Meet the persons you admire in the WordPress industry



Today I’m not writing about code, snippets or WooCommerce… I’d like to write about the people that make the WordPress community, and in particular about persons that I work with and the one that helped me. As you know, I work in an awesome company called WooThemes, and this company is without any doubt the best company I ever worked for. Let me explain you why.

But before talking about WooThemes, let’s go back in the past and understand what brought me to WordPress.

I started using WordPress in a company I used to work for in Paris (France). After creating a lot of sites with CodeIgniter we needed a more sustainable solution. What I mean by sustainable is “how to not reinvent the wheel for each new project”. That reminds by talk at WordCamp Paris… anyway… We decided to switch to WordPress.

I was used to working with CMS, because when I was younger I created a full CMS, but it was with PHP4 and I had to rewrite everything to make it compatible with PHP5, so I couldn’t continue.

Back to WordPress. I started to code themes for clients. And that wasn’t easy at the beginning but I got used to it, and after a few months I was able to create themes pretty fast. As I’m not very good at designing themes, I started to buy themes and tweak them. I bought my first themes on ThemeForest. And I discovered Envato. Wow… that was a big change for me. For the first for the time I realized that I could sell stuff and not just buy on CodeCanyon.

So I started to code plugins and sell them on CodeCanyon. The beginning wasn’t very exciting. Only a few sales a month. One among the others. And I met a guy called Pippin Williamson. At this time Pippin was one of the top sellers on CodeCanyon, and he explained me a lot of things to improve my plugins, to promote them, or even to promote myself as a “brand”. And sells started to increase pretty well until I ranked CodeCanyon top 100 sellers. After a few months, Pippin asked me to work for him, as a support technician for all of his plugins. And I started doing support. I did that during 2 years. That was great because Pippin made so many awesome plugins that I learnt a lot.

Working for Pippin was also a great opportunity to integrate the WordPress international community, and to be considered as an expert in what I was doing. My plugins were selling pretty well, and Easy Digital Downloads arrived. I integrated the support team too.

At the same period I started to work for some other people: WPexplorer, PixelWorkShop, etc…

A few months later, I made my first talk at WordCamp Paris, and I met many great people like Julio Potier, Fx Benard, and some more (sorry guys I can’t list all of you, but if you’re interested in meeting the French community, I wrote a post here).

And one day, I saw a tweet saying that WooThemes was hiring… After a few weeks, I started to work for Woo. I remember that tweet:

Then what? Well, I quickly realized that WooThemes was a concentration of the best people in the WordPress community, guys like Mike Jolley, Coen Jacobs, Jeffrey Pearce etc… And i was working with them. And I started to improve all my skills 10 times faster then what I used to. Working with the best makes you better. Not only my skills at pretty much everything were getting improved, but I also understood that team management could be done in a way that was brand new to me. Because yes, at Woo, the management teams really care about the people them employ. Mike Krapf is my manager, and guess what? He really cares about me and about how I feel in the company. He’s not like the other guys I mentioned above, he’s not a developer, not a designer, he’s a team leader, but he makes part of the WordPress community because he leads the best guys in this industry.

Of course there are a lot of other people I met in the WordPress community, many at Woo, many at WordCamps, and many people I hope to meet in person soon. So… what’s the aim of that post? Well, I just wanted to say that you can start from zero, start learning WordPress today and become an active member very quickly. I would have never imagined contributing to WooCommerce core code, to Easy Digital Downloads, or even the brand new Bookings, or so great plugins a few years ago…. and that’s what I do now.

So, trust me, keep working hard, try to meet the people to admire, and learn as much you can.

One last word, always thank your wife/husband for supporting these long hours spent in front of your computer… always. Thank you very much Cecile.

4 responses to “Meet the persons you admire in the WordPress industry”

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience.
    Pippin Williamson is very awesome, very mature. I really enjoy his podcast Apply Filter

  2. Stijn De Mulder

    True! I’m looking for some people who can kind of “mentor” me or let me help on their projects but most important of all…give me good feedback.

    So any help is welcome! ;)

    1. A goos start is to try to contribute to projects like BBpress, BuddyPress, EDD, WooCommerce, Ninja Forms etc…

      1. Stijn De Mulder

        Thank for the tip, checking it out as we speak :)

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