WP HackerCast – Episode 4 – Dwain Maralack – From freelancing to Automattic.
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Welcome to episode 4 of the WP Hacker Cast. Today I’m joined by WooCommerce Code Wrangler and WordCamp Speaker Dwain Maralack. Dwain is a fascinating chap to talk to and he has a wide range of both WordPress and development experience, both as a freelancer and an employee. He currently lives in Ceres, which is about 2 hours outside of Cape Town, with his wife and 8 month old son.
Dwain and I sat down and talked about his WordPress story, from studying a National Diploma in IT, transitioning to building websites for churches and small nonprofits, applying as a support ninja for WooThemes and his eventual move into a position as Code Wrangler at Automattic. We also got to talk about some non WordPressy things, like his thoughts on MLM’s, freelancing and computer science.
In this episode I’m talking to Anchen le Roux. Anchen is the owner of Simply Digital Design, a web design and digital marketing studio based in Pretoria. Before she got into WordPress development Anchen used to be a .Net developer so she has some pretty serious development chops. She is organiser of the Pretoria WordPress meetup, one of the organisers of WordCamp Johannesburg and a speaker at both WordCamp Johannesburg and WordCamp Cape Town.
Anchen was originally nervous to talk on the podcast, because lately her day to day work doesn’t really involve much coding, but what I soon found is that, like any good developer, Anchen has a pre made child theme that sets up her theme framework as a blank canvas, for her to build her next client project on. We spoke about her journey to WordPress from .Net, her love of travel, how joining a WordPress mastermind group changed her business and had quite a frank discussion about WordPress Page Builders.
I also learned that it is 100% possible to become a self taught digital marketing expert, something that I didn’t realise was possible.
This month’s episode is dedicated to one of the hottest topics in the WordPress space right now, the new Gutenberg editing experience, and I couldn’t think of a better person to talk about this with than Justin Sainton.
Justin is one of my favourite people in the WordPress space. He’s one of the four international people I met at WordCamp Cape Town who helped shape my decision to get more involved with WordPress. Justin has been running his own agency Zao since leaving High School and has a wealth of development and WordPress knowledge. He is also one of the most positive people I know.
Justin and I chatted about his WordPress story, but a large chunk of the conversation was centred around Gutenberg. It was really great to talk to someone who is so positive about the future of Gutenberg and WordPress.
For episode 1 of the WP HackerCast I chatted with Seagyn Davis from FlickerLeap. Seagyn and I met at WordCamp Cape Town in 2016 and have had regular conversations regarding WordPress development in the WPSA slack ever since.
I sat with Seagyn to discuss his WordPress history (since 1.5!), how he became co owner of his own company and the current React vs Vue debate and his opinions on the decision.
There are a lot of amazing WordPress and WordPress development podcasts out there. I should know, I listen to a lot of them. One area however that I think isn’t covered (or maybe isn’t covered well) and one that I personally would love to listen to, is one dedicated to the nuts and bolts of WordPress. Hacking, coding, programming, call it what you will, I want to talk to and learn from the people who build WordPress, build products for WordPress or use WordPress for their company or client projects.
To give you an idea of the kinds of things I want to talk about, I’ve listed a few sample questions I’ll be asking:
If you could change one aspect of WordPress today, what would it be?
If you had to start your development career over, what would you change and why?
What is the biggest negative about using WordPress?
React vs Vue?
If this is the kind of conversation you would like to have on this podcast, then head on over to the Call for Interviews post and fill in the form.