Are you developing ALL your skills?

speaking-wordcamp-skills

What's your story?

If you're a WordPress developer then maybe this is your story.

You didn't know much PHP.

You opened up a WordPress theme and started hacking at some sites.

You changed the call to wp_list_pages (and removed a page), or you merged the calls for wp_list_pages with wp_list_categories.

This was how you first created the menu you wanted (back before there was a cool menu builder or 42 plugins that let you create a funky menu.

After some simple hacking, you started playing with a little more complexity – but you were still coding directly on the server. Because Cowboy Coding!

Eventually you learned to code locally and deploy remotely. Maybe you learned Github.

And slowly you realized you needed to know more – like writing calls to enqueue scripts (the right way).

As you developed more and more of your development chops, you started thinking about automation, so you started writing some tests. Or you worked on learning and leveraging Sass.

Does this sound familiar?

The constant growth and development of your skills?

WordPress is changing

If that sounds like your story, then you've witnessed the change of WordPress over time.

Back when 3.0 was released you saw several changes to the codebase including the development of custom post types.

Since then, we've seen more changes – from cosmetic to structural. In the next few months we'll even see the new WordPress API move from plugin to core code!

And you've likely been trying to keep up with all of it – whether you work with themes or plugins.

But wait, what about your other skills?

My friends are releasing their latest starter theme as part of their new venture, FlagshipWP.

Both Ryan and Rob are smart guys.

They've been working on WordPress for years.

Their code has evolved and their new starter theme shows that they've learned and leveraged the latest to develop a product that is rock solid.

But let me ask you this question.

Do you think they've spent the same number of hours learning about pricing strategies as they have their development skills?

Do you think they've spent the same effort growing their business acumen as they have developing their WordPress skills?

Let me ask you a different question.

Have you spent time developing more than your development skills?

WordPress will change your life. If you let it.

I've said it before and will likely say it again.

WordPress is the only technical community that I've experienced in 20 years as a technologist where you can so easily connect with the rockstars of the community.

WordPress is approachable.

And the community has a commitment like few others to grow and develop their skills. I'm at a WordCamp where over 20 people have volunteered their time, energy, and covered their own expenses to come and train/educate others. For free.

But most of the sessions are focused on developing your tech or design skills.

At this particular WordCamp, in Tampa, there's a business track. And I'm the keynote speaker opening up the day of talks. And my question to them is the exact question I'm asking you.

  • If WordPress can encourage you to grow,
  • If the community can encourage you to develop your skills,
  • If resources volunteer their time to train you,
  • and if WordPress can change your life (make money, be your own boss, make friends) –

Will you let it?

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