Our WPOI today is Konstantin Kovshenin from Moscow!
He’s a Automattician, developer and contributor to Core.
If you like his interview you can buy him a beer via his blog!
1. Tell Us About Yourself, The More ‘Unknown’ Facts the Better!
I’m Konstantin Kovshenin. I live in Moscow, Russia and I’m a Code Wrangler at Automattic, the distributed company behind WordPress.com that employs over a hundred talented folks across the planet. I’m currently on the Dot Org team, where we focus on contributing to the WordPress.org open source project, and its related community events and sites.
Before going 100% WordPress, I was mostly into robotics and built the first Russian humanoid robots. My favorite language has always been Python, although I don’t use it much these days. I was kicked out of the computer science class on my first day of high school.
2. How Long Have You Been Working with WordPress? When Was Your First Experience
My first world-facing WordPress install was early in 2008, but didn’t last for long. It was a blog in Russian about web development which I discontinued because I hated to write in Russian, and frankly, I wasn’t very good at it. My second attempt was later that year with a personal blog in English, which is still live and will celebrate its 5 year anniversary later in 2013.
My first WordPress plugin landed in March 2009, which was a WordPress widget for the popular image service Flickr. My first WordPress theme went public early in 2011 and was focused around the Georgia typeface.
3. How Did You Get Your Start Contributing To The WordPress Core?
I was interested in the WordPress release cycle so I followed Core Trac, which was overwhelming. I poked around, then poked around a little more, then heard about this Nacin guy, and then suddenly my first patch was in! It was a very minor docstring change, but I was proud of it.
That first commit got me hooked and I started diving deeper. I must admit though, that I haven’t been a very active Core contributor, and I’m trying to improve this year.
4. How Have You Seen WordPress Grow and Change? Where Do You Think It’s Headed?
I witnessed the “blog to CMS” transition around WordPress 2.9 and 3.0. When custom post types came along, I felt like WordPress was the solution to every possible problem. With more and more people realizing that, I think WordPress is headed towards being a complete framework, rather than a blogging or site engine.
Unfortunately the WordPress community in Russia is not as strong. But, we’re working hard to change the perception of WordPress and the open source community there.
5. What Can People Expect to See From You in 2013?
Let’s see. Five WordCamp talks, twelve WordPress meetups, a WordCamp in Moscow, and perhaps a new WordPress theme. In addition to that, I think we’ll see some major improvements to the WordPress.org network, and other community sites such as WordPress.tv, and of course WordCamp.org.
6. Would You Share a Few Tips For Those That are Getting Into WordPress?
Sure! First of all, don’t always trust external resources. Even the Codex is sometimes wrong, in which case you should fix it.
When in doubt, you should always ask Core: learn how to search through sourcecode with ack or grep, even if you’re just looking up the list of function arguments.
My second tip is to learn WP_Query. And after you have learned WP_Query, watch this video called “You Don’t Know WP_Query” and learn it again. You can watch it several times in a row, like I did.
Finally, attend a WordPress event. A meetup, WordCamp, workshop, whatever works for you. If there aren’t any WordPress events in your area, you should definitely start one. I did.
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