Transparency makes the world go round
I like being honest, so please allow me to provide a context for this story. First of all, I’m a pretty introvert kind of guy, and I often need to be thrown in the cold water to start learning how to swim. This was exactly what happened with my teammate, Oana, when she asked me if I’d be tempted to give HeroPress a go. Of course I would, and so it started the beginning of this story. The next lines are the result of a friendly dialogue between us. Enjoy the ride, dear fellows.
Here’s Andrei, a passionate web dev who truly admires the WordPress world. I’m a full-time backend at Pixelgrade, a design studio where we create WordPress themes that solve real and painful digital problems. Yes, we don’t just play around with eye-candy pixels, we strive to show up with trustworthy solutions that make people’s lives easier and more pleasant.
I’ve experienced an intense professional rollercoaster till I got here. I still remember the first time I met with the WordPress fascinating world. It was during my first job interview. The employer (today a good friend of mine) told me that I would need to play around with Joomla, something I loved at that time. You can laugh, it’s okay. I do the same.
However, the interview was full of tricks since I needed to do something totally different: create a homepage into WordPress. This way, the team could have seen how fast I’m able to learn new stuff. Pretty good trap since everyone working in the digital playground needs to be open-minded and capable of improving their skills and knowledge.
That was the very first contact with WordPress, and I was surprised to see its potential. Not only it was easy-to-learn and get along with thanks to an in-depth documentation, but it also had an active community eager to help. Fast forward and the story had a happy ending: I got the job.
Becoming better is kind of a mantra for the true WordPress people
Talking about this core mission, I must confess that WordPress can be felt like a lifestyle into a room with glass walls. Everyone sees what you do, how you do it, and why you keep doing it. Nobody can take your work for granted, but can easily be inspired by it and even improving it. Becoming better is kind of a mantra for the true WordPress people, and that’s why they jump in and start spreading solutions about how things can achieve a superior level. With other words, it’s like sailing with a bunch of amazing people eager to enjoy the same outstanding experience.
On the other hand, there are some coders that still think that WordPress is not that sexy and challenging in the end. They’re definitely not in the same boat, but I think it’s fair from our side to help them change their mind. And not because we chose to work in this playground, mostly because this platform changed a lot in the last years.
The simple fact that I improve someone’s life through my work means the world to me.
Here are my thoughts for all those programming lovers that would like to try WordPress, but need an extra boost.
A wide range of features
Articles, menus, widgets, users, live previews, e-commerce, e-learning, listings and so on. You can administrate them, make them better, simply play around as you wish. It might sound naive, but in reality these different areas are constantly bringing all kind of challenges on the table.
WordPress still strives to support the PHP 5.2.4 version, which was dropped five years ago but 7.5% from today’s websites still use it. But hey, WordPress is all about keeping users on board, happy and loyal, not skipping the battle. In the end, it does say something about the whole philosophy of the people behind the scenes.
Colleges got it wrong
There was a time where people studying Object Oriented Programming didn’t take WordPress seriously since it’s based on functional programming and that handy and approachable isn’t something that helps you progress. Well, things changed, people changed, now functional programming is turning back as the coolest thing to do nowadays, and WordPress is trying to get the best from both paradigms.
WordPress makes me proud
I mean it. It’s not just shiny words thrown into the digital garden. I’m a proud WordPress backend dev who deeply feels that impact matters, and building things for an open-source community matters even more. I’m also happy with the diverse work I do at Pixelgrade: one day can be Customify or the WP Body Class plugin, the next one can be improving Listable, a WordPress theme used by thousands of users spread all over the world. In between could be the passionate discussions regarding the core of WordPress, some advice tailored on other authors or the amazing WordCamp Europe. Whatever it is, I am grateful that I found my place where creativity, freedom, and braveness are in the first place.
Call it as you wish, but the simple fact that I improve someone’s life through my work means the world to me. It gives me a sense of fulfillment, the necessary energy to keep improving, and the never-ending joy that I did something useful. And hey, there’s just another beginning since Pixelgrade has reshaped its digital presence through an outstanding website and more consistent brand story. So bring it on, fellows!