WCBRT2018 Stars: An Exclusive Interview with Fahad Murtaza

Fahad Murtaza is a WordPress enthusiast who started his journey with WordPress in 2004. He recently joined Stanfield Real estate and started building their web stack on WordPress along with other technologies. He loves sharing knowledge and his talk at WordCamp Biratnagar 2018 was also about the WordPress hooks and how they make life easier.

Fahad Murtaza at WordCamp Biratnagar 2018
Fahad Murtaza at WordCamp Biratnagar 2018.

We also got to interview Fahad Murtaza. Here’s the full interview.

An Exclusive Interview with Fahad Murtaza

Tell us something about yourself

I am a Software Engineer from the Himalayas in Pakistan. I run a software engineering consultancy, Gravixar in UAE and Pakistan.  

Tell us about your city and WordPress Community over there

My city is Mansehra, a small town in the lower Himalayas. The community is just getting started and we had our first WordPress meetup here in January 2019. I flew from Dubai to attend it as I was one of the organizers. WordCamp in Pakistan is a relatively new thing but there existed a huge community of professionals and enthusiasts alike which never got together under one roof. Now we have such platforms in multiple cities around Pakistan including my own.  

How and when did you start your journey with WordPress?

Back in around 2003, I found out about WordPress and then started coding themes and made a plugin after looking at the Hello Dolly plugin. And it got me hooked. I created my own blog which went defunct so many times because I wanted to improve on it. This taught me enough to get started as a professional and since then, I have never looked back. 

Any challenges you faced during your initial phase in WordPress? If so, how did you overcome them?

WordPress always had a brilliant community. I never faced a problem which I couldn’t solve without someone’s help. Figuring things out was always easy. It’s what kept me connected. I started teaching WordPress to my fellows and that’s where I learned a lot myself. I believe the community is what makes it great and the same thing helped me as well.  

Were you excited about your talk in WordCamp Biratnagar? What was your talk about?

Well, I always want to share my knowledge. I always had an imposter syndrome, so, I never thought my knowledge could be useful at any place. WordCamp Islamabad changed that and so did Biratnagar. I realized I could share my knowledge with many who can benefit and I think I was able to do that with both WordCamps. So, as soon as I was accepted as a speaker for WordCamp Biratnagar, I bought my tickets. Luckily for Nepal, I didn’t have to go through the hurdles of visa applications. And I just bought the plane tickets and left.  

What do you hope attendees will take away from your talk?

I think they learned better ways to do WordPress development. I introduced clean coding practices but kept it simple so that people could get inspired and do a better job while crafting WordPress plugins and themes. It was also for beginners and from the feedback I got, I think I was able to inspire a few people to write better code using WordPress hooks.  

Is this your first time visiting Nepal? Are you having a good time here?

Yes, I had a fun time in Nepal. I am coming back for WordCamp Kathmandu. I am in love with the beautiful country. Next time, I will be exploring more places.  

What do you think about the WordPress community in Nepal?

It’s amazing. I met a few people who have built some amazing products and teams. I was very much impressed by the WordPress community of Nepal.  

Talking about WordCamps, what fascinates you the most about WordCamps?

Knowledge sharing, the kind of talent it attracts and the overall learning atmosphere.  

How do you think WordCamp Biratnagar 2018 is different from any other WordCamps you’ve been to?

It had a lot more students than professionals which is an amazing thing. Too many young and energetic minds to inspire.   

How have you been contributing to the WordPress community?

I am a WordPress Developer so I try to share my knowledge with the people whenever I can. That means WordCamps, meetups, and helping people on the web. Every week, I help a few people who contact me with their WordPress related problems.  

What advice would you give to new WordPress users who’re only joining the WordPress community?

Use Google. Search for anything you are not sure about. And ask for help. You’ll be surprised how many people with expertise are always willing to help.  

What do you think about the female participation in WordPress?

I think it’s getting better. I see more and more ladies getting into WordPress and building businesses, which is amazing as it allows them to work from anywhere and be successful at what they do.  

What is your go-to source for anything and everything WordPress?

I use codex all the time and I explore WordPress core in my IDE all the time. I also Google with detailed queries and read the top two or three results. Stack Overflow usually has other people experiencing the same issue and have good solutions to WordPress problems that a lot of developers face.  

Besides WordPressing, what do you do for fun?

I love photography, I travel whenever I can and I play learning games with my son. My latest hobby is listening to audiobooks, which have been really helpful in learning new things over the past few years.  

And lastly, Gutenberg editor was released with WordPress 5.0 as the default editor. Do you have any thoughts to share?

I don’t use it on my client’s websites but I am eager to get into Gutenberg. For now, I just use a classic editor. But I am sure it has a great promise and will be a really useful thing in the future. I am not just very excited to use it at the moment as the Gutenberg release has a number of unresolved bugs. I think, even in its infancy, it offers many opportunities for new product development.  However, I definitely want to try it on a new project that I start from scratch. 

This interview sure has helped us know more about Mr. Fahad Murtaza and his thoughts towards the community. We want to thank him for taking out his time for the interview.

Do you want to know more about this inspiring persona? Find him on Facebook or Twitter.

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