I started playing around with WordPress around 2010. Then I was more concerned about learning how themes work with WordPress and how to develop one.
This lead me to the WordPress theme directory where I downloaded countless number of themes and read the source to know how they were created.
In June 2013 I graduated from University (College), couple of months before then I had been reading various WordPress centric blogs on how to create plugins for WordPress.
One of the sites I visited the most then was PippinsPlugins.com, Pippin’s tutorials just click with me anytime I read them. Pippin has some video tutorials then which were limited to only his subscribers, I sent Pippin a mail if he can provide me a one subscription to his site for free which he gladly did. I spent that month going through all members only tutorials and downloading the plugins available to members, just to see how it was written.
That single act of kindness made me the WordPress developer I am today, I will always be grateful to Pippin Williamson for that.
After that I knew the best and easiest way to get started was to give back.
August 2013 I started by reviewing themes submitted to the WordPress theme directory.
I also developed some WooCommerce payment gateway plugins for some payment gateways in Nigeria.
Thereafter I submitted my first pull request to WooCommerce and it was to add support for the currency in Nigeria (Naira). I was ecstatic when it was accepted and merged. Due to that single commit I made it to the props list for WooCommerce 2.1 released in February 2014.
Around March 2014 I started contributing to AffiliateWP, and after many contributions was listed as a trusted consultant on the AffiliateWP site.
Due to that I was able to do custom plugin development for AffiliateWP customers close to $10,000 since I started this year. The best thing about this major milestone for me is not the amount but the fact that people trust a developer from Nigeria.
There is nothing as joyful as doing something that you really love, giving back to the community and also getting paid for doing it while making some great friends along the way.
The main thing that endeared me to WordPress up until today is the community, a very large network of people (let’s call ourselves the WordPress extended family) who love the platform and are always ready to help each other.
If you are just getting started with WordPress, know that the community is always there ready to be of help if you ask.
The main thing that matters most if getting your name out there, either by releasing some plugins on the WordPress plugin directory, submitting themes to the WordPress theme directory, helping out with support on the WP.org support forum, contributing back to core or any WordPress plugin.
I also attended my first WordCamp (WordCamp US 2015) in Philadelphia and the experience was amazing.