December 31, 2019

2019 in Review

This year has been a time of growth and self-reflection. As a final goal of 2019 and to be continued in 2020, I'm sharing updates, milestones, and books I've enjoyed.


🧑‍🎨 1 - Visual Design part time class taught at General Assembly, 3rd class taught overall

9 - Ski Days

🎭 4 - Broadway Shows

🦠 $~7k - Personally raised for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS

💊 $55k - As part of the executive board and eventual chair, I helped to raise this money for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS

🏃🏼‍♂️ 1 - 5k Ran, 3rd 5k overall

👰🤵2 - Wedding Celebrations

✈️ 4 - States Visited (Tennessee, Georgia, Utah, Illinois)

🗺️2 - Countries Visited (United Kingdom and Portugal)


🎨 I joined the Visual Design Product Advisory Board at General Assembly to modernize the curriculum for Sketch and Figma

🗺 Traveled to London

🍷 Drank port in Madeira

🏔 Skied in Utah with new and old friends

🎸 Worked in Nashville for ASCAP

🎤 Conferenced in Atlanta with General Assembly

🔥🏝 Enjoyed a few weekends in Fire Island

🏀 Played intramural basketball with ASCAP co-workers

🦃 Hosted Thanksgiving in my apartment for the first time


More books were read in 2019 but these are the ones I enjoyed and wanted to share.

The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger

Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac

Designing for People by Henry Dreyfuss

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St Clair

Thinking in Systems by Donella H. Meadows

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

February 6, 2019

Welcome to the Gutenberg Editor

Of Mountains & Printing Presses

The goal of this new editor is to make adding rich content to WordPress simple and enjoyable. This whole post is composed of pieces of content—somewhat similar to LEGO bricks—that you can move around and interact with. Move your cursor around and you’ll notice the different blocks light up with outlines and arrows. Press the arrows to reposition blocks quickly, without fearing about losing things in the process of copying and pasting.

What you are reading now is a text block the most basic block of all. The text block has its own controls to be moved freely around the post...

... like this one, which is right aligned.

Headings are separate blocks as well, which helps with the outline and organization of your content.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Handling images and media with the utmost care is a primary focus of the new editor. Hopefully, you’ll find aspects of adding captions or going full-width with your pictures much easier and robust than before.

Beautiful landscape
If your theme supports it, you’ll see the "wide" button on the image toolbar. Give it a try.

Try selecting and removing or editing the caption, now you don’t have to be careful about selecting the image or other text by mistake and ruining the presentation.

The Inserter Tool

Imagine everything that WordPress can do is available to you quickly and in the same place on the interface. No need to figure out HTML tags, classes, or remember complicated shortcode syntax. That’s the spirit behind the inserter—the (+) button you’ll see around the editor—which allows you to browse all available content blocks and add them into your post. Plugins and themes are able to register their own, opening up all sort of possibilities for rich editing and publishing.

Go give it a try, you may discover things WordPress can already add into your posts that you didn’t know about. Here’s a short list of what you can currently find there:

  • Text & Headings
  • Images & Videos
  • Galleries
  • Embeds, like YouTube, Tweets, or other WordPress posts.
  • Layout blocks, like Buttons, Hero Images, Separators, etc.
  • And Lists like this one of course 🙂

Visual Editing

A huge benefit of blocks is that you can edit them in place and manipulate your content directly. Instead of having fields for editing things like the source of a quote, or the text of a button, you can directly change the content. Try editing the following quote:

The editor will endeavor to create a new page and post building experience that makes writing rich posts effortless, and has “blocks” to make it easy what today might take shortcodes, custom HTML, or “mystery meat” embed discovery.

Matt Mullenweg, 2017

The information corresponding to the source of the quote is a separate text field, similar to captions under images, so the structure of the quote is protected even if you select, modify, or remove the source. It’s always easy to add it back.

Blocks can be anything you need. For instance, you may want to add a subdued quote as part of the composition of your text, or you may prefer to display a giant stylized one. All of these options are available in the inserter.

You can change the amount of columns in your galleries by dragging a slider in the block inspector in the sidebar.

Media Rich

If you combine the new wide and full-wide alignments with galleries, you can create a very media rich layout, very quickly:

Accessibility is important — don’t forget image alt attribute

Sure, the full-wide image can be pretty big. But sometimes the image is worth it.

The above is a gallery with just two images. It’s an easier way to create visually appealing layouts, without having to deal with floats. You can also easily convert the gallery back to individual images again, by using the block switcher.

Any block can opt into these alignments. The embed block has them also, and is responsive out of the box:

You can build any block you like, static or dynamic, decorative or plain. Here’s a pullquote block:

Code is Poetry

The WordPress community

If you want to learn more about how to build additional blocks, or if you are interested in helping with the project, head over to the GitHub repository.

Thanks for testing Gutenberg!