How OTGSians keep learning and contributing to the WP community

May 6, 2020

Ahmed Mohammed, from Giza Egypt, works with our Compatibility team debugging and fixing issues with themes or plugins.

Recently to learn React, he enrolled in a 6-week Bootcamp where there are online lectures and discussion lectures. It’s organized by Zac Gordon 

 Ahmed, what motivated you to learn new programming languages?

Back in 2015, Matt Mullenweg asked everyone in the WordPress community to learn JavaScript ‘deeply’ and, since then, JavaScript and React became heavily used in WordPress core, themes, and plugins. WPML and Toolset are also using React and I’m pretty sure that anyone who is planning to stay connected to WordPress in one way or another, needs to know more about React.

I started learning React by watching a course on Udemy. It was good and I learned a lot. Then I heard about Zac Gordon’s online Bootcamp. First I enrolled in JavaScript, and after I graduated I enrolled in React.

Every year, OTGS offers a very generous Scholarship program to its employees. The aim is to choose a course or activity which will have a positive influence on the quality of our work within the company. Realizing that React is the way to go in web development, I registered for that Bootcamp and took advantage of our Scholarship program. 

 Tell us a bit more about React

React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It’s an essential part of modern web development. Learning React is helping me to develop the best practices for coding styles, architecture and tooling. 

Knowledge of JavaScript is required. The JavaScript Bootcamp is a recommended prerequisite. Basic HTML and CSS skills are also recommended. The group environment at Bootcamp keeps me motivated and I have learnt more than I would have done on my own or with a normal online course.

Now I’m almost done with the React Bootcamp and I’m working on the final project. I’m building a simple Todo app and I’ll share it here so that anyone can use it ;)

Basically, it’ll allow me to debug or fix issues with themes or plugins that use React. But I’m planning to delve into deeper topics such as  Gutenberg blocks and headless WordPress (aka Decoupled WordPress) where you use WordPress as the backend and create the frontend using React!

You can test this basic website I created for testing purposes. Everything you see is React and all the content was added using the normal WordPress dashboard, it is blazing fast!

Covid-19 restrictions – how has this affected your daily activities? Do you have more time on your hands?

I have a lot more time now. We don’t go anywhere so I have around 20 hours per week for studying and other stuff not related to work. I have been spending a couple of hours every day after work and around 4-5 hours on weekends learning about React.

You are also involved in WP community activities.  How have they been affected by the Covid-19 restrictions?  

We used to hold a monthly meetup (WordPress Cairo meetup), a physical one but due to COVID-19 restrictions, we’re obligated to make it online. Surprisingly, we got more attendees for the April meetup. More than 40 attendees showed up (screenshot attached) and it was a very nice one!

At these meetups, what feedback/questions do you receive from members about WPML or Toolset?

Every time we organize a meetup, the attendees always come with questions related to WPML :) It’s expected because they know Mohamed Khafaja and I work for the company that makes WPML. 

What I have noticed is that WPML is becoming the go-to solution for anyone who is making a multilingual website. Our community used to look for free solutions, but now this is changing. I can see clearly that their first choice is WPML.

Thank you, Ahmed.  Anything to add?  

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has made it possible for me not only to expand my knowledge but to also share it with other WordPress enthusiasts in my part of the world.