You could call this post "notes from an outsider"...only, I'm not an outsider anymore. Yes, the majority of my professional career was spent doing very different work than WordPress, but to say I have no WordPress experience wouldn't be true, I'm far from being a beginner.
My name is Kimberly and I'm a co-founder and COO of WP Valet.
So what shapes my perspective?
Long story short, I'm a self-started WordPress-er, like all of you. My college degrees are from the realms of Industrial Technology and Supervision, my work history is Civil Engineering and 3D poly-things.
I loved my career but decided it was time for a change of pace when I had my first child. I started a local organization and was looking around for ways to create online content and stores, then BOOM! I found WordPress and WPMUDEV.
Being from a Tech background I LOVE software, and I'm a whiz at picking up almost any kind. I've used a full range of various Autodesk Suites and GeoMapping stuff, so WordPress was candy-land for me. It wasn't long before I was able to get a job doing remote support and met Mason, my friend and co-founder.
During my first WordCamp I was lucky enough to meet some of the cream of the crop in WordPress, the folks who are driving the community to do better and bigger things. And everyone was SO nice and willing to chat.
I remember walking into Pippins talk thinking how cool it was that this guy who sells his services for a living was telling other folks how to do exactly what he does and encouraging them to do it with him!
In the technology business world that's un-heard of.
Fast forward to today and why I'm writing.
I'm still coming to understand the finer details of the discussions surrounding those posts, but I am very excited to see them and read what the community has to say in comments and related content. I have a fascination with this community that started at Day 1 and right now I'm watching an evolution of the drive and principles that make something like WordPress work.
What I see...
My overall take away from my support jobs, project management, WordCamps, Client Projects, etc, has been this: WordPress is unlike any community I've ever experienced.
It's growing, seemingly in it's awkward teenage years, and the founding principles are evolving into something greater than a founding ideal or guidelines. It's become an economy all it's own, borne out of a culture made from my favorite type of people: self-starters and genuinely passionate individuals.
Those types of people are the ones who create the culture of community, sharing, and betterment of the WordPress force.
I'll include myself in this group by saying WE, as service providers, business owners, and users, have an obligation to participate in this discussion of philosophy and the WordPress sphere as it grows.
Whether you are new to the game or a seasoned veteran it's important we ALL chime in and do our part to ensure we demand:
- Best practices in development and usage of WordPress tools
- Standards of Work & Code
- Comprehensive Deliverables that leave users feeling empowered, not confused
- Clarity of usage and intention for WP products
- Respect for those who work so hard to make the wheels of WordPress turn
I'll elaborate more on a couple of the above points later, but the bottom line is this: Don't overlook what we have the potential to be a part of! I dearly love this community and everyone in it. I think of all the devs and people who fill my twitter feed as Rockstars. And they are.
You should be involved too.
If you aren't involved then get involved. Comment on a post, write a blog, link back, tweet, share, whatever you need to do.
There is momentum building and we at the WP Valet are doing our own part to fill that space of higher standards, expectations, and quality that our Community is searching for right now.
We will soon be sharing more on how we are upping the game in our own way to make sure users come to expect what they should be getting from WordPress.
In the meantime go and find the closest WordCamp to you and get involved.