatibility in theme development without compromising design?
If there are plugins I recommend using with a theme, I’ll include the necessary styles to make plugin output “match” the theme styles. I’d love to see plugins with front-end output use styles less aggressively so that elements can inherit theme styles as much as possible.
How do you stay updated with the latest developments in WordPress?
There’s too much to stay on top of everything! My primary news sources are my Twitter feed, managewp.org, and poststatus.com. Basically, I rely on the masses to sort out what’’s noteworthy. That’s the Tim Ferris way. 🙂
Your thoughts on the skewed gender ratio in the WordPress community
I think this is an area where the WordPress community is better than most. If you look at WordPress contributors and community leaders, there’s strong representation by women. Granted, I’m coming from a USA perspective, so community leadership may well look different in other parts of the world.
Is there always room for improvement where equality (for all, not just women) is involved? Absolutely! My experience is that the WordPress Foundation makes equality a priority through its various initiatives, which is fantastic. Attitudes trickle down.
If you weren’t a web developer, what would you be?
I’m not sure, but it’d be some other sort of business owner/entrepreneur. I very much enjoy working for myself and creating opportunities to make money out of nothing more than imagination and effort.
Thank you Carrie for taking the time and talking to us. As for you all reading this, I encourage you to go ahead and read Carrie’s blog. You’ll learn something new, you’ll get to know her and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.