WCKTM 2016 Stars: An Interview with Sweta Shrestha

Sweta Shrestha, a panelist in WordCamp Kathmandu 2016 has been contributing to theme reviews at Catch Themes from the past 2 years.  She has also been working with designs, HTML, PHP etc. Sweta understands the basics of theme development and code well, and is confident that she can work on theme development in the future. Sweta is also a key contributor to WordCamp Kathmandu 2016, overseeing the financial aspect of the whole event. We had a small talk with her at the recent WordCamp Kathmandu 2016.

Sweta Shrestha at WCKTM 2016
Sweta Shrestha at WCKTM 2016

How and when did you get started with WordPress?

I started working with WordPress two years back, in 2014.  I was inspired by my husband to work in WordPress. I am a graduate of Information Technology and I love working with HTML code, web design and layouts. I started my career as a theme reviewer in Catch Themes.

What do you like most about WordCamps?

It’s networking. A lot of people take part in WordCamps, from WordPress beginners to experts. All WordPressers come together and share their knowledge and experiences with each other. Everyone gets to learn something new and that is what I like the most about WordCamps.

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

I am going to talk about kick-starting your career in WordPress. I hope people will learn how to start their career in WordPress, what opportunities are there in WordPress and why WordPress is so popular.

Are there any challenges you faced that you’d like to share with us? How did you overcome them?

The first few months were quite difficult for me to cope up. In the field of IT, there are always new things happening every minute and staying updated with everything was a little tough for me. To overcome that, I started doing more research and practice. It helped me a lot to deal with the problems that I was facing.

What are your thoughts on the WordPress community of Nepal?

It’s growing every year and I think it’s awesome. Last year, there were about two hundred attendees in WordCamp Nepal but this year it has grown a lot and reached nearly three hundred.  I am very happy to see our community’s progress.

How have you been contributing or giving back to the community?

My work is actually related to the community. People upload many themes in wordpress.org. Firstly, those themes are reviewed and approved by the theme reviewer and only then, the themes get uploaded. As a theme reviewer, I make sure the themes follow proper security guidelines. That is how I am giving back to the community.

Have you ever felt like you’ve had to prove yourself more than men who also work with WordPress? For example, some women working in tech have commented that they feel like they have to work twice as hard to gain the same level of respect.

Not really. In my office—Catch Themes—everyone is really supportive. Whenever I am confused about something, my colleagues come to my rescue and help me learn more. My suggestions are also considered as equally as of my male colleagues. So, I don’t think I’ve had to prove myself more than men working with WordPress.

What advice would you give to the women who are only joining the WordPress community?

To the women who are just joining the WordPress community, I’d like to advise them to try to know more about WordPress. It’s not rocket science, anyone who is interested, can make their career in this field. Ladies who are interested in WordPress can join WordPress and start their career here. It is not difficult and if you have any problems with learning WordPress, you can ask any WordPress expert. We are always here to help you with your problems.

What do you think about female participation in WordPress?

It’s growing every year. There were very few ladies participants when I first joined WordPress. There are still very few women involved in WordPress in comparison to men. But I am very happy that it is growing every year.

How do you stay updated on WordPress?

I stay updated on WordPress through different WordPress related blogs. Mostly I read WP Tavern and DevotePress. WordPress releases its new version in every two to four months and I have to check for the updates and changes in new version. So, I would say, I stay updated on WordPress through my job.

What can we find you doing when you’re not WordPressing?

When I’m not WordPressing, you can find me spending time with my family. I love to cook and spend time with my son.

What advice would you give to a new WordPress user?

I would like to suggest them to try and explore the WordPress field. If you are confused about anything or stuck somewhere while exploring WordPress, you can contact the support forum in wordpress.org or you can also ask questions on the Facebook page of WordPress Nepal. I would also like to advise them to attend our monthly meetups. It helps a lot in networking while getting started with the WordPress.

WordPress 4.7 is releasing soon. Which feature are you most excited about?

I am really excited about Custom CSS in WordPress 4.7.

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