I Would Like To Call Myself a Happiness WordPress Developer

Surendra Shrestha WCEU 2019

Surendra Shrestha

Surendra Shrestha Profile
Today we are going to conduct the interview of Surendra Shrestha from Kathmandu, Nepal. He is a Founder & CEO at Rigorous Web, Founder at Aarambha Themes, and Certified Full Stack Developer at Codeable. In the interview, Surendra mentioned that he has been working on WordPress for the last 10 years. Also, he mentioned that in free time he does trekking, listen to songs, travel, play mini football and watch movies.


I’m a software engineer. I would like to call myself a Happiness WordPress Developer. I am Founder & CEO of WordPress Agency, Rigorous Web, Founder of WordPress Theme Store – Aarambhathemes, and Certified Top Notch WordPress Expert at Codeable.

I speak English, Russian, Indian, Nepali, and Newari ( natively ). I’m from the beautiful country of the Himalayas, Nepal. I’m a good husband and caring father. I like traveling, trekking, watching movies, listening to romantic songs, playing mini-football, and etc.

I started WordPress in 2011. But before WordPress, there was quite an interesting time I spent. I was working as a Radio Jockey on a Radio program. In the year 2003, I decided to study Computer Engineering, and then I started learning Computer, not programming.

Programming actually started during my engineering graduation. At that time, I only knew C, C++, HTML/CSS, and basic PHP.

My first professional job was as an IT Manager. There, I had to manage all kinds of websites using either Core PHP or frameworks. So, I started working as a PHP programmer to manage the websites. In the year 2010, there were many CMS like Drupal, Joomla, WordPress, and Magento in the market. But for that time, I started with Joomla as a CMS.

Q. How did you get to know about WordPress? Share if there is an interesting story.

Ans: As I am an IT enthusiast, it’s obvious for me to research the global trends in Technology. My exploration hit on something that was on the peak of the market and that was WordPress.

But when I was working as an IT Manager, I had full responsibility to the organization. Therefore, I couldn’t get the free time to learn WordPress. So, I quit that job within 6 months.

Getting started with WordPress was also another great experience of my life and of course filled with struggles. I switched to 2-3 organizations to get the right place where I could learn WordPress.

After certain months, I got an internship as a WordPress Developer, where I started the “W” of my WordPress career. Coincidentally, it was my birth date 19th December of the year 2011 when I officially started WordPress Journey.

Q. What’s the most interesting project you have done to date in WordPress? What were your responsibilities?

Ans: It was a project of implementing Facebook Lead with a Customer CRM system.
Autogate was used to manage leads. The form entries need to receive from these lead ads to be automatically sent into the ERA database. ERA Database was managed by webhooks.

My responsibility was to integrate Autogate software with the CRM System to manage Facebook Leads.
When I worked on that project, It was really challenging for me as Rest API was not much familiar to me.
Ended with an amazing experience and got a 5-star rating. It was really awesome.

Q. Have you ever been to any WordPress meetups or WordCamps? Share your thoughts on WordPress Community.

Ans: I have been actively involved in WordPress meetups and WordCamps since 2012. It is such a pleasure to be a part of those events locally and globally. Actually, I am missing being with the community since this pandemic happened.

Surendra Shrestha WordCamp Pokhara 2018

Currently, I am one of the active members of WordPress Community Nepal and WordPress Kathmandu Meetup Lead.

My thoughts about WordPress Community:
“ The Community is the spirit to the growth of professionals. The beauty of WordPress is its community and giving back to the community is a kind of culture, developed by WordPress Communities.

We learn and expand our skills using the open-source community. As we learn, we have to practice teaching others by sharing our skills, knowledge, and experiences.

When there are some problems related to WP, there are definitely millions of helping hands around the earth and One of the impressive gestures of WordPress is its community support. And I would love to give back to the community which encourages me.?”

I have attended, volunteered, organized, and sponsored the different WordCamps globally. I’ve co-organized WordCamp Kathmandu in 2017 and 2019. I’ve attended WordCamp Europe 2016, Vienna, Austria, WordCamp Ubud 2017, Indonesia, and I have volunteered at WordCamp Europe 2019, Berlin, Germany.

List of events I had been:
WordCamp Nepal 2012
WordCamp Nepal 2013
WordCamp Nepal 2014
WordCamp Nepal 2015
WordCamp Europe 2016
WordCamp Kathmandu 2016
WordCamp Ubud 2017
WordCamp Kathmandu 2017
WordCamp Kathmandu 2018
WordCamp Pokhara 2018
WordCamp Kathmandu 2019
WordCamp Europe 2019
WordCamp Pokhara 2019
WordCamp Butwal 2020

Q. How does your workstation look like? Can you send us a picture?

Ans: My working desk is set up correctly, and so feel better and work more comfortably. I have a regular MacBook Pro and 19 inches Screen. I have all kinds of stuff like a Mobile Set, Mobile chargers, headsets, and coffee cups that are perfectly within my arm’s reach.

Surendra Shrestha Workstation

With the right workstation setup, my workdays feel so much better. Shortly, My workstation is simple and good enough to work.

Q. What interesting feature do you think you would like to see in WordPress and is currently missing?

Ans: When Divi started, I wished to see the Page builder features in WordPress and now we have Gutenberg and while Elementor was trending, I feel WordPress has to adopt the full site editing (FSE). So, I must say WordPress is on the right track.

But to be honest, when Gutenberg launched, I felt that WordPress could be down as ReactJS is not charming for PHP devs. So, Gutenberg should be further developed with more flexibility.

Similarly, FSE just launched. Everyone feels that WordPress 2.0 was far better than WordPress 5.8. Just fond of jokes I heard at the market. It may be too early to give feedback to FSE but I can see a lot of improvements and implements needed to maintain the prestige of WordPress.

Q. Out of the current plugins and themes which one do you like the most and why?

Ans: I’ve worked on WordPress since 2011. In one decade, I worked on thousands of themes and plugins. I developed my own themes and plugins as well. So, obviously, it is not easy to choose the best theme and plugin which I like most.

But let me try to choose the one which I’ve used for many client’s website developments.

WordPress Theme:
Real Estater Pro is the amazing premium Real Estate Theme I’ve used for many client’s real estate business websites. It sounds simple but clean in design and it has excellent features with the most flexibility at dashboard interface.

The best part of this theme is; it’s really optimized for speed and maintained with the latest updates and changes. You can either use custom theme templates or page builders like Elementor.

WordPress Plugin:
Yoast SEO is one of the best WordPress Plugins ever I have used because as I am a developer and when I had to help on SEO to customer’s site, it helps in such a way that I never feel I am not SEO expert. Simply, Yoast helps everyone to organize SEO and maintain google indexing without any technical knowledge.

Q. Any awesome technology you want to share other than WordPress?

Ans: Besides WordPress, I have worked with Wix, Prestashop, Squarespace, Shopify, and more. But I got quite impressed with Wix.

Q. Do you like/love what you currently do in WordPress?

Ans: Yes, I love it. And I can’t wait to work with the new changes of WordPress.

Q. Where do you find yourself after 5 years

Ans: I am a workaholic, and in the next 5 years, I will still be working with young and innovative programmers within the IT sector. I would like to be a Global WordPress Consultant and so I will be contributing to WordPress Communities and helping new WordPress Developers.

Q. Share something about your life other than work

Ans: I live in a very peaceful place, north of Kathmandu with a beautiful life partner and an 8 yrs kid. Apart from the office, I prefer to spend time with my kid. Besides that, I enjoy traveling to different places, watching movies. You can call me a meat lover, and coffee addict 😉

Surendra Shrestha family

I have visited most of the cities in Nepal and also many European Countries like France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, etc. I have been to Indonesia and Thailand too.

When I am not working, I spend my time with different IT and ICT-related activities. I am one of the “ICT for Youth Empowerment Committee Members” at CAN Federation.

I am motivating new IT entrepreneurs by sharing my ideas and experiences. I am involved in Girls In ICT, IGF Tech, Women in ICT, and obviously WordPress related to each and every activity.

I love to talk about politics, cultural development, and civilization throughout the different seminars and events.

Q. To whom you give credit for your success?

Ans: I have got a unique story about my success. I can proudly say that I am a self-made man.

In my family and society, there were no IT persons. I struggled even getting Internet access to my society when I started programming. I am a kind of self-learned and lucky charm when I talk about my WordPress career.

Throughout my career, there are too many helping hands behind me and I would like to give my thanks to all of them.
Today, I would like to give credit to Per Esbensen, who is a co-founder and CEO of Codeable.io.

Q. Can you give us some reference for whom we should conduct an interview next and why?

Ans: I’m not sure.

Q. How do you reward yourself?

Ans: Mostly I am busy with Coding, and programming. I would love to talk about WordPress and community. If I reward myself, it will be like taking some time off from coding and tech devices and hanging out with WordPress Community members with strong Coffee.

Q. Any suggestion for WordPress beginners?

Ans: Well, WordPress is changing for the betterment and to exist with the trend. So, if you are a beginner, you must know ReactJS. But still, PHP is mandatory.

It’s better to start Gutenberg block developments via ReactJS. Which will make your WordPress career much more sustainable. Full Site Editing(FSE) is not charming today, cause it is just released but in the next 1 to 2 yrs, FSE will be your career. So, learn FSE and make it your own.

About Sonnal S Sinha

Sonnal S SinhaSonnal S Sinha shares exciting WordPress themes, plugins and other WordPress related news for our viewers. He also posts selected WordPress developers interviews from time to time.