Google Tag Manager dataLayer.get()

I wanted to use reuse data stored in our Google Tag Manager dataLayer variable and finally found an obscure slideshow reference on how to to actually do just that.

google_tag_manager["GTM-XXXX"].dataLayer.get('key');

If you’re using Google Tag Manager you’ll already have the var dataLayer = [{}]; setup on the page. You’re presumably using dataLayer.push() to populate it with data so now just use the get() function to call for the keys previously pushed.

We’re HIRING TWO WEB DESIGNER/DEVELOPER positions

The Sr. Web Designer role will be a front-end and PHP developer heavy, WordPress experience necessary kind of job where you’ll work directly with WordPress VIP (http://vip.wordpress.com/) to build sites for our brands (Chrysler Capital, Maserati Capital, RoadLoans, Santander Consumer USA, and more) in addition to building our core websites where customers can pay their bills and dealers can view loan applications. http://www.santandercareers.com/job/sr-web-designer/

The Web Designer II position is more design and user experience related: designing whole websites, making mockups and prototypes, seeking to improve conversion rates, understanding analytics, content maintenance, etc. http://www.santandercareers.com/job/web-designer-ii/

Both positions are open to officing out of our Denton, TX Square location or our Downtown Dallas, TX location — both of which have plenty to offer in the way of restaurants, transportation, coffee shops, etc.

So if you know someone into design or web development, share this with them!

http://www.santandercareers.com/job/sr-web-designer/

http://www.santandercareers.com/job/web-designer-ii/

Is a Nest worth the money?

One year ago I bought a Nest thermostat. Out of the need to justify the $250 cost to my wife, I analyzed one year with and one year without the Nest. Below are my findings.

How to read this graphic:

  • Compared July 2011 thru July 2012 to July 2012 thru JUly 2013
  • I extracted the Kilowatt (KW) usage from each month
  • I used the mean from the average high and average low from each month then took the difference. So if the mean temperature in June 2013 was 91 and in 2012 it was 90 then the difference was “1”.
    • The temperature isn’t part of any equation. It’s just meant as an indicator of why the usage may have been different
  • The cost difference is based on the actual cost from month to month, so “$-81.75″ means I paid that much less compared to the same month in the previous year.
  • The graphs speak for themselves. The values are less erratic in the Post Nest months … more predictable and less costly.

So I saved $326.58. Factor in the $250 cost, my actual one-year savings are $76.58 and every year after this will be pure savings.

Nest

Local, Dev, Staging, Production WordPress Workflow

I just wanted to share real quickly (because I’m pretty stoked) that after months (really, years) of development I finally have what I consider a professional workflow for WordPress development.

Below is a graphical representation of what takes place. But it breaks down to this (with Git, but can easily be accomplished with SVN as well):

  1. Pull down the Github repository
  2. Develop locally at local.example.com
  3. Commit changes and push to Github
  4. Push to Beanstalk if you want changes immediately pushed to dev.example.com
  5. Merge master to production and push to Github and Beanstalk
  6. The production branch is automatically deployed to staging
  7. Manually deploy to production from within Beanstalk

Notes:

  • Local and Dev share a database (but don’t have to)
  • Staging and Production share a database (but staging only has read access)

WordPress Workflow

 

You can fork the Denton Bible Church Website even if you just want to use this is a framework for your project.This is built off of Hybrid Enterprise which is a cleaner repository that accomplishes the same thing.

Finally, and sadly, I am still looking for the best multi-environment database solution. Ideally, a fourth environment would be used to make content changes against the latest production branch code and then changes would be selectively deployed to the production database. WordPress 3.6 almost had a great solution.

Vote & Verb Denton

A dual announcement post…

#1: Vote Denton

A group of developers, designers, & Denton¬†enthusiasts got together less than a month ago to discuss the problem of local voter turnout, lack of education, and lack of accessibility to that education. I’m a prime example. I’ve never voted in local elections and never paid much attention to it despite having a friend that is super involved in local politics for his district. Set aside our ambitions to help solve this problem, because the most exciting thing for me is that a group of Dentonites loosely tied together by friends of friends got together and turned around a project in a short amount of time.

Vote Denton logo

Vote Denton has a simple goal: make voting easier in Denton, TX. For now, you can get some basic information about local elections in addition to finding out what district you are located within. From there, you can go to the county’s website to find ouf if you’re actually registered to vote and registered in the right district — a feature we plan on rolling into Vote Denton soon.

#2: Verb Denton

I’ve had my hand in Vote Denton, Create Denton, Hear Denton (now defunct), and I see all sorts of “{Verb} Denton” sites out there. I brought a lot of them together under one roof as a sort of starting point to get connected and to Verb Denton.

Verb Denton logo and tagline

#3: It’s all open source

Both of these projects and be found on Github, are publicly accessibly and anyone can contribute. Openness & collaboration makes these services better.