What does a WordPress Engineer do?

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We want to introduce you to one of our most important roles at Inpsyde: WordPress Engineer. Our colleagues develop websites, online shops, or WordPress plugins and perform maintenance, bug fixes, or code reviews.

At Inpsyde, we develop sophisticated solutions among the best in the WordPress ecosystem. This is possible because we rely on our own coding standards and the professional collaboration of our excellent development teams. As Germany’s largest WordPress agency and one of the leading WordPress agencies worldwide, we have earned the trust of many discerning customers.

To ensure that we only deliver the best results, we have established several measures that help us maintain our high standards and continuously improve the quality of our work. Becoming a WordPress Developer at Inpsyde allows you to learn from the industry’s brightest minds and develop as part of the team.

Which areas of work does WordPress Development cover?

Tasks

WordPress Engineers at Inpsyde are responsible for maintaining and implementing new features for our website projects or plugins. They also need to make architecture definitions, fix bugs, estimate costs, or check codes. Our developers organize themselves in teams and work together on problems. This means that  a colleague can always be asked if someone is facing a problem or different solution options can be weighed up. We also rely on code reviews to ensure we find bugs and continue to optimize our software solutions

Onboarding

The onboarding process plays an important role in ensuring  that new employees quickly become familiar with our workflows, technical documentation, and development infrastructure. Our implementation guides help new developers become familiar with some of our most commonly used tools and libraries. This helps them become more confident in solving problems using our best practices and coding standards.

In addition, when a new Inpsyder joins a team, they are assigned what we call an ‘onboarding buddy’ to help them get used to the way things work in that team. As a newbie, you can look over your buddy’s shoulder, get briefed on daily tasks, or learn more about the teams’ projects. At first, you will probably also read a lot of documentation and browse existing GitHub repositories to understand better how we approach WordPress development at Inpsyde.

The first 90% of the code makes up the first 90% of the development time.
The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time.

Tom Cargill, Managing Director of a UK agency of the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office

How important is communication?

Our WordPress Developers communicate with their team leader and project managers in their day-to-day work to prioritize issues and solve any problems that may arise.

Of course, they also communicate with the other developers on their team or across teams to bring new solutions to life.

Meetings

To ensure we always know what we are working on or where there are still questions, developers in most teams see each other virtually at a daily standup meeting. This meeting helps everyone in the team to stay up to date and provides an opportunity to address new or urgent issues promptly. We try to keep the number of meetings limited so that developers have enough time to focus on their tasks

Retrospectives and one-on-one meetings with the team leaders and our CEO are held regularly. In these meetings, we discuss the goals achieved in the past year and the goals for the coming year. But of course, there is also a chat about personal topics.

On the last Friday of each month, we organize a developer meeting called Dev-Friday. On this day, developers from different teams collaborate and share their knowledge.

Chats

Slack channels  are not to be missed either. In addition to dozens of project-specific channels, we also have several general development channels simply called #dev-chat. This is where developers can discuss technical issues and ask for feedback. It is a kind of  “help desk” where anyone can support anyone who has joined this channel. While asking a question in a channel with over 60 developers can be intimidating at first, questions in this channel are guaranteed to be answered with a helpful response and occasionally an in-depth discussion about an underlying mechanism in WordPress, PHP, or other software.

There are also other channels for specific aspects of development, such as front-end development or working with Docker.

All developer teams have their own channel, where the developers can discuss team-specific topics and projects.

Cross-team collaboration

Inpsyde works with fixed teams of developers who work independently on projects and accompany them over a long period of time. We believe that closely-knit teams help us to build the trust and familiarity needed to work effectively and – most importantly – have a good time while doing so. Luckily, for our project managers, the boundaries between teams are flexible. Whenever a major client project or product work requires it, developers can temporarily help out with projects being developed by other teams. 

Still, splitting  into teams risks creating ‘silos’ where each team does things their own way.  At Inpsyde, we actively encourage cross-team collaboration in many ways to prevent this. 

In addition to the exchanges in dedicated developer Slack channels, we have a team of representatives who meet twice a month to align practices and workflows further. The responsibility of maintaining and improving our public packages and other internal projects can be shared among developers from different teams. 

To encourage company-wide participation in adopting standard solutions, we recently introduced an internal RFC process to facilitate this procedure. When preparing a solution which would impact cross-project architectural decisions, developers must write a proposal from more than one team.

What working tools are used?

We use many tools in our daily work. They make a difference in the quality of our work.

At the management level, these include:

  • Slack for communication
  • Jira for task and project management
  • Confluence for documentation – both internally and externally with clients
  • Google Workspace for agile collaboration
  • Zoom for virtual meetings and calls 
  • Toggl for time tracking

On the developer side, we rely on, among other things:

  • PhpStorm as our go-to IDE – the software we write code in
  • GitHub for version-control, code reviews, hosting our open-source package repository with GitHub Actions, deployment, automated releases, and tests
  • Private Packagist for PHP package management
  • Inpsyde CLI, an internal tool to generate projects and perform quality checks

Developers can choose which hardware and operating system to use. Since systems are represented in equal numbers, there is always a developer to ask for advice.

Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.

Bill Gates

What are the daily requirements in the field of WordPress development? What skills are needed?

Requirements

On the one hand, our web developers must have knowledge of PHP, JavaScript, and WordPress, as well as an understanding of databases and front-end tools. Our goal is to create solutions that go beyond WordPress standards and practices. Instead, we adhere to the standards and the state of the art in PHP and other relevant open-source communities as well. We expect our developers to be eager to learn things like PSR Standards, static code analysis, unit tests, and integration tests. 

On the other hand, soft skills are also essential for successful work as a web developer, such as being a self-starter or a team player.We also value giving back to the WordPress community and strengthening the WordPress ecosystem. To this end, we release some of our tools as open-source resources such as our Packages to Build WordPress Websites for Enterprise. We, therefore, encourage our developers to attend WordCamps and other WordPress community events and share their experiences with other WordPress professionals.

Challenges

One of the biggest challenges as a WordPress Developer at Inpsyde is to develop something that meets the requirements and, at the same time, meets our standards. Sometimes the challenge is not finding the solution with the tools you already use but breaking new ground. Therefore, we encourage developers to be creative and dare to do things differently.

Learning on the job

Inpsyde places great value on knowledge sharing and teamwork. This is the only way we can deliver solutions with a consistent quality and keep our results at a consistently high level. We are WordPress developers with passion and expertise.

That is why the principle of self-initiative further training also applies at Inpsyde: If there is a topic that a developer is particularly interested in and can help them, the team or the company in the future, then they express their wishes and are given the best possible support in implementing it.

In addition, documentation on specific topics and projects is available for viewing.

Individual experiences of our WordPress Developers

We asked our developer teams for a personal insight into their daily work, which is a fun/interesting read:

  • Willem Prins

    Willem Prins
    WordPress Engineer

    Three and a half years ago, I joined Inpsyde as a theme developer. This role does not exist anymore: due to our commitment to create solutions with the BlockEditor, we now have the more fitting JavaScript/React-focused ‘Front End Developer’ position. 

    After years of solo work, it was an absolute blessing to join a team with experienced developers with a great sense of humor and team spirit, even when the company has changed – and grown! – considerably over the years, it has been reassuring to know that we keep finding these really smart people from all over the world, who are also just the most creative and friendly people.

    Having been given the opportunity to grow into a documentation-and-process role for the Admin Team (the team of representatives mentioned above), one of my responsibilities is to keep track of all the solutions developed at Inpsyde and look for ways to align these solutions and our development practices. This means that almost daily, I get to see the work of my brilliant colleagues and be impressed and inspired at the same time.

  • Vladimir Shelmuk

    Vladimir Shelmuk
    WordPress Engineer

    For me, the most important point in my job is that I can grow as a developer. We have a strong and experienced developer community within the company, and we use common tools. So Inpsyde is a great opportunity for me.

    In addition, I really like being part of my team. There is always a good mood, there is no finger pointing and especially very constructive criticism and bug fixes.

  • Erika Gili

    Erika Gili
    WordPress Engineer

    My personal experience at Inpsyde is really positive and fulfilling: I work on huge projects with the technologies I love and like-minded teammates from all over the world without having to travel. I like how much the company invests in our well-being and am really proud to be a part of it.

    In my daily work as a WordPress Developer, my main focus is to grow and get a little bit better every day. I love how much I can push myself (and how much my teammates help me!) to reach a higher level as a WordPress Developer every day than the day before.  I learn something new every day, but I know I can always ask for it if I need further training.

    Communication is essential at Inpsyde. I’m not a native English speaker, but in the end, it’s just a matter of practice, so we’re always able to communicate smoothly with each other.

  • Eliasu Abraman

    Eliasu Abraman
    WordPress Engineer

    So far, my onboarding has gone well. I’m still learning a lot about how code and repos are organized at Inpsyde. As a WordPress Developer, I am gaining incredible experiences at Inpsyde. My team and especially my buddy helped get me fully integrated and comfortable with my work.

    At the moment, I’m mainly doing support jobs, but of course, I have an insight into newer WordPress developments. I think the knowledge in Reacts will be the backbone of the WordPress user interface with the release of WordPress 5.9.

  • Róbert Mészáros
    WordPress Engineer

    Coming from a freelance background, I enjoy the high autonomy and alignment we have in my team. There is no micromanagement, and we flexibly manage our time around deadlines. Although we have different personalities, we know we are in the same boat. And at the end of the day, even if we make individual decisions, we share the responsibility.

    We can choose to engage with clients, which plays well with my skill set, so my acquired experience is put to good use. Enterprise clients bring great complexity, but I feel like, as a company, we managed to find the right balance between the corporate aspects and being human and down to earth.

    Besides the day-to-day work, we can take on additional tasks that benefit the entire company in the long run. This often leads to engaging with the other departments, which I enjoy and want to pursue more.

    WordPress is constantly evolving. The BlockEditor and the recently introduced Full Site Editing make creating a custom website even easier and more intuitive. These new features  have introduced a whole new set of development challenges, and a completely different way of thinking about WordPress themes and templates. It is an exciting opportunity for us to examine how we can use these features to add even more value to our solutions for enterprise clients while keeping their needs in mind.

    Does a job at Inpsyde sound exciting and challenging to you? Check out our current job vacancies!