Who are you and what do you do?
I am Marko Heijnen, a 1&1 WordPress Specialist. In this role, I work to develop innovative solutions and further enhance the WordPress experience for 1&1 customers and the community as a whole. Both professionally and personally, I am writing code to improve WordPress, advancing GlotPress, and building plugins.
In addition to development, I enjoy contributing to the WordPress community by attending and speaking at events. WordCamps provide the perfect platform for sharing knowledge, networking with the community, and learning from other innovators. I have travelled the world attending these conferences and gave expert presentations on more than 10 occasions. My position at 1&1 empowers me to have an even stronger role within the global WordPress community.
What is your preferred dev environment (OS, language, editor, etc.)?
My favorite dev environment is Sublime Text with Vagrant. I use Sublime as my text editor for PHP code and Vagrant, as well as all the tools around it, to build a virtual machine on my laptop. With this environment on my Mac OS, I can develop and test my projects really well.
What is it you like about that environment?
I like the combination of Sublime Text and Vagrant because it is flexible and everything runs smoothly on a virtual machine. Seamlessly customization is essential for the varying needs of my projects. Sublime is simple yet extendable, allowing me to use additional tools and systems (for example: Git) if necessary. Vagrant is really powerful and also allows me to extend the environment with all the tools I need. Quickly creating and configuring the environment, setting up as many projects as I need simultaneously, and experimenting without breaking my own OS are great benefits of Vagrant virtual machines.
What did you use before, and what got you to switch?
I previously used MAMP PRO, running on my Mac OS, for my development environment. It worked well to create websites, but its extendibility was rigid and frustrating. Switching PHP versions, using advanced tools and installing additional software was difficult to accomplish. So, I decided to switch to a virtual machine and learned to use Vagrant.
What is one thing you think a new developer should know?
New developers should maintain their passion for emerging technologies and keep in mind that there is always something new to try. Experimenting on a virtual machine is perfect for those getting started because they can install and play with new technology without worrying about breaking anything. It’s easy to set up and they can do lots of cool stuff locally.
The biggest lesson I learned as a new developer was how to be patient. Especially as a contributor to a large project, it’s important to understand nothing great can be built within one day. Sometimes it is best to take a diligent approach by identifying issues and exploring solutions step-by-step. Understanding the rules for contributions is also imperative, especially for open-source projects. For example, WordPress has guidelines for how to write code which should be known before any patches or other contributions are submitted. If the code standards are not followed, your submission will not be accepted and someone will likely inform you about the guidelines.
Something all developers should know, regardless of experience, is when to ask for help. Working together with others, asking for assistance and feedback, and putting your pride aside when you’ve made a mistake all contribute to the ultimate goal of creating a better project. Collaboration can help you to become a better developer.
Aren't all hosting companies the same? (I joke, I joke) What makes 1&1 different?
1&1 is one of the largest Web hosts in the world and often one of the first to bring to market new Internet solutions and partnerships with the best hardware vendors. With 26 years of experience, we have the expertise necessary to provide high quality, reliable and secure products to our customers. Each of our data centers operate with impressive security as well as high reliability through geo-redundancy. We strive to deliver a range of online solutions to support both professional and personal users with the development of a strong online presence. Often considered a one-stop-shop, our products range from user-friendly solutions like easy website design applications, online marketing tools, and WordPress optimized Web hosting packages, to the more complex including cloud and dedicated servers.
For more tips and advice on how to best use WordPress, for both beginners and advanced users, head to 1&1’s Community Portal or the 1&1 Blog.