Every journey begins with the first step

So congratulations, you found this little blog. There’s not much here yet but like all blogs, there are some big ideas in the works.

My undergrad degree was in computer science and my first jobs during college and afterward were programming roles. I spent a lot of time writting C, C++ and x86 assembler code. It wasn’t until after I got to Microsoft that I really stepped away from development. Years in program and product management, an MBA meant that the coding I did do was limited to some simple HTML, CSS and Javascript.

I’ve been wanting to get back into coding for a LONG time. I’d pick up a tutorial at Codeacademy or a class through Coursera but never seemed to finish them. Despite my desire to learn a new language I could never get my mental hooks into a project that would be really useful. In order to invest the time in building something, I really needed it to have a purpose. Online courses for PHP or Ruby were just the same as listening to French lessons — without putting the language into daily practice it’s hard to make it stick.

Meanwhile I’ve been the SVP & GM of Registrar services at Rightside for the last year and a half. The Enom wholesale registrar, built by the core of our Kirkland, WA team, is the world’s largest with over 22,000 resellers using the Enom API in one form or another. Something I’ve wanted us to do is get more open source projects that leverage the Enom API, to make it even easier for more companies to add domain search, purchase and management to their web applications.

This created an opportunity. I finally decided to invest some time in coding a project of my own and to focus it on using the Enom API. Looking around the WordPress plugin directory there’s only one that connects to Enom, and it seems to have been last updated in 2012 which means it doesn’t support any of the latest TLDs like .NINJA, .SOCIAL or .ROCKS. There’s another WP plugin that supports domain search across several sites but doesn’t use Enom’s API directly. Clearly there’s room for another project.

Looking at Github there are a few Enom API wrappers, mostly for PHP, Ruby, Java and Go. There’s nothing there (that I could see) similar to what I was thinking, but certainly the PHP wrapper could be useful.

So it seemed like my needs were in line with a gap in the Enom ecosystem. I’m going to write a simple WordPress plugin that allows a user to input a string and have it return matching domains and prices, with the source code posted to Github. Meanwhile I’m going to document the whole process of relearning PHP, learning the WordPress plugin APIs and using the Enom search APIs on this blog.

Hope you find this as educational as I hope to.

 

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