How were you first introduced to WordPress?
I stumbled across WordPress while learning front end development in 2008. I was looking for a way to go beyond static html and give my clients the ability to edit content without my needing to edit the code—WordPress was the perfect solution.
What do you like about it?
I love that the barrier to entry is low for WordPress. They’ve made it easy for people to jump in and start creating their own plugins and themes. On top of that, the community is so vast and established that there is a plugin or tutorial for pretty much anything you’d ever want to do to your WordPress site. And, because it’s open source, everyone can build on each other’s ideas and contribute back to the community.
What do you do with WP now?
I’m building an enterprise web application on top of it. We’ve created a highly customized version of the WP Dashboard using WP-API, Backbone.js, and a whole lot of CSS.
How has the WP community (local and beyond) helped you?
When I started out, the global community was my greatest resources for learning WordPress. I spent hours watching and reading tutorials, dissecting plugins and themes, and pouring through forums and StackOverflow posts. If I couldn’t figure something out by Googling, I could post my question to the community and I’d always have people willing to help. Since moving back to Nashville last fall after being away for 7 years, I decided to start getting involved in the local community. The WPNashville meetup group was super welcoming. It’s been awesome hanging out with people who love WordPress and geek out over web stuff as much as I do.
Did learning WP lead to any significant professional, personal, creative changes in your life?
If I hadn’t learned WordPress, I wouldn’t have the career I have now. Every job I’ve gotten since learning WP has been a result of having WP experience. I wouldn’t go as far as saying I owe my life to WordPress, but I may consider naming my first born Mullenweg.
What would you tell a brand new user?
Two things: 1. Don’t be afraid to jump in a break things in order to learn how they work. This is a great way to get started. 2. Become a part of the community. Attend your local meetup, or start one if there isn’t one nearby. You’ll grow so much faster as part of a group.
Anything else we should we know?
I have 7 years of show choir experience. You know that show Glee? That was basically my life in high school and college.