WCBHR2019 Speakers: An Interview with Saloni Mehta

WCBHR2019 Speakers - Saloni Mehta

The first WordCamp in Bharatpur, WordCamp Bharatpur 2019 took place earlier this month. And it concluded with a huge success with a big, satisfied smile on everyone’s faces. Everyone had just one thing to say – “Even though it was the first time, the organizers totally rocked the event.” We were very happy to see such reactions from most attendees who attended the event. So, kudos to the organizers for delivering the first event WCBHR and making it memorable for everyone.

We’re very happy to represent ourselves as the official online media partner for WordCamp Bharatpur 2019. Since we’re the media partner, it is our responsibility to reach out to people and ask for their views and opinions on certain topics. So, we are very happily presenting an interview we took of Saloni Mehta from AccessPress Themes.

Saloni Mehta was one of the amazing speakers at WCBHR2019 and her presentation was on secure coding. Here is everything she has to say:

1.  Can you please provide us your short introduction and how you stumbled upon WordPress?

I am Saloni Mehta. I am a Computer Engineer and I have been working as a WordPress Plugin Developer at AccessPress Themes for the last five years.

While working as an intern in the Laravel PHP framework and one of my mentors introduced me to WordPress in 2014. I got interested and started learning WP in my free time.

I started my journey as a Theme Customizer in WordPress from 2014. After I switched my career from Laravel developer to WordPress Plugin Developer, I continued my journey to create plugins for WordPress.

2.  How do you keep yourself updated with the latest news and trends in WordPress and the web overall?

For the latest news and trends in WordPress, I follow the WordPress Planet, WordPress Core Blog, wordpress.org blog, WordPress Tavern, and for web Cnet and The Verge.

3.  What are 3 to 5 takeaways from your talk at WCBHR?

As my talk was about writing secure code in WordPress, I have shared about the secure code methods according to my experiences that a developer should follow in their daily coding behavior to avoid some serious threats and attacks. Hopefully, the audience now knows why writing secure code is a necessity, the types of threats and attacks that occur due to poor coding and how attackers can retrieve our information or hack our sites. They will also know the coding behavior and methods that the programmer should follow to avoid these attacks.

4.  Can you shed some light on the importance of secure coding practices?

As we know, WordPress is one of the popular CMS and it covers 33% of the web. And there are millions of people using WordPress and this will definitely attract the hackers too. So if there is a single piece of vulnerable code, then it is possible that the entire site will be at risk and may be hacked, too.

To avoid popular attacks like SQL injection, XSS, CSRF, and some serious security issues, we have to allocate writing secure code behavior in our daily life.

We can take an example of popular plugins like Contact Form 7. There are 7.5+ million people actively using the plugin. So, if there is a single piece of vulnerability in the plugin, then the 5+ million people will be affected, which is huge. That’s why writing secure code should be our utmost priority.

5.  How did you find the first WCBHR? Did it meet your expectations?

I came to know about the WCBHR through the social media Facebook group WordPress Nepal. It was a good experience with WCBHR. The organizing team was good and have created a good environment for knowledge sharing for their first attempt.

6.   What are your thoughts on the Gutenberg implementation in WordPress?

The Gutenberg has brought great content editing experience. The block editor has brought a high level of flexibility for adding different content types in the posts. It has made things easier for new website operators to get started with content creations. I think it will help to grow WordPress in the coming days.

7.  In your opinion, how have blocks made things easier for WordPress Developers?

Developers can offer a more flexible and powerful design and layouts to the users for their content and sites with blocks. The developers can provide more advanced functionality and features to WP with its advanced technology, JavaScript and react.

But as a developer who is more focused on PHP, it will be more challenging to learn new technology like react and rest API, since the blocks are letting us move more towards the JavaScript-based developments.

8.  What is the future of WordPress in your opinion? Will it still remain on top after five years from today?

WordPress started as a blogging platform and it grew continuously. Today WordPress is the most powerful CMS that is available in the market. With the inclusion of Gutenberg, it can compete with any other existing CMS. In fact, WordPress is an open-source where the community contributes as well and the community contribution to WordPress will be one of the major reasons for WordPress to dominate the market for several more years.

9. Which platforms do you think are in competition with WordPress and what could be the possible threats from competitors?

The competitor of WordPress could be Shopify, Joomla, Drupal. Shopify is popular for eCommerce because of its hassle-free infinite scalability. Drupal is great at managing and organizing the huge site with tons of data whereas Joomla offers a lot of customization without extension but these platforms have cons too. If they overcome their cons then they can be the top competitors for WordPress, which is really a challenging task at present.

10.  Besides WordPress, what else do you do for fun?

Apart from my work, I watch movies, especially related to detectives. I like traveling to new places and experimenting with recipes, as well.

DevotePress would like to thank Saloni Mehta for taking out her time for this interview. We wish her all the very best for her future endeavors.

Want to know more about Saloni Mehta? You can find her on Facebook.

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