Ann asked about books:
[..] if you’re open to throwing a few key book recommendations – sites – blogs – whatever resources that you use/have used and particularly liked – I would be grateful. Essentially – I love your blog and am always looking to improve my WP developer skills. I want to get better. I want to be really really good. So I ask the greats if there’s something in particular that they think I should read – out of the huge sea of articles/books/blogs/etc out there. Something that they’ve singled out and thought was really worth paying attention to. And then I read it! [..]
She got an email reply right away, but here’s for everyone else.
The best advice I have is to pick something you like (or that drives you absolutely up the wall) and poke at it.
I got started and good because I really, really, really, wanted to do something that (at the time) WP didn’t do. After banging my head a lot, I started googling and trying to figure out what was there to use. I looked at a lot of code that was ALMOST what I wanted. And I broke my test site. A looooooooot.
The biggest problem is we all learn differently. I learn by doing, so for me the act of writing BAD code helps me understand it better. I hate videos.
But do I have a specific resource for learning? Sometimes I do. The majority of my ‘research’ remains search engines and constantly refining parameters, or trying to remember the name of the one thing with the thing. The problem is that I’m very haptic, I learn by doing things, so for me it’s way easier to take the examples and break them than anything else.