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A Week of REST

Sean Blakeley at a Week of REST

I just sat down on a train at Matlock after attending Human Made‘s Week Of REST and I don’t feel all that RESTed. A Week of REST is a course where you learn how to build decoupled websites and applications with the WordPress REST API and JavaScript. Instead, my mind is bubbling with the vast ocean of knowledge imparted by Joe Hoyle, Ryan McCue, and Zac Gordon.

Day one kicked off with a refresher on JavaScript. Pulling from his expertise creating online JavaScript courses Zac gave us a lighting primer on all the fun new ES6 syntaxes and its applicability to writing clean React code. After lunch, Joe took the reigns and walked us through applying our new React knowledge to the project; a live blogging web APP.

Bright and early on day two, we focused on fetching post and author information over the REST API. We populated our APP with posts, avatars, and author names. Ryan then gave a thorough breakdown of the OAuth protocol, and their new OAuth abstraction layer; The OAuth Broker. Building this into our project, we had a blog viewer, which allowed users to log in to their site.

Day three was all about writing data over the API. First, we created new posts, then we added some custom endpoints to enable a like feature in the APP.

By the end of the week, I went from having no React experience and little REST API experience, to building a functional live blogging APP. An APP that could connect to any REST API enabled WordPress blog and enable users to log in, post, and like others’ posts.

Adam, Sean and me in the A Week Of REST group photo.
Adam, Sean and me in the A Week Of REST group photo.

The week wrapped up with a three-course meal and a lively party, complete with a cocktail bar and casino games (I’ve never seen so many $100 bills, even if they were fake).

The course itself was very well-structured and executed (save for a slight hiccup when 20 developers tried to npm install 100+ packages direct from Joe’s Mac Book Air). The content was well-focused and easily-followed. I feel well-primed to tackle medium REST-driven React APPS. With a broad list of further reading across all aspects of the API and its applicability into WordPress and JavaScript sites.

Complementing the teaching, the location and organisation were spot on. Nothing is more RESTful than a cottage by a lake, and the food was delicious.

All in all, it was a phenomenal week of learning, developing, and socialising. As an attendee of Human Made’s A Day Of REST, the course was an excellent follow on that has left me with only one question: When is A Month Of REST, and where can I sign up?