My adventure with WordPress started back in the days, circa 2006, when I tried to use WordPress.com in a local area network at the company I was working for at the time. I soon realized WordPress.org was a better fit and began experimenting with setting up multiple sites for different purposes. Fast forward to 2015/2016, I decided I would no longer work for the company I was working with for the past 10 years and I started looking for opportunities to either work from home or create my own company. I tried to do both at the same time as neither would exclude the other and so I went the self-learning path with MeteorJS and WordPress.
As a little bit of background, I have worked in support for as long as I can remember. I was the school’s computer lab technician at the age of 10, and trust me all I did was dust-off computers, install MS-DOS and Prince of Persia. In 2005 I got my Computer Sc Engineer degree and since then I worked for Venezuela’s national oil company (PDVSA 2006-2016) as a Workflow Support Engineer helping engineers with oil drilling and completion engineering tools, but I also filled many temporary roles such as a PHP developing project as a contractor, creating extensive SQL queries to pull data out of Oracle databases and even led team members at different times for specifics developing projects, software implementations I developed myself, or for projects to help design a database model for a third party software.
I was very stuck in an office with an every day commute time of 92 minutes.
As the living conditions in Venezuela worsened, the job did not longer fit my needs. I decided I would no longer wait to secure another job or have established a running business to leave, so I left with the uncertainty of what I was going to do next. A year before I actually left, I resumed my journey with WordPress by building websites for a couple of local businesses and tried luck with a viral news website I eventually gave away to a friend of mine. The more I looked into moving to WordPress as my go-to developing tool for work, the more I realized I was still better at providing support, at helping colleagues develop better products or at helping business owners decide a route to have a successful online presence. I often found myself supporting web development rather than developing or building sites. But conditions in Venezuela started to deteriorate faster than one could adapt, businesses closed their doors and working with local clients was becoming harder and not the best option to support a large family.
How WordPress Changed My Life
I live in Venezuela and let’s say this is not the safest place in the world, among other things.
Millions has left the country looking for better work opportunities and to improve their living conditions, including most of my friends and my closest family relatives, so in a way WordPress changed my life for the better. Leaving a job in a country in crisis were personally difficult times and a tough decision to make. In the meantime, I kept submitting countless resumes to different distributed customer support positions, unsuccessfully. I also joined Support Driven in Slack to get familiar with current trends in customer support and to build relationships and even though I wasn’t as active as I wanted to, I was able to find an open position for a Happiness Engineer role at Automattic. It was at my second try with Automattic that I was able to secure an interview for the role. I did a 5-weeks trial and finally joined Automattic full-time by the end of 2016.
I choose to work from home so I can be next to the people I care the most, my wife, my kids, my parents, but equally importantly to me and my immediate family is the fact that I don’t have to commute to work and risk my life every day as I did in the past.
WordPress is as big as you want it to be, you are always learning and never stuck. Find your niche within WordPress, there are more work opportunities that I can count where you can insert yourself and continue doing what you are best at. If you are a software developer, a database administrator, a lawyer, a musician or an event organizer, it doesn’t matter: WordPress is still for you, it changed my life and it can change yours too!