From the very second I picked up a book on HTML that my mother had from a course at the local community college, I knew I wanted to be a web developer. Sure, I have grown greatly since then, but I still have that book and while extremely outdated and irrelevant to most things that I do, it serves as a subtle reminder that a simple book can change my entire life.
Of course, that single book is only a piece of what has made me who I am now within the WordPress community.
The Early Career
Early in life, I was introduced to affiliate marketing and SEO in which I attribute a large portion of my skills as both a developer and marketer alike. Through a series of unfortunate events, I began making my living in the affiliate marketing world to keep a roof over my head. While I will often attribute those days as some of the worst in my life, I have come away with excellent skills and a drive to succeed no matter the odds stacked against me.
Virginia Beach and InMotion
In 2012, I decided that I needed a change in my life. At the time, I was working in Harrisburg, NC and owned a cell phone and gaming console repair and modification shop. Business was steady but something about it just didn’t feel right. I had the freedom to do something I enjoyed but felt like I had a large missing piece in my life. I now know that the missing piece was a community and being part of something.
After many days of deliberation, I decided to pass my resume over to InMotion Hosting in hopes to relocate my girlfriend and 2 dogs to Virginia Beach. Sure enough, I moved to Virginia in August of 2012 and began 2 weeks after that life-changing acceptance letter.
At InMotion Hosting, I was continuously at the top of my game. I knew Linux well when I came on board at InMotion but certainly learned a lot during my time as technical support. Still, I felt the need to get more out of my career. Then, a position within the Customer Community team opened up. I knew exactly what I had to do.
Enter the WordPress
One day, within only a few months of being on the team, I completely changed the ballgame. Due to a collaboration of ideas with Brad Markle, I decided to write WordPress Through The Ages and from that day on, life was never the same.
Because of the success of WordPress Through The Ages, doors were opened to the community for me and my name became known. The primary success of that being Jeff Chandler of WP Tavern. Soon after he published a reference to WordPress Through The Ages, Jeff and I began speaking on Twitter about the 90’s. Something about pop music and Hulk Hogan. From there, we decided to start WP After Hours; a drunken WordPress hangout on Friday nights where everyone can relax and joy a beer while working on their various projects.
Through After Hours, I have gained a significant number of friends both online and offline. Soon later, I was attending and speaking at WordCamps all over the country, getting to see many online acquaintances in real life.
On March 9th, I joined the GravityForms team at RocketGenius, primarily writing documentation. Since then, my overall development skills have dramatically improved. The ability to be around so many incredibly talented people is mind blowing.
It’s been over a year now and I never dread being at work. There’s always something new and exciting. I always feel valued.
So here, I am. You now have my story. I thank everyone in the WordPress community for shaping me into who I am today. Especially you, Jeff. You vodka loving asshole.