Introduce yourself and your life before WordPress
Ans: I’m a Polish WordPress developer working as a DevRel at Buddy. After hours I spend most of my time trying to find interesting news for WP Owls newsletter, cycling or just spending some quality time with my family. It’s quite difficult to describe my life before WordPress, because it’s a part of my life for so many years.
In general I always knew I’ll be working with computers, also quite quickly I understood that I will be a PHP developer. At some point of my adventure I found this CMS called WordPress. I always say that I came for the code, left because of the community.
Q. How did you get to know about WordPress? Share if there is an interesting story
Ans: Every PHP developer creates his own CMS at some point. I wasn’t any different from the rest here. While my CMS was working I quickly realized that maintaining it alone and keeping up with everything that is happening around the world is almost impossible.
So I started looking for some Open Source solutions. WordPress was a love from a first sight. I really loved the way how templates were made – I liked the logic behind it so much. I also tried others – Joomla, Drupal or Typo3, but it didn’t clicked.
Q. What’s the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress? What were your responsibilities?
Ans: I think that my current job – being a WordPress Ambassador at Buddy – is the most interesting thing. This is my first non-developer job in my life.
I’m teaching people about automation. I’m doing in many way – I’m active on social media where I show some tricks about CI/CD, I do regular live webinars and I write guides and articles.
It also requires talking with people – which wasn’t so easy at first, because I’m an introvert. But what surprised me – it’s the part of my job I love the most. Making those connections and exchanging knowledge is something wonderful and priceless.
Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? Share your thoughts on WordPress Community.
Ans: I’ve been on multiple WordCamps as a guest, as a speaker(WordCamp Prague and the upcoming WordCamp Europe) and even as an organiser too (WordCamp Poland). Also I spoke at many WordPress meetups and online events. I really adore our community. It’s one of a kind. What I like the most is the fact how diverse we are – we have developers, designers, bloggers and many others. This creates a very interesting mix.
Q. How does your workstation look like? Can you send us a picture?
Ans: I mostly work on my laptop connected to an external monitor, but my favorite way to work is from a coffee place. I love the background noise and a good coffee.
Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?
Ans: It’s hard to tell. Because of how diverse our community is, every group would prefer something else in core because of different needs. That’s why I prefer the approach where the Core is as light as possible, and most features are shipped as plugins. But if I would have to pick something – I would say that the Core needs some love when it comes to implementing newer PHP versions and cleaning the code.
Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?
Ans: All of the themes I use I made from scratch. So in this case I can’t recommend anything. When it comes to plugins there are 3 that I always use: – Advanced Custom Fields – for adding extra fields and building Gutenberg blocks – Timber – it’s a implementation of Twig templating system for WordPress – it makes writing code much easier – Yoast SEO – for… well, SEO. It’s just works and I can customize it if needed.
Q. Any awesome technology you want to share other than WordPress?
Ans: I’m a big fan of automation. That’s why I work at Buddy. Building piplines that test code before deployment and doing zero downtime deployments are things I really like to do.
Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?
Ans: Yes I do. Like I mentioned before – being a WordPress Ambassador at Buddy is an amazing adventure.
Q. Where do you find yourself after 5 years
Ans: I don’t know. Two years ago I saw myself as a developer or a project manager, but I pivoted my career a bit. So maybe I will still work in a DevRel department or maybe I will do something totally different.
Q. Share something about your life other than work
Ans: I’m a coffee lover. I’m one of those people who plan their trip to a new city using europecoffetrip website instead of a normal tourist guide, my instagram is full of picture from coffee places etc. I always have an aeropress, some beans and a grinder with me and I can talk hours about different coffee flavours. The funny thing is, coffee makes me sleepy – but I still love its taste and the whole ritual of making it.
Q. To whom you give credit for your success?
Ans: Myself – in the end it was me who learned how to code and constantly learned new things. But I couldn’t imagine doing it without my wife, who always helped me and always believed in me and without my dad, who showed me how to use a computer.
Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?
Ans: Birgit Pauli-Haack – I really love her commitment to Gutenberg. She really does amazing job spreading the word about the block editor.
Q. How do you reward yourself?
Ans: I buy some new coffee beans or go for a bicycle ride. Simple things.
Q. Any suggestion for WordPress beginners?
Ans: Just don’t give up and always keep learning. It’s not always easy, but hard work really pays of. Overall the IT world changes very quickly and sometimes it’s difficult to follow what is happening. While this is most difficult part of being a WordPress developer, it’s also the most rewarding one. The good news is – you are a part of great and helpful community. For sure we’ll help in some way.