Andrea is a Digital Content Creator in the tech industry, a long-time organiser of WordCamp Montreal, and a co-organizer of do_action Montreal, a WordPress charity hackathon. She trained as a broadcast journalist at Concordia University in Montréal and worked in communications in the non-profit, healthcare, and financial sectors before trading it for a career in tech.
After an internship on the VIP team at Automattic, the company that owns WordPress.com, she worked as a WordPress webmaster at Dawson College and freelanced as a content consultant for startups in Montreal before returning to Automattic. For three years, she worked on the WordPress.com marketing team developing landing page content, implementing retention marketing strategies, and creating video tutorials with millions of views.
At SiteGround, she developed brand messaging and created digital, print, and video content for the English-speaking market. Now at Kinsta web hosting, Andrea is the Head of Growth and oversees their growth marketing strategies including lead-generation, advertisement, affiliate marketing, and social media.
When she’s not at home in Montreal, Canada, she’s sampling the digital nomad life, traveling to speak at conferences, and documenting her adventures on her travel blog The Capsule Suitcase.
Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? If yes did you learn anything useful?
Ans: Lots! In fact, I spent most of 2018 and 2019 on the road going from WordCamp to WordCamp. I’ve also organized four editions of WordCamp Montreal two do_action charity hackathons. There’s always lots to learn, from new security tips and SEO hacks, to simple ways to make your website accessible.
Q. How did you come into your current field? Share a bit of the background?
Ans: I studied Journalism in college and even before that, was lined up for a career in media. It had been a passion of mine since my early teens and I had written or run school newspapers from ages 14 to 20. To pay for college, I worked near full-time as a communications officer for a non-profit in between classes. That was my first foray into building websites (except for iWeb, who else remembers that?).
In that role, I had to wear the hat of a marketer, translator, and a webmaster! Then, I briefly worked in corporate communications for an insurance company, and that’s when I got my opportunity to jump into the tech industry. Through a friend, I was introduced to WordPress and quit my secure, well-paid desk job, to do an internship at Automattic. It felt like starting over at the bottom, but it was the best decision I ever made.
Q. What’s the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress?
Ans: The Kinsta website is a pretty cool project. There’s a lot more going on there than meets the eye and I learn so much from our web dev team every day. Other than that, building my own travel blog capsulesuitcase.com from scratch has taught me a lot. From a humble blog, I’ve grown it into another source of income and while it can really frustrate me at times, going though the challenge of maintaining, troubleshooting, optimizing it has been great for my personal and professional growth.
Q. What does your workstation look like?
Ans: I try to keep it pretty minimal. I have an Autonomous standing desk, an Amazon chair, a Logitech webcam, Shure mic, my computer, keyboard, and trackpad, and an LG monitor. Not much else! https://www.instagram.com/p/B-djacXFwxm/
Q. What kind of tools/software do you currently use for your creations?
Ans: On my desktop, I use ScreenFlow for video and Sketch for design. Web-based, I use a ton from WordPress, Hubspot, and Wistia, to Google, Slack, and Trello.
Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?
Ans: Can’t wait for full-site editing!
Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?
Ans: My blog has a ton of images, so WPSmush has been invaluable for making my media files load quick. That, and using Kinsta’s CDN.
Q. Which WordPress hosting do you use and would you recommend for your clients and others?
Ans: Kinsta, but I may be biased.
Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?
Ans: Yes! Marketing and content creation is very creative and varied, so I never get bored.
Q. What would you like to do in the future in the current field or somewhere else?
Ans: I’ve always dreamt of running a successful eCommerce store, even just as a side-hustle.
Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?
Ans: Francesca Marano, Allie Simmons, Chris Churchill, Kathryn Presner