I’m a noob. There’s no doubt about it. I still run to Twitter for help with what most developers consider basic. I’m cool with that, though, because I know something that other budding developers don’t.
You don’t have to know shit to build an application for WordPress. All you have to do is be resourceful.
Before going any further, understand that I am not supporting crappy work. This is not an excuse to slap something together without any thought just to make a quick buck.
What I’m basically saying is that you don’t even have to know PHP to build something for WordPress.
The WordPress Codex, as hard as it is to navigate, is full of information. Other sites like WP Tuts provide a great deal of information about WordPress as well.
All you need to do is have a solid idea of what you want to build in WordPress. If you know it’s possible to create, Google will be your new best friend.
“How to build a WordPress theme”
“How to create a WordPress plugin”
“How to create a WordPress options page”
Simple searches like these will lead you to more resources than you can handle. The key to getting through everything is reading the Codex page plus 3 or 4 other tutorials from other sources.
You want to see what WordPress has to say about it first. From there, compare what they say with what 3 or 4 other reputable sources have to say.
You’ll eventually find a common denominator in the other sources that are in line with the Codex.
Take the code (and your new understanding of what the code does) and run with it.
Learning to build in WordPress is not about knowing everything. It’s about being resourceful and creating a little muscle memory by completing tasks one by one until the big picture starts to come together.
Those close to me know this already, but before I built Volatyl, I didn’t really know PHP. In fact, I had never built anything for WordPress. All I had done was design sites with CSS.
Pick a task that’s outside of your perceived reach and give it a try. I would suggest building a WordPress theme. (Try starting with my variation of _s by Automattic)
Don’t worry about releasing it. Just build it for yourself. As you go through the process, you’ll quickly realize that developing with WordPress is more about how you think than it is knowing PHP.
From there, you’ll learn to speak through your code to communicate your intent through functionality. The Thesis theme by DIY Themes is a perfect example of Chris Pearson’s thoughts on what makes a WordPress theme builder.
It’s your turn… whenever you feel like it.