Maine WordPress Meetup summary March 2015

At this month’s meetup, we tried something different. Our intention was too lead a Node School style gathering, where we work on a project and learn to use the WP REST API.  Host Gary Thayer called it ‘Hands-on with JSON’.  Though I got some good feedback after the meetup, the workshop didn’t go quite as planned.

I hoped we’d have a social coding session, where we’d each write our own javascript app. I made a fairly simple spec doc for the app, called Game-a-tron, and gave the option to write your own from scratch, or follow a step-by-step guide that I deployed t0 Github. There was a bit of reluctance to participate, and I instead used the overhead projector to walk us through my guide.

What I learned

If you are going to lead a coding workshop, you have to set the mood. Instead of participants sitting with their laptops on their laps, next time I’d like to provide tables. There should be open refreshments, and music. I think if I had put more effort into creating an informal hangout, people would have been less shy. We’ll get ’em next time!

Personally, I found the endeavor worthwhile. I gained a deeper understanding of Git, and how it can be used as a teaching tool. Seriously folks, checkout nodeschool.io. They are doing some amazing things with educational Git robots, and interactive CLI lessons. I also became acquainted with Backbone.js, and how it is an ideal tool for communicating with APIs. Not too shabby.

I’m thankful, as always for Hall Internet Marketing for hosting the event. Be sure to join us next month!

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