WordCamp Chicago 2013 Speaker Interview Jarrod Pyper

Jarrod PyperJarrod Pyper – WordPress icon designed by Dan Leech twitter icon designed by Dan Leech

Currently a web developer at Vortala managing and adding features to a WP network of 2000+ sites. Loves coding, sunshine, learning new things, and nerd jokes. Crazy about his wife and 2 girls. Always a gun for hire via Pypeline.

He will be presenting on “What’s Your Query?” for Foundation Friday

Interview with Jarrod:

Why do you use WordPress?
I “use” WordPress to pay the bills but I love WordPress because I feel like I’m part of it. There’s an awesome community around WordPress of really smart and helpful people. If you want to jump in, the response you’ll get is “come on in, the water is great!”

What do you like best about WordCamps?
All that knowledge in one place! Meeting the people you’ve only followed on twitter. Learning, learning, and learning.

What is your favorite tip or resource for a new WordPress user?
Hang out with other WP people. Try hard to hang out with the ones smarter than you, and help the ones learning. You don’t have to be BFFs, but don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. Find a local meetup group. If you can’t find one, START a local meetup group.

How do you stay up to date with new information about WordPress?
Twitter. Yes, there are WP news sites but I don’t feel like I have the time to browse them. I follow them on twitter, see their tweeted headlines of new posts and read if I’m interested. I follow WP people smarter and more popular than me, I read the things they link.

Share an example of a really great (creative, cool, unusual) use of WordPress you’ve seen recently.
WebDev Studios created a web app for the YMCA to “gamify” getting exercise while on location. There’s goals, badges, workout lists, and all in a pretty slick interface made for working at iPad stations.

Do you have any advice for a person who’s building a business around WordPress design/development?
Get connected. Make friends. Meetup groups. WordCamps. Get the word out that you’re looking to pick up more projects. Most of the developers I’m friends with (freelance and otherwise) are swimming in projects and are more often looking to contract out. If you’re contracted, put your heart into it and make it good. You’ll become a go-to when there’s more to be done. You don’t need to have a filled to the brim portfolio page on your website. Just be honest and do good work.