For the last year, I’ve learned some JavaScript and a few more things about PHP. That’s great. The only thing is that I don’t feel like I have expanded that skill set just yet. I think a lot of that is because I never really had a personal project to test things out.

I began building my random theme – I think – last week. Getting things to build was pretty cool and a little frustrating only because I didn’t really think about what I was needing. And by that I mean, I didn’t think about what tools are required.

The simplest was knowing about the command line. Yes, it sounds strange but that is a great thing to know even if it means just basic things like getting the current folder you are in or even knowing what files are in the folder helps a ton.

Things needed

The things I knew that I needed or at least I thought I would need were:

  • React
  • ReactDOM
  • Babel
  • Webpack
  • NodeJS

Super simple, right?

I thought so. What makes this a little different is that I have three operating systems now. Windows 10, OSX, and Ubuntu. A desktop and two laptops, respectively. On my desktop and OSX I use VVV, but on Ubuntu, I chose to scrap that and use Docker. A bit more to the point Docker Compose.

I began reading about how it works and what is used so I can setup a local environment for developing WordPress things. In my case a theme. What’s cool is that they have a quick guide for WordPress and there are a few others who have their own setup process as well.

Yes, I did spend quite a bit of time looking at many docker-compose files to get a better idea of how it all works. I’ll have to share my experience next week as I experiment a little more and get a better understanding of it. The reason is because I know on Twitter I came across this:

Quite some time ago but this was something I still wanted to look at much closer so that others could benefit as well. In particular those who want to contribute to the project and could already be using Docker.

Tying things together

It does seem like I went on a bit of a tangent but bare with me there is a reason for that. You see, on my Ubuntu laptop, I don’t currently have a local environment setup so that means I can’t exactly work on my theme if I even tried.


This is the reason I said, the things I thought I would need because I obviously forgot to include my local environment. I know some of you are saying just do it on a live site! I wish I could but I really don’t want to deal with maintaining things or dealing with configurations and whatnots.

Yet, I sort of am dealing with configuration because Docker Compose is a neat little tool to get up and running. I think my favorite part is just learning why things break.

Minor weekly highlights

With that being said, there are a few things that helped me out this week when it came to reading. A few articles and a few repos that helped shed some light on how things work when using Docker Compose. The last one is actually a repo by Justin Tadlock and it’s a modified version from a tutorial I wrote a long time ago:

Hopefully this coming week I learn more and can share this experience along the way.