Joe Casabona is a podcaster, course developer, and web developer. He also has his Master’s Degree in Software Engineering.
Joe started freelancing in 2002, and has been a teacher at the college level for over 10 years. His passion in both areas drove him to create courses for The University of Scranton, LinkedIn Learning, and his own community of business owners.
Today, he helps people tell their stories through podcasts and video.
Michele: What do you do in the WordPress ecosystem?
Joe: Developer and Teach
Michele: How did you get involved with WordPress?
Joe: Back in 2004 I mentioned to my friend that I wanted to build a CMS, and he asked if I heard of WordPress. I was hooked! I started using it, and after college started teaching it and speaking at WordCamps in 2011 (thanks Philly!)
Michele: What does the Open Source Community mean to you?
Joe: It means sharing solutions and caring deeply about a project that has helped so many people. Strong opinions are (and should be) welcomed.
Michele: Please name some of your favorite plugins.
Joe: Gravity Forms, Beaver Builder, , and ACF Pro
Michele: Do you have a favorite theme or framework you like to use?
Joe: Astra Pro
Michele: If you could change one thing in WordPress, what would it be?
Joe: The real answer? I wish the software wasn’t changed so dramatically on the whims of a single person.
Another real, and also less contriversial answer: I wish there was better onboarding built into WordPress. We shouldn’t need to rely on hosts or plugins to help people get up and running.
Michele: What is your most memorable WordPress moment?
Joe: This <i>feels</i> self-agrandizing, but I’ve had multiple people come up to me at WordCamps and tell me my books have helped them become WordPress developers / designers.
This is a wild and amazing thing. I know it’s why I wrote the books – to teach people – but to get concrete examples is super rewarding. It makes the book-writing process (which is arduous) totally worth it.
Michele: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just getting started with WordPress?
Joe: It’s not as easy as everyone makes it seem to be. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it at first.
Also, a WP101 membership is worth its weight in gold to learn how to use WordPress.
Michele: What do you think is in store for the future of WordPress?
Joe: I think we’ll definitely see the customizer take over more of the UX, making WordPress a lot more of a visual editor like Squarespace or Wix.
I think we also need to see a much clearer process for decision making, and actually sticking to those decisions. WordPress can’t grow if people don’t trust the software or communication process.
Michele: Just for fun, share one memory that makes you proud to be a part of the WordPress Community
Joe: When Gutenberg was rolling out, I actually got a call from Matt because I was…very vocal…about the launch process and what I thought about it.
I don’t know too many organizations where the leader of a project or organization would reach out like that.
You can find Joe Casabona at Cassabona.org
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