Planning with Human Made for a Week of REST

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to Northern England to prep for the Week of REST Bootcamp with Joe Hoyle, Ryan McCue and Siobhan McKeown from Human Made.

For those who don’t know about it, A Week of REST is an intensive, week long, in person bootcamp where you learn how to build web apps with the WP REST API, JavaScript, React and Webpack.  This is a follow up to Human Made’s successful Day of REST conference they held earlier this year.

Goals for the Week


At the beginning of our week long planning session in the quaint town of Whitley Bay, we set our goals.  We had to build the example app, create the exercises, and hammer out the schedule (along with a few other odds and ends).


On our first day of planning we set out all the learning objectives (yay for pedagolically sound approaches!) and mocked up the app itself, a Live Blogging app.  It was fun for me to work with such smart, experienced people and also to get to draw wireframes, which I haven’t done since my UI time at Blackboard 🙂


From there we decided that Joe would work on the back end of the app and the supporting JavaScript API library that would help with connecting to the WordPress API Authentication Broker.  Ryan focused on building out the React front end of the app, and being DJ.  I took as my task writing exercises that went along with each piece of functionality in the app.  Siobhan focused on some of the bigger picture planning and promotional items.  Then we set out to work.

Getting it Done

I am pretty sure Ryan finished the majority of the app in about a day.  Joe banged out a nice little library to help people connect their sites with the WP Broker and posted it to NPM.  Then came deeper discussions between the two about how to approach one feature or another or even what features the app should include.


It was a lot of fun working alongside Ryan and Joe.  They are both quite bright, fast and know a heck of a lot about the REST API and building with it.  They also approached the app from a let’s make it something folks would really use perspective.

This Live Blogging App is much more than just a simple demo.  That was refreshing for me because I have often built demo projects that I wish I had more time (or a team like these two) to flesh out further.

My favorite part about working with Joe and Ryan was getting to ask them question after question all day (and evening long).  From why do you setup webpack this way to what ES6 conventions do you think are most used or why does this work that way in React and when should you decouple your app.  Every question got an answer, and several answers led to more questions.  I give Joe and Ryan my deep thanks for patience and playing the role of teachers during that week 🙂

20160713_172721It was also great to have Siobhan on board too who helped with identifying learning objectives, breaking down modules, and assessing how much we could fit into a day.  Felt like I was working with another teacher, which I love, and find leads to good learning.


Of course we also took some downtime in traditional web nerd fashion and went to the local WordPress Meetup in New Castle, where Joe spoke about the REST API and Ryan fielded a few questions from the crowd.

Why I Highly Recommend Attending A Week of REST Bootcamp

My first reason for you to attend A Week of REST is that I want to attend.  Even though I’m one of the presenters, I have learned so much in prepping for this workshop and know that I’ll learn even more while there.

You cannot attend a workshop on the WP API and JavaScript with better presenters.  Ryan and Joe work on the API itself and work for Human Made, probably the leading agency for work with the REST API.  In addition to having hands on workshops all day, there are also Q&A sessions every night where you can be like me and ask them all your questions that you have been wondering about the REST API, JavaScript and building apps with it all.  For this reason alone it’s worth attending.

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 12.14.39 PM

For those who work for agencies, you will be bringing back a very tangible skill set to your company.  You will have gained insight into planning apps with the REST API, working hands on with best practices for authentication, and you’ll have a solid app that you can use as a boilerplate for your own projects.

A Week of REST is a perfect compliment to my JavaScript for WordPress Master Course too.  Rather than taking potentially months of your time to work through my course, in a week, you get all of the most practical parts on React, OAuth and the API pulled out with a hands on experience.

Please check out the Program Overview on the Week of REST site to get details like location, pricing and what you will learn.  I hope to see some of you there!!!




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