WCBRT2018 Stars: An Exclusive Interview with Abhishek Rijal

An exclusive interview with Abhishek Rijal

Abhishek Rijal is a WordPress developer and a very active WordPress Educator. He aims at providing top-notch WordPress themes and plugins. Rijal is currently working as a Freelance developer. He has been keenly involved in Theme Review, WordPress themes and plugins support team and development of WordPress based products.Also, he is an active community member and contributes to various local WordPress meetups and WordCamps as well.

Abhishek Rijal at WordCamp Biratnagar 2018
Abhishek Rijal at WordCamp Biratnagar 2018

Prior to WordCamp Biratnagar 2018, he was enlisted in the speakers’ lineup at WordCamp Pokhara 2018 as well. In the following interview we took with Mr. Rijal, he talks about himself, his contributions, WordPress communities, his talk at WCBRT2018, and more.

An Exclusive Interview with Abhishek Rijal

Tell us something about yourself.

Hello, I am Abhishek Rijal, a professional web developer based in Kathmandu. Starting as a PHP Web Developer at a Travel Company, I developed the love for WordPress development and started my professional career as a WordPress developer 3 years back. My daily activities mostly contain tasks related to being a Web Developer and an IT professional. 

When I am not working, I love to travel around and explore new things. In my free time, I’m also engaged in different social service projects in Nepal as a member of Lions Club International. 

Tell us about your city and WordPress Community over there.

I am from Kathmandu and the WordPress Community in Kathmandu is one of the largest WordPress community in Nepal. We have a wide range of community members from initiators of the WordPress Community in Nepal, to freshers and students. This makes WordPress Kathmandu community a great center for collaborations and features knowledge sharing sessions. 

Our community has been actively organizing WordPress Meetups and WordCamps. Everyone is easy going and helpful, and in fact, I have had huge help from the community from the very beginning of my career in WordPress. And I am very thankful for that.

How and when did you start your journey with WordPress?  

I started my WordPress Journey in 2015. It was when I was working as a tech lead at a travel company in Kathmandu. The company needed a new website and I happened to come across the most popular CMS for the task. I researched the use of WordPress for my company’s website and simply found WordPress amazing. Working on the project fueled my interest in WordPress development and initiated my Journey with WordPress. 

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

Starting up with new things always leads to some challenges and yes, I did face some challenges and issues during my initial phase as a developer. There were several issues and required continuous research. A lot of online researches and the continuous effort helped overcome the challenges for me. The codex and documentation of WordPress are great; all thanks to the contributors worldwide! Also, getting help with the amazing community members is also what helped me overcome the challenges and grow further. 

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

Yes, I was very excited about the WordCamp Biratnagar as it was the city I had never visited before and was an opportunity to travel too. I was also excited to meet the WordPress Community in Biratnagar, fellow developers, and friends.  

My talk session was titled “WordPress Automation tools: Develop WP Themes and plugins faster!!” The topic covered the concepts of Automation of repetitive tasks in the WordPress Development workflow. I talked about modern tools and technologies that help developers save time and efforts during WordPress theme and plugin development with WordPress Developers as the intended audience. 

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

As the session was targeted for WordPress Developers, my talk benefitted the attendees who are already involved in the development of WordPress Themes and Plugins. They will get an idea of automation tools which can be adapted for WordPress development. In a nutshell, developers will be exposed to automation workflows (for repetitive development tasks) while developing themes and plugins for WordPress. 

Also, beginners and students can get an idea of the scope that they should be researching further to grow further as a WordPress Developer. 

What do you think about the WordPress community in Nepal?  

WordPress community of Nepal is really great, huge, and helpful. It’s always growing with the initiation from the cities like Biratnagar. I think we have one of the best WordPress communities in the world. Many people participate in our local WordCamps and even Meetups in order to share their knowledge. 

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

WordCamps are a great event that gives us networking opportunity with fellow WordPressers, which I am fond of a lot. Besides that, it’s full of knowledge sessions/sharing of ideas and discussions on what’s going on with the local WordPress Community. The fact that WordCamp is the blend of meeting fellow WordPressers, knowledge sessions, and cool swags is itself fascinating for me. 

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

Being the First WordCamp in the city, WordCamp Biratnagar was a unique experience on its own. As it was even a new city to travel for me, I went to WordCamp Biratnagar with lots of excitement. The organizers welcomed the attendees to the early morning event with traditional breakfast, Bhakka (steamed rice flour cake) as breakfast, which was a unique experience for us. Going further in the event, there were unique experiences with a set of programs like WordPress Museum, Start-Up Inauguration, Fun and Games sections, and much more that was organized throughout the event gave us a never seen before experience.

How have you been contributing to the WordPress community?   

Mostly through WordCamps and Meetups. I like to network and meet with new people and share knowledge, so my way of contributing to WordPress would be through meetups and WordCamps. I am a frequent speaker/volunteer on WordCamps in Nepal and am planning to visit more and more communities. Also, I have been contributing in the support and translation sector in WordPress.

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

It’s a great community that we have for WordPress in Nepal. Users who have joined or are interested in WordPress can get help from professionals/expert in the community. I would suggest everyone to come along, share knowledge, collaborate, and network through the community to help each other grow and make WordPress even better. 

What do you think about the female participation in WordPress?  

I think the female participation in WordPress is growing gradually. Back in Kathmandu, there were many female developers, designers attending many WordCamps and Meetups. I could also see a lot of female participants in Biratnagar working on and interested to grow a career in the tech industry.  

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

I used to follow WP Traven for WordPress related news and information along with other blogs. DevotePress has been added to my list for source of knowledge for latest happenings in WordPress as it is updated with latest WordPress related news and content quickly. 

Besides WordPress, what do you do for fun?  

Like I said earlier, I like to travel (a lot). Whenever I get some free time and chance, I travel. Besides traveling, I like to hang out with my friends. 

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

Gutenberg in the WordPress core is a huge change and we talk about it a lot in our Developer community a lot. I think it is a positive change that will boost the extendibility of WordPress even more. As a developer, I see this as an opportunity to learn and expand my knowledge of developing theme and plugin for WordPress. Although there are still some compatibility issues with popular plugins and old sites that might result in conflicts, I believe, Gutenberg will be improved overtime and will be the most loved change for WordPress in the future. 

We, the DevotePress team want to thank Mr. Rijal for taking out time from his busy schedule and reaching out to us for this interview.

Wordcamp Biratnagar 2018
From the left – Biplab Subedi, Sweekar Shahn, Utsav Singh Rathour, Abhishek Rijal, Sakin Shrestha, Madan Panthi, Sachet Gurung

Want to know more about Abhishek Rijal? Find him on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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