I Ate a Frog and I Liked It
Some months after I rediscovered WordPress, I found myself dabbling in a plugin I had discovered in a past life. The developer had stopped developing it long time ago and as a result of this, it had some lines of deprecated code. I thought it was a great plugin and liked it very much, so I decided to play the super hero and rescue it from the clutches of deprecated code.
With a boom, a pow! and a crash I was able to restore the plugin to a semblance of its former self. It was a moment of joy and success for me. If I could fix it, I wondered what else I could do to it. So I dabbled some more — only this time, it wasn’t as easy as I thought.
If you’ve ever tried editing code you didn’t write, you would know that it can be a bit daunting. You’ve got to learn and understand it before you can add to it. You’ve got to understand how the original programmer approached the solution to the problem. This one was determined not to be an exception.
After several fruitless and frustrating hours, I decided to do something I didn’t expect to do.
I was going to eat a frog and build my own WordPress plugin from scratch. I was going to do it my way and I was going to get the functionality I wanted.
I put my frustration and fatigue aside and armed myself with the WordPress Codex and some tutorials. As I read and tried the instructions myself, I saw that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. My curiosity got triggered even more and I liked what I saw. Then I had a big break.
My mom called me for dinner.
I got the chance to rest and think about the significance of what I started doing.
Sometimes doing something that seems to push your limits is what you need to help you see new possibilities.
I spent the rest of the evening planning my plugin. I took time to break it up into as many pieces as possible and analyze how it was going to work. I thought of all the things that could possibly go wrong and came up with solutions just in case they did. I researched and studied the answers to the questions I had.
Then my mom walked in and told me to go to bed. I was the last one in the living. Everyone else was fast asleep. I told her I was almost done then put the finishing touches on the pages of my masterpiece. The plan was complete.
Building a plugin wasn’t the first thing I expected to do that day but it was the last thing on my mind before I went to bed.
The next day, I woke up with a new resolve and excitement. I was ready to see my plugin come to life.
I followed the plan as I had written it step by step and tested each part. I corrected errors along the way. After a few hours I was done. The moment of truth had arrived. I tested the plugin.
It worked perfectly! I enjoyed that victory. After all, it was my first WordPress plugin and I got what I wanted.
One thing I learnt from this experience is once you take that initial step to accomplish a task, even if it is a small step, it becomes easier to take the next steps. All you need is to give yourself that one push.
Taking that one step of trying to build a plugin opened my mind to new possibilities and new things to try — and I liked it.
Here’s my advice: Eat that frog. Heck, add some salt and black pepper to it if you have to.
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Oh and by the way, I wrote a short report and an eBook. I’ll be glad if you check them out.