Interview with K. Adam White

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K. Adam will be presenting Modular JavaScript on Saturday in the Advanced Development track

K.Adam White is a JavaScript engineer at Bocoup, an Open Web technology company located in Boston, MA, where he builds web applications and evangelizes for the web as an open technology platform.

K.Adam has been a co-organizer of the Boston WordPress meetup since 2012, and has presented on WordPress and front-end development best practices at meetups and WordCamps across the country.


Why do you use WordPress?
I started a WordPress blog in college because I liked the look of the old “Typography” theme. Later, as an aimless recent graduate in the middle of an economic slump it was the WP community that gave me my first foothold in web design. I taught myself to code by helping a friend tweak WordPress themes for local businesses, and slowly began to take on my own freelance work.

Freelancing lead me to a great full-time job, where I left behind PHP but discovered jQuery and JavaScript – four years later I joined Bocoup, and finally got involved with core development. WordPress is the foundation of my career, and I’ve met some great friends through this community. I use it because I think it’s the best tool for what it does; I contribute because I am grateful; and I have a WP phone case just because I’m a big fan!

What would you say to convince someone to attend a WordCamp?
They’re among the highest-value conferences I’ve ever attended, for some of the lowest ticket prices: whether you’re a blogger, an artist, a designer, a front-end scripter, an expert PHP developer, or even a recovering technophobe, there will be talks to learn from and great people to meet.

Because users, designers and developers all attend, and are all equal in the eyes of the event, WordCamps are a great place to stretch your wings and learn something outside your comfort zone.

What is your favorite WordPress project you have worked on recently?
We’re in the process of building a site using WordPress through the JSON API plugin, and it’s really exciting to be proving out WP’s capacity to be a content platform for apps without a single line of client-facing template code!

Do you have any advice for someone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?
Embrace the community! People have succeeded by “going it alone,” but 90% of the WordPress professionals I’ve met regularly get work from (or pass work along to) friends within the community.

Whether you can attend a WordCamp, start a local WordPress meetup, hang out in any of the WP-related IRC channels, or just keep an eye on Twitter and mailing list conversations, it pays to be visible and involved in the greater WP ecosystem.

What is your favorite WordPress-related resource?
Twitter. So many brilliant people in the community post links and share their knowledge on Twitter, it could be a full-time job keeping up on the flow of tips and new information.

I’ve got a couple TweetDeck columns devoted to different groups of WordPress community members; they’re my first stop if I have a question or want to see what’s new.

Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related
I can mix a mean cocktail, and despite living in Boston these days I used to be certified to bartend in Illinois – although I’m working on a drink recipe database that’s using WP for the back-end, so maybe that’s not actually a good answer to the question