Back to Basics

I always thought Impostor Syndrome was bullshit.

Then I realized I was 6 months in to running WP Dispensary full time and I had no idea what I was doing.

Recently, I’ve been working on WPD v2.0 and have pushed myself to do things with code that I haven’t before.

This lead me to question my whole entire existence, as both a developer and a human being.


It’s taken some getting used to, but I have come to grips with the impostor syndrome within.

I’ve also realized what I need to do in order to make sure that I never feel this uncomfortable again.

Getting back to the basics

It’s been over a dozen years since I started editing WordPress themes, learning PHP in the process.

The “learning on the job” has got me here, and I’m thankful for it.

But I’ve grown so much as a developer over the last couple of years that I feel like I’m doing myself a disservice by not going back and re-learning the basics of PHP and other languages I write in.

Sure, I’ve learned a lot of PHP over the years, along with a handful of other languages, but the learning has been fractured at best.

I’ve never taken a course, read any developer-related books, or done much more than Google searches, skimming blog posts and hacking together code until it worked.

I really feel like I’m missing out on my full potential as a developer by not learning the basics of the languages I write in.

So, what am I gonna do about it?

For starters, I’m writing this blog post and making a public declaration that I’m actually going to do something about it ?

While I continue working on the release of WP Dispensary v2.0 (which is less than a week away as I type this), I will continue “learning on the job”.

I will also be taking the PHP course at Codecademy.

Over 900 thousand others have taken the course, and it says it’s only about 4 hours from start to finish, so I feel like it’ll give me a solid – and quick – overview of PHP.

This video also gives a nice, brief run down of PHP, so I plan on watching this a couple of times while working on projects.

Because I want to continue making WP Dispensary better, and offering full Gutenberg support when WordPress switches editors, I plan on also learning JavaScript basics.

One of the first things I’ll be doing is watching this video, which has over 1 million views and packs a lot of the basics of JavaScript into such a short video.

I’ve also been looking into a couple of courses, like the JavaScript for WordPress course from Zac Gordon.

This is really going to be a life long journey, but I’m really happy to be jumping off the edge at this point in my life and (hopefully) learning to fly on the way down ?

2 responses to “Back to Basics”

  1. Amanda Rush Avatar


    I’m glad to hear you’re starting to learn PHP and the other languages you work with by going back to the basics. This will make you a much better wordPress developer. One thing I would recommend if you haven’t considered it already is Know The Code ( It will teach you the basics of PHP as well as HTML and other languages, but it also has courses on problem solving and other so-called soft skills. I would also recommend the Deque University courses from Ddque Systems. They will give you a firm grounding in web accessibility, and they are thorough and will compliment the other learning you’re doing. These will also make you a better developer. Finally, just because you learned PHP the WordPress way doesn’t make you a bad human. It just means that that’s the path you started on, and now you’re retracing your steps to explore other ways of doing things. Both of the courses I’ve recommended are very non-judgmental, especially the Know the Code stuff.

    Good luck,


    1. Robert DeVore Avatar

      Thanks Amanda, I hope it makes me a better developer too. And thank you for th link, I’ll check that out asap.

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