I started working as a Web Developer at the age of 17. Back then there was little knowledge in my country of Greece, dial up Internet with amazing high cost and every site was in Adobe Flash ( yes, some of us coded with it ).
Greece has never been an easy place to start, grow and build your Internet related business. Our main problem, as country, is that we have always been behind others into internet related things. There were no meet ups, no camps or anything else we could attend.
Our country leaders never managed to adapt and be on the cutting edge of internet things.
What was also harming our business, is that clients was never educated. Everyone has a friend who is building web sites. That, was one of the hardest things we have had to fight with.
I have started to have a love for Internet Technologies, when I first needed to build a web site, to advertise a school event. That was a start. I knew what I wanted to do. I studied it and because Greece was not even close to those technologies that age, I have had to go outside. In the morning, I was studying Computer Science and in the night, I was working as a garçon. Time passed, I evolved and I decided to use WordPress ( b2, that age ). Things started to go fast for me and I was enjoying the trip on every single moment.
If You Want to be Successful You Have to Create New Skills
You know nothing will hold you back, when you have the courage to try. I took step back to see what’s missing from our community and found it. There was the idea which could help me and other Web Developers extend our knowledge and attract new clients. Educate clients.
For the next two years, I worked really hard to make the first WordCamp in Greece. Users were learning about WordPress, understanding it and getting ideas on how to use it. In the same structure, there was a JoomlaDay and a Drupal Camp which also helped us make the clients understand why WordPress was better for them.
We started having a community, which was growing and growing. That helped a lot to bring new clients and start building a business.
While I have been working hard, creating a brand around WordPress, our country had a different path for us. Crisis has started hitting our doors, hard. We could not generate any income while working with small businesses, which could not manage to pay their own bills. When you can not pay your rent, you do not start advertising or building a new site.
The WordPress Community Saves the Day
Here comes the knowledge and the passion. While working as a WordPress developer you can work anywhere around the world. A good name, together with some good portfolio projects, opened a lot of new chances and options for me and I am really thankful that WordPress brings food to me on those really hard days.
Things are not always the best. We have to try hard to succeed and I can only say that we have to never stop trying.
If you ask me, WordPress developers are what community makes them.