In 2015, I spent more time than ever contributing to free software. Over half of my tracked working time (50.14%!) was devoted to WordPress and related projects. More specifically: 35.8% was spent on WordPress core, 12.4% on BuddyPress, and about 2% on the maintenance of other plugins.
A few things I’m especially proud of:
- There’s been huge progress on the WordPress taxonomy roadmap. At the beginning of 2015, the just-released WP 4.1 featured improvements to the taxonomy term database schema that allowed us to stop creating shared terms. Today, as of WordPress 4.4, existing shared terms have been eliminated from just about every WordPress installation. Taxonomy term metadata is here as well, in addition to dozens of other improvements in the way WP taxonomy works. When I decided to be the unofficial Champion of Difficult Taxonomy Problems, I had no idea we’d be able to do so much in a single year.
- After the last three or four years being front-and-center in the BuddyPress project, I stepped back a bit in 2015. I still managed to deliver on what is, I think, a pretty major feature for the platform. Member Types are a powerful tool that I’ve been using on all new BuddyPress projects, and it’s gotten better and better over each release in 2015.
- Speaking of BuddyPress and being less involved there: I am extremely proud of the way the BuddyPress team has grown and matured in 2015. Certain members of the team have stepped up to new leadership positions, and a number of folks received (long overdue) commit access. I like to think that I played a small role in mentoring and encouraging at least some of these folks 🙂
- I scaled back on speaking engagements in 2015, but the ones I did were pretty fun. In September, I managed to stumble through 90 minutes of talking about WordPress en français with my friends on the Very French Trip podcast. And in November I gave a fun talk on the history of the WordPress taxonomy component.
In all, I think 2015 shows that it’s possible for a single-person operation to focus intensely on free software contribution, in a way that compliments rather than hinders client work. (See my mission statement for more on this idea.) If you’re looking for a WordPress development consultant, and you care about doing your work in such a way as to maximize impact across the free software community, get in touch!