I delivered a talk this morning at WordCamp Boston 2012 on how to find ways to fit web development tools into your workflow—you can find the slides online at http://talks.kadamwhite.com/wcbos12/.
The genesis of this talk was a conversation in which some friends expressed frustration at hearing about not being able to use “cool” front-end technologies with WordPress. It is true that WordPress and its LAMP stack are “old fashioned” compared to, say, a CouchApp, but for example you can make Node.js work for you by running your build process with something like Grunt.js even if you don’t incorporate Node into any part of your public-facing web stack. The best tools are flexible, and I use stylesheet pre-processors (with demos in LESS) to show how you can slot a tool into several different aspects of your workflow.
Tools that help us make website are invaluable for keeping up our speed and productivity as developers, and playing with the “latest and greatest” helps us stay excited about what we do and engaged with the community at large. We’ve gotten good at making advanced sites for our clients—we deserve to have some cool toys ourselves now and again.
For all who attended, I hope you found the talk useful! I have added two pages of links to unit testing and style guide resources at the end of the talk for those who wanted some further reading. For additional resources for workflow and developer tools—far, far more resources than you could shake a stick at—check out Aaron Jorbin’s slides from “Developing an Automated Workflow,” also presented today at WordCamp Boston 2012.