I just had the pleasure of being interviewed by Code Poet, a free resource for anyone who builds anything with WordPress. It’s an Automattic production so these are trusted resources coming right from the staff themselves – seriously worth a subscribe (and telling others about it).
I share some thoughts about how I got started with WordPress and where it’s taken me. It’s honestly hard to imagine the impact that one piece of software could have on my short life so far – I felt like I could write a book on it so far and there’s still so much to be done and learn.
One of the core ideas that I shared briefly about is the idea of money and motivation or rather, the tension that can exist when you encounter it with building software in an open source community.
The truth of this that I struggled with this for a very long time – I had trouble reconciling the profiteering aspect of software that I didn’t build with my own two hands. This was due to my upbringing in corporate america from a very early age, building proprietary software for a Fortune 50 when I was 14 years old.
It took me years to come to a place where I felt good about what I was doing and making the philosophical change from my experience in big business.
But it was pretty much my salvation as a developer because it opened my eyes to a much bigger and better landscape of opportunity – instead of holding things so closely it forced me to look way outside of my own experience, skills, and know-how and invite others to participate.
It also is what spurred my interest in targeted and niche online publishing and where I finally found my “voice” as an online writer of sorts. I was just “another” developer but now I had a community and I belonged.
But more than that I was creating some real value for people who didn’t owe me anything and who didn’t pressure me to build – we all built because we loved it.
And I still think there’s much more to come – we never fully and completely find our voice perfectly as it evolves, changes, and morphs as you grow as an individual. I think open source, as a whole, will change dramatically in the near future as it becomes a more dominate player in the market and capitalization becomes standard. We’ll have to adapt and move so that we can continue to reap the benefits, provide value, and create incredible resources for ourselves and others.