Ben will be presenting From Zero to WordPress Hero on Sunday in the General Interest track
Adventurous sailor and Seattle WordPress(Camp) organizer, Ben Lobaugh has been working with open source communities for 15-plus years and is an active contributor to the WordPress community. Ben currently works as a Jetpack Engineer with Automattic.
Why do you use WordPress?
I first installed WordPress because my homegrown blogging platform was neglected and I did not want to put forth the hours to get it where it needed to be, so I installed WordPress. As WordPress evolved it turned into something with awesome prebuilt structures I could easily hack on for new clients to get sites up and running fast. Nowadays WordPress can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. With WordPress powering 22% of the interwebs there is no reason to switch away now!
What would you say to convince someone to attend a WordCamp?
BACON BAR!!!! But really, the WordPress community is full of amazing people. Coming to a WordCamp can really get you connected. People are so genuine and open that you are guaranteed to learn a ton and have a great time doing it. Have an obstacle you are trying to tackle? The community will band together to help you out no matter whether it is a user, developer, or business issue knowledge is freely and happily shared.
What is your favorite WordPress project you have worked on recently?
Jetpack! Besides being the only project I have worked on recently it is also a really powerful plugin that will offload resource usage to the WordPress.com infrastructure and free your server up to serve even more visitors!
Do you have any advice for someone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?
The WordPress community is your friend. Get involved in a local meetup and start making connections. Follow and interact with well known WordPressers on Twitter and get involved with the WordPress project at http://make.wordpress.org. The community does a great job at helping people find work and even passing jobs around to each other.
What is your favorite WordPress-related resource?
Local meetup groups and Twitter. The WordPress world is very active on Twitter. Every question I have ever had has been answered quickly via Twitter and even disseminating news via Twitter is a great way to quickly get your message out there. Local meet ups are great places to share knowledge and make close bonds with the community.
Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related
On a whim 4 years ago I purchased a sailboat, the beautiful Zippety Doo Dah (http://ben.lobaugh.net/ship-log). I had never been sailing before but I thought sailing sound fun! For years later I am even more in love with sailing now that I ever have been. My intrepid sailing companion is my faithful wooden wrist watch. It has accompanied me on nearly all my sailing adventures and has been by my side when traveling all around the world.