At VIP, we are currently hard at work designing new platform services for our clients we think will help us take their sites to the next level of WordPress awesome. And today, my colleagues open sourced two of the tools we are using internally.

(Both of them are use on this very site, actually—because my blog has been running on our new platform as a test for some time now.)

The first is VIP Jetpack, which is a series of forced module activations and testing preparation we use with the Jetpack plugin suite for VIP Go. (Yes, this site and other sites on VIP Go always use Jetpack. No, it’s not a performance hog.)

The second is VIP Support, which we use to access client administration pages when troubleshooting a site. This ensures that we don’t always have admin access to client sites, but that we can assist when something goes wrong.

This project is so exciting for me, because we have a dedication to developing as much as we can in the open, a test-driven development process, and a peer review-heavy culture. I’m not actually generating any of the code you see in these repos, but that doesn’t mean I’m not proud of what we are accomplishing and how we are doing it.

By the way, the source used to power this site on that same platform is available here; I’m working on things in the open as well even though I don’t have much time to work on them. :)

I have a handful of half-baked code ideas sitting around; often I have more ideas than I have time and/or skills to implement.

What’s different about today is that I’m finding that when I get one of these ideas, the first thing I’m doing is setting up a GitHub repo for what I want to do. (Consequently, I have two completely empty GitHub repos to my name, and one that’s a fork I haven’t worked on yet.)

The interesting thing about this is that it doesn’t ever cross my mind that I shouldn’t be sharing the code I end up making. There’s no benefit I can find to hiding what I’m doing or not learning publicly. It’s possible that someone could come across my projects and tell me that I’m doing things super-wrong, but even if that happens, at least I’ll know that I’m doing something in a less than optimal way.

And I don’t think that is going to happen, anyway. Being open is the only way to be, because no matter what I think I’m going to do, I’m pretty sure there is someone else somewhere who has wanted to do the same thing, or might be interested in the ideas I’ve had.

And when that happens, there’s a chance, no matter how small, that someone will come along and contribute to the projects. When that happens, it provides me with a chance to learn from someone who probably knows more and better than I do.