Dario Jazbec Hrvatin
I was born in Zagreb, Croatia. I was always into two things: music and computers. First made me learn how to play multiple instruments and start writing and recording songs. And the second one made me interested in the web while it was still pretty “young”.
I’m actually old enough to have used things like ICQ and IRC for chatting and played the original versions of games like Prince Of Persia and Secret Of The Monkey Island.
I kinda made a mistake by enrolling into the university of economics instead of something humanistic or computer-related. But as I discovered web development, it all started to fall into place.
Q. How did you get to know about WordPress? Share if there is an interesting story.
Ans: The first webpage I did was for my band Helika, which was completely HTML-based and written from scratch. It was pretty cool but then I found out you can actually make *dynamic* websites and pull contents from the database.
Once I realized webpages can be dynamic, I tried a few popular CMS solutions at that time, like Joomla. But I didn’t like anything too much until I found WordPress. This was around 2007 and from that moment on, I haven’t used anything else.
The most important factor for me was that it was so easy to create a custom theme and add dynamic stuff coming from WordPress, it was incredible.
Q. What’s the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress? What were your responsibilities?
Ans: The one I’m still doing now – managing all content for WPML and Toolset with WPML being the biggest multilingual plugin in the whole WordPress ecosystem.
I run a small Content Team and we work together on our documentation and all types of content for everything that the company (OnTheGoSystems) needs. This means daily work on wpml.org site which is huge. It also means working with literally all teams, from support to developers and management.
Additionally, it means producing different kinds of videos for tutorials, announcements, partners, etc. Plus, everybody in WordPress heard about WPML which is pretty cool and leads to many interesting discussions.
And Toolset is an incredibly cool set of plugins that use the Block Editor that’s ahead of most of other similar stuff out there.
Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? Share your thoughts on WordPress Community.
Ans: From when I learned about the very first WordCamp Europe I wanted to attend it really badly. It seemed like a dream and it was – until I started working with OnTheGoSystems.
They actually encouraged us to contribute and speak at WordCamps and Meetups. So, by some incredible luck, I was chosen to speak at the very first WordCamp Europe I was able to attend – WCEU Sophia in 2014. It was simply awesome and I was immediately taken by the whole community.
Since then, I attended many WordCamps, local and Europe ones, plus local Meetups in Slovenia (where I live now) and Croatia. I also spoke at quite some of these events, like WordCamp Europe in Paris 2017.
WordCamps are really special for me because meeting all these wonderful WordPress people in person is really, really incredible.
First you remember their faces, then their names, then what they do, and then as you see them a few times over the years, it just turns into a real community feeling. With an incredible piece of software in the middle.
Q. How does your workstation look like? Can you send us a picture?
Ans: My workstation is pretty simple. Two visual monitors and two audio monitors (that’s how they call studio speakers in audio production hehe), a decent professional audio card, and a pretty good i7-based Win11 desktop computer. I used to work from a laptop but I needed more power for video editing.
You can also see “audio sponges” which prevent room echo so when I record a video narration or music, it’s “dry” and clean.
The latest addition to my desk is the nice vintage-looking light on the left. I just love warm colors for that extra cosy feeling when working (good music is another big part of my work ambience).
Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?
Ans: I hope they keep improving Gutenberg. It has a lot of potential, and I do like it and use it, but some things like dragging and dropping could really be better.
Besides this, I’m very curious about the collaboration tools they’re planning to implement, similar to Google Docs. I wonder how that will work in real life. It could potentially change the way we work on our documentation for WPML as well.
Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?
Ans: Besides our own stuff (WPML and Toolset) I really like Astra and Kadence themes, as they have awesome free versions and more. Kadence also has an awesome set of blocks. For SEO, Yoast is a kind of a standard. And I must add WooCommerce because it’s an incredible platform.
The best thing about WordPress is that whenever you need something “minor”, there’s probably a plugin for it. Just don’t overdo it. 🙂
Q. Any awesome technology you want to share other than WordPress?
Ans: If you need a localhost plugin, Flywheel’s Local is absolutely amazing. If you need a powerful but simple way to edit and record screen video and images, check out Techsmith’s Snagit and Camtasia.
Need to take notes in a custom way – search for Notion. And if you’re into music, look into Cubase and anything from Native Instruments. 🙂
Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?
Ans: Absolutely, producing written and recorded content turned out to be something I can say is both really interesting, creating, and something I’m pretty good at. It’s awesome.
Q. Where do you find yourself after 5 years
Ans: Producing content with 5 more years of experience with working with other partners and on many different projects.
Q. Share something about your life other than work
Ans: I have my own music project called Helika. You can see some photos on helika.org and you can listen to our album “Djeca Kiše” (children of the rain) on Spotify, here: (check my album on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/4zgZUXcRAEYZOwxc5pwQmi).
I compose all the songs, produce it, play multiple instruments (not all), and sing.
Q. To whom you give credit for your success?
Ans: My wife. I didn’t feel good enough to apply for a tester’s job on my current company. She said “what can you lose?” and 8 years later, I’m managing content and running a team. And emotionally/personally speaking, it’s exactly the same, it was her that opened up the world of possibilities for me.
Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?
Ans: There’s an awesome guy, Ivan Milanovic, from the Serbian WP Community. I met him on WordCamps and he’s one of the nicest guys I know, plus knows everything about WordPress.
Q. How do you reward yourself?
Ans: Good nights sleep and a good series here and there.
Q. Any suggestion for WordPress beginners?
Ans: Join the community, meet people, contribute, stay in touch, and learn. Even as a beginner, there is so much you can do.
You probably know at least two languages (so, you can contribute with translation), you have fresh eyes (you can test), and if you’re good with people maybe you can help with some support. But definitely, go out there and meet people, at least virtually. It can be life-changing.