Reemerging and Retraining after Maternity Leave

WP-CLI screenshot of updated plugins

I’ve been quiet on this site for several years now.  Try as I might, I needed the time away while birthing 2 babies in 2 years.  I extended my recovery to enjoy a few months of solid sleep before pushing again to do more than my contract work and raising children.  You can keep up with my family over at

Now that I’ve gotten through those fantastic years, it’s time to bring my tech skills up to speed again, devote time for hobbies, self-care, and contributing again to the WordPress community. 

My first step in increasing my skills was narrowing what and when to “learn”.  I felt a high need professionally to learn some ways to speed up my work.  I picked learning how to manage my WordPress website from the command line. (WP-CLI) Once you’ve learned this, it is a much faster way to update your site/theme/plugins, run backups, or many more tasks. 

For many WordPress folks, this would be such a simple thing to learn.  For whatever reason, it’s just been a slow process for me. 

It may have to do with my introduction to programming involving a classroom without a computer lab before people really had laptops.  My professor at least had use of a projector, but the room was super bright in the late afternoon sun and this was a projector dating to pre-2000.  It was dim, and we wrote notes on paper.  

I learned to program in as low-tech of a manner as possible. 

We visited the computer lab. It was sheer chaos.  First – how did we connect our machine to the place where the code was written? Telnet

Then, what did we write in? Pico.

After that, we had to compile the code and see if it even worked. Then we had to also save it back to a floppy disk by mounting that disk.

Kid you not, my aversion to real programming had the most difficult method of learning.  I’d have done better on punch cards. 

So – command line… takes me back, way back.  I’m done struggling along with being a psuedo-coder. I want to be confident in my skills, and need a place to start. 

Welcome to 2018, let’s start at Youtube. 

I use Desktop Server, which has WP-CLI rolled in.  So, I skipped much of the initial setup in the video. 

I did use the video to show me how to show me what plugins I had installed on one of my local sites.  I also used it to learn how to update my plugins. 

Other resources I’m using:

I’ll share more on my refreshers. I plan to dig deep into WP-CLI until I really master it, implement it, and can turn around and teach it if needed. If you can teach others the value and help them implement something, it means you really know it yourself. 

To be continued. 

Categorized as WordPress

By Courtney Engle Robertson

From high school business education to the WordPress Training team, Courtney helps people of all skill levels get their message out. She lives in south-central Pennsylvania, loves coffee, plays the mandolin, and has a very large vegetable garden.

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