WebOps Wednesday AMA: Chris Reynolds -- Ask me about WordPress, RPGs, podcasting, 3d printing, DJing or whatever you like!

Hi :wave: I’m Chris (jazzs3quence/jazzsequence on the internet)!

I’m a Software Engineer at Pantheon on the CMS Ecosystems team currently working on Pantheon Edge Integrations and personalization. I’ve been working with WordPress for over 15 years, starting out as a freelancer. I’ve worked with Event Espresso, WebDevStudios, Human Made and published online learning classes on Pluralsight. I’ve worked on projects for companies like Sony, Disney, Microsoft, Campbell’s Foods, USA Today, the National Parks Service and I worked on Human Made’s Altis Digital Experience Platform.

I’ve been running a Dungeons and Dragons game for my two teenage kids for the last 3 years and that’s led me to dive deep into 3d printing and writing homebrew D&D content. I’m not a stranger to tabletop role playing games or game design – I played in a long-running World of Darkness (Mage: the Ascension) campaign and wrote a one-page TTRPG in college called TWIRPS (Totally Weird Interactive Role Playing System), and I wrote an “open source” TTRPG about con artists called The Long Con that I’m currently trying to port over to the Powered by the Apocalypse system.

I’ve spoken at WordCamps Salt Lake City, Long Beach and Denver and at OpenWest on topics spanning from technical topics like localization and the WordPress loop to allyship, remote work and outcome-driven development.

Ask me anything!


Hi, @chris.reynolds! :wave: So happy to have you on our Community Forum today for WebOps Wednesday. :partying_face:

Can you share images of some of your fav 3d printing creations?! I’d especially love to see what you created using your resin printer!!

Happy to!

This big boy was printed on our Ender 5 which is a standard FDM (extrusion) printer. The miniature next to him was not printed by me, that came from an officially-produced WizKids set and is there to give an idea of the scale of the creature. He’s probably the biggest “miniature” I’ve printed, but not the largest model. That title probably goes to this dice tower that my son gave me for my birthday last year. He found the model and paid the artist, and my partner, Erin, painted it. You can put a die in a window on the back of the tower and it will roll down a spiral staircase and come out the doorway in front. This was also printed with our FDM printer.

As I type this, I have this sitting on my desk, which is my most recent, completed resin print:

It’s a Jabberwock, which is a D&D version of the creature from the poem in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. I love those Alice books, so I was pretty excited to print this one which may make an appearance in our Wild Beyond the Witchlight campaign.

This has basically all my first prints, which started with the animated carpet and was immediately followed by miniatures for all of the characters in our D&D campaign.

I’ve got more pics in a post I wrote on my blog but I’ll leave with this cute little baby dragon:

You can also find some pics of my completed prints on my Instagram.

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Thanks for sharing Chris! I feel like I have so many questions! :slight_smile:

I’ve worked on projects for companies like Sony, Disney, Microsoft, Campbell’s Foods, USA Today, the National Parks Service and I worked on Human Made’s Altis Digital Experience Platform.

:point_up: That’s so impressive! I am curious, what project was your favorite + why?

This seems like a silly ask but what does the CMS Ecosystems team primarily focus on? Do you and the team regularly chat with people in our community around some of the things you are working on?

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I have multiple favorites for different reasons. :sweat_smile: In no particular order:

  • Artefact - This is a digital media group based in Seattle. While perhaps less impressive than “I worked on a Microsoft site”, as a design agency, they were very opinionated about the design of their site and what they wanted. Human Made sold them on deep Gutenberg integration and when I joined it was immediately (like, I think possibly the next Monday) after I took Zac Gordon’s Gutenberg block development course. Even though the implementation in practice of how to build and deploy Gutenberg code was different than the examples in the class, it felt really natural and gave me a real sense of “I can do this thing” working on the blocks, as well as understanding how powerful Gutenberg can be.
  • PlayStation.Blog - This was cool for pretty much all the obvious reasons. It was fun to be on a project where I could tell people what I was working on and they actually, like, recognized it. But more than that, that site network is vast and complex and is complicated by multiple regional teams all needing to coordinate together, so the site and editorial workflow needed to have tools that made that sort of cross-collaboration that spans time zones easier. We actually had two teams, one working in APAC time zones and one working in US time zones working on different parts of the site and meeting with different stakeholders.
  • National Park Service - This was an intranet site (so, sadly, no links available) but it was the first site that I was the lead developer on. I inherited a complex project that had been in the works for years and had initially delivered something that wasn’t as ambitious as what they wanted. Ultimately, the site became a learning center for park rangers and NPS employees to share and learn about things relevant to their home parks or just stuff they were interested in. There were complex relationships between content and teams and user levels and it was some really interesting stuff.
  • DisneyParks Blog - Like PlayStation, this was large and complex (not quite so much as PS, though), but the best part about it was having an “in” at Disney that could comp me tickets when I took my family out to Southern California and meet my parents at Disneyland. :joy:
  • Altis DXP - I really enjoyed working on Altis quite a bit. I liked the change of pace of working on a product as opposed to working on something very specific to a particular client and the different types of questions and solutions that go along with that. Rather than “this needs to be built to this spec” it’s more of “how do we think people will use this” and “what would bring the most value to users” and then iterating based on feedback. I also really liked being able to rabbit hole into particular problems and then come out and experiment in what a solution might look like.

I think the most succinct elevator pitch is: We work on stuff that makes interacting with the CMS on Pantheon easier.

That comes in many forms, from Terminus to Solr to upstreams. It’s a new team, and we’re still sort of making up the rules and defining what it means, but I think that probably sums up the overall goal.

I’m fairly sure that all of us are in the Community Slack and will often jump into conversations as they relate to things we’re working on or our individual areas of expertise. Beyond that, we frequently get drop-ins from throughout Pantheon with questions about particular issues that folks might be having which may or may not relate to bugs or features that we’re already tracking. I think, officially or unofficially, having your finger on the pulse of WP/Drupal is generally just part of the gig.

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@chris.reynolds, these are SO impressive! I’m curious, I assume you may also need to put things together, like for bigger, more complicated creations? Do you use superglue or another adhesive?

Yep, the bigger things that are printed in multiple parts need glue. For big structures like the dice tower (and a couple other dice towers my son has printed) we just use hot glue. The models are generally built with interlocking pieces so you just need to put some glue into where the pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.

For smaller pieces like the D&D miniatures, I use Gorilla Super Glue but any sort of “super glue” will work with either resin or FDM-printed plastic. That can come in handy particularly with PLA and ABS plastic from the FDM printer as those are often more brittle and have tougher supports, so occasionally an arm or an ankle will break while trying to remove supports. I’ve managed quite a few rescue operations. :sweat_smile:

I’m actually in the middle of printing a large, ancient dragon model in multiple pieces. That will be the largest thing I will have printed on the resin printer so far.

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