Bug and feedback driven development

I’m not a developer, I’m just a random guy who was lucky enough to be around when the web started to happen, back in the nineties. And over the years I might have learned a bit about web development, but still I’m not a real developer. And yet, there I am with two WordPress plugins, fiddling with PHP and JavaScript. I’ll let you in on what’s not really a secret; I’ve made some ridiculous mistakes while coding those plugins. Trial and error, you know. Testing, fixing, releasing and getting feedback. Especially getting feedback!

Real users telling me it doesn’t work, asking for extra features or making proposals to make it better overall, that what I thrive on. The latest example; JavaScript namespaces. Not being a developer means that I know as much about coding patterns as I know about cows. I just hit the keyboard real hard and hope the browser understands what I throw at it. Until a good friend told me to use JavaScript namespaces, to avoid conflicts with other people’s JavaScript. And a week later someone wrote my software just didn’t work any more and I had to start digging and found a JavaScript conflict that was introduced with a new version of AddThis

And those are the moments one grows, as a developer; you start searching for information about scope, anonymous functions and namespaces. You try, it doesn’t work and you dig some deeper, until you stumble on a great question and answer on Stack Overflow with a link to a very detailed article about JavaScript coding patterns. So you go back into ‘vi’ and start changing the code once again and than all of a sudden you have a working version, which your Polish user confirms fixes the problem and you learned a lot while bugfixing.

So kudo’s to all you guys & girls for the great feedback, you rock! Here’s WP YouTube Lyte version 1.1.3 to thank you.

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