Rich Collier is a WordPress lover from Florida, U.S.A. Rich has been building websites since the beginning of the web. He has made many core contributions and has authored several plugins in WordPress. He started out as a Director of Engineering at a major publisher in the United States. But currently, he is a Code Wrangler at Automattic. We got to have a little chat with him at WordCamp Kathmandu 2017.
You worked as a Director of Engineering at a major publisher. What inspired you to switch to WordPress?
Prior to working at Automattic, at that same company, we were a WordPress.com V.I.P. client, which is one of Automattic’s premium services. So I had worked a lot with their team and even attended some of the events that they put on. It really inspired me to get a little more involved in the community which Automattic provides. I was in search of more purposes in the WordPress community. That’s ultimately what inspired me to take that leap of faith and do the move.
What do you like most about WordCamps?
I really love talking to the community. All the folks here are incredible people with incredible stories. They are also the most incredible sources to learn more about WordPress. And I love that aspect far more than the others.
What do you hope attendees will take away from your talk?
I hope they will be inspired to dig in and do some customization with Jetpack. I’ve been hearing a few complaints from here and there with custom things in Jetpack. And I really hope people will be inspired to dig in and realize that they can do those customizations. It just takes a little work.
Why do you think it is important to give back to the community?
When we all do better, we all get better. That sums it all up. WordPress has given something to all of us and I feel that it’s our responsibility to give back to the community as well.
How do you stay updated on WordPress?
It’s very difficult at times. There’s a huge amount of information out there. I follow a few blogs, a few key members of the open source community and I try to stay personally in touch with the few of them. That’s my limiting place. I don’t have a lot of time to research so I stay updated with WordPress by connecting with people personally.
What can we find you doing when you’re not WordPressing?
I have two small boys: a two-year-old and a four-year-old. They keep me extremely busy. When I can get away from all that, I like to go fishing on my big boat. I live in Florida, so you’d probably find me fishing in Atlantic when I am free. And I also like to do travel writing about my journey to different places.
What advice would you give to a new WordPress user?
To a new WordPress user, I would like to say that don’t get overwhelmed. There’s a lot out there, lot of complicated things. Just stick to the basics.