On launching WP Remote Premium

This past Friday, after months of work and then two weeks of hard work, we launched a Premium version of WP Remote. The new feature list includes:

  • Automatic backups to WP Remote, or Dropbox or your own S3 account.
  • Daily email summaries of what’s been happening on your sites.
  • Ability to install, activate, deactivate, and delete themes and plugins.
  • Automatic core, theme, and plugin updates.
  • History now logs important actions happening within WordPress, including when a theme is switched, an administrator logs in, etc.

What I’m most excited about, and what WP Tavern nailed in their coverage, is that the launch of Premium also marks the formal announcement of the WP Remote API. Our entire JavaScript web application is built upon the same API that’s available to the public. For our users, this means the sky is the limit in how they integrate WP Remote into their workflow. For Human Made, the API is a rock solid foundation for us to continue to build WP Remote experiences with. It also means we can develop the API independently of the user-facing application.

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Beta test the new WP Remote API

WP Remote strives to make it much easier to manage your WordPress sites. This week, Joe and I are in Portland to build  a Premium version. Being the developers we are, our first order of business was to completely rewrite the API, and make it available for public consumption.

We’d love for you to break it try it out. The free endpoints allow you to update core, themes, and plugins, download an archive of the entire site, and access a log of the actions you’ve performed on the site. Our Premium version lets you install, activate, deactivate and delete themes and plugins, and enable automatic backups, with more to come.

Feel free to write scripts that use the API, or build a new interface on top of it (our application is built entirely on the API). We’ve also created WP Remote CLI for you, a WP-CLI command to access WP Remote. Our goal is feature parity with WP-CLI, plus more. My favorite command right now: wp --site-id=31 remote-site download

Because Premium isn’t launched yet, shoot us an email and we’d be happy to enable Premium endpoints for your site.

Oh yeah — Human Made is hiring for a product-focused frontend developer. If you know someone who might fit the bill, please send them our way. Bonus points if they pitch us with something they’ve built on the API.

Scaling GitHub’s Employees

Another thing GitHub does well is automate tedious — and important — tasks. There’s a very strong culture of building mini-apps and Hubot scripts if it helps with automation.

There’s two reasons for why we push hard on this. The first is most obvious: you’re letting a scripted process save you time so you can focus on doing real work. The second is more subtle: automation reduces institutional knowledge. Institutional knowledge leads to a minority group inside of the company retaining answers. That forces new employees to bother those few in order to make impactful changes. It becomes a very verbal, synchronous process, which we try to avoid.

Zach Holman — Scaling GitHub’s Employees.

Google Lobbies Nevada To Allow Self-Driving Cars

The project is being guided by the artificial-intelligence researcher Sebastian Thrun, who as a Stanford professor in 2005 led a team of students and engineers that designed the first winning entry in an autonomous vehicle contest organized by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Since then, Dr. Thrun has focused more of his activities at Google, giving up tenure at Stanford and hiring a growing array of experts to help with the development project.

In frequent public statements, he has said robotic vehicles would increase energy efficiency while reducing road injuries and deaths. And he has called for sophisticated systems for car sharing that, he says, could cut the number of cars in the United States in half.

“What if I could take out my phone and say, ‘Zipcar, come here,’ ” he asked an industry conference last year, “and a moment later the Zipcar came around the corner?”

Google Lobbies Nevada To Allow Self-Driving Cars. The robots are coming.