I was born and brought up in a very small town called Patiyali. Patiyali is on the banks of the river Ganga. It is in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. Patiyali was laid back and idyllic, with no real opportunities in IT or computers. My father never wanted me to go for IT Job because I wouldn’t get chance to work near my town. He preferred I live closer home.
My mother supported me and somehow she convinced my father to let me follow my dreams. Thanks to my mother; she has always supported me, without her I would not be here.
In my college there was choice between Dot Net and Java, I choose Java. I have always been fan of Open Source. I loved Java, I had also started my blog on Java in my college time. After completing my MCA I had joined my first Job as a Java Developer. I did it for 1.5 years.
I never wanted to quit my job as Java Developer, but I had to because of my sister health issues. Doctors said she would not survive, it was very critical time.
How I got into WordPress (Hello WordPress!)
Unemployed for 6 months, Java was still on my mind. I could not get any Job. Meantime I had started teaching. I was hopeless, I thought I would never get a chance to work in any IT company again. Then a friend, Ankit, who worked in rtCamp, a company based in Pune told me to look up WordPress and asked me to apply for a QA opening. That lucky day I got call from rtCamp and cleared my interview. Now the challenge was to convince my parents to allow me to go Pune. Pune is in Maharashtra, almost 1000 miles away from my hometown.
My parents are from a smaller town, they were worried about me living alone in a big city. It was a challenge to convince them to let go.
Some things they worried about:
- Place to stay: It was too tough to find a place when I had no one in Pune.
- Female Count: My mother was most worried about female count. rtCamp had only two female employees including me. (now they have 7)
Before my first day, my father and I went to rtCamp’s address and looked up the office. Convinced the neighborhood where it was located was semi-residential and safe, he felt much better about Pune.
But WordPress is just a blogging platform
Before joining rtCamp I had known WordPress as only a blogging platform. My friends who worked in MNCs usually dismissed it as a blogging platform that could create only static sites at best. I did not have a very different opinion than my friends.
Working in rtCamp was fun. I made friends but to be honest I did not find WordPress very interesting for the first six months in the beginning.
WordPress community called out to me
Then I saw my colleagues involved in the WordPress community as Core contributors and in many other ways. I saw how my company was encouraging people to get involved in community.
That encouraged me to get involved in with make.WordPress.org. I highly recommend you do that too.
First Contribution Core Patch
My first contribution was a small patch in the core. I was helped by colleagues and when it was accepted I was thrilled. Now something I did was on millions of websites. It might be a small line or two but still it was on millions of websites.
I try to contribute (Giving back to community) in every possible way, by giving support, translating, Review themes, and documentation.
Theme review was the challenge for me as I had no idea about WordPress development so I thought to learn by seeing other people’s code. It was challenge for me because I am QA (non- WordPress Developer), other people assume that we can not get involved in any code related activity. I learned a lot by reviewing themes, every day I review a theme I learn so many new things. The theme review team is wonderful, there are so many wonderful people like Kevin Archibald, Carolina Nymark, Jon, Nilambar, who are ready to help you always. I am happy to be part of theme review team.
I love WordPress, it’s wonderful, it has wonderful community.
Why do I love being part of WordPress?
I have always been crazy for being known for something. In college time when I used to get likes for my blog post or any comment, I used to feel like……wow, I can not even express that feeling in words. So that feeling WordPress gives me every time I gets mention in any WP.org posts. It gives me recognition.
A Thank You Note
All this wonderful adventure would not have been possible without someone back in Patiyali, who stood up for me and encouraged me to follow my dreams. My mother.