This week’s Can’t Speak Geek WP Community Spotlight goes to the
the one and only Andrew Norcross.
Norcross states “Look, we’ve all made poor choices in our lives. For me, it was realizing that I could make computers talk to each other.”
Michele: , What do you do in WordPress?
Norcross: Mainly development work. but I’ve done about everything there is to do.
Michele: How did you get involved with WordPress?
Norcross: On accident, really, since I had a full time job in the finance industry at the time. I had built a server at my house with an old desktop, and had to install something on it. It took a bit to get WordPress to run (this was a Windows server in 2006) but a friend had a small site he needed hosted so I assumed I could figure it out.
I figured it out.
Michele: What does the Open Source Community mean to you?
Norcross: I’ve struggled with finding one single definition. WordPress (and the greater open source community) is the single biggest reason why I have the life I do today. Some of my closest friends came from there, along with some of the most exciting times of my life. So to some degree, it feels like family. A few close people, a larger circle of familiars, and an even larger one of folks you kinda sorta know and see once a year or so
Michele: Please name some of your favorite plugins.
Norcross: Since I spend most of my day doing development, I like tools like Query Monitor, Airplane Mode, and my own set of debugging functions I use.
Michele: Name a favorite theme or framework you like to use.
Norcross: Usually depends on the project. Genesis is great for smaller content driven and basic business sites. After that, I’m usually building something custom.
Michele: If you could change one thing in WordPress, what would it be?
Norcross: I’m not sure I want the sort of influence to impact a project of this size, especially on a whim. But I would say the outdated Trac / SVN method for patching / issues / contributing is a real pain in the ass.
Michele: What is your most memorable WordPress moment?
Norcross: Back in 2012, my coffee maker was invaded by ants. I said something off the cuff on Twitter bitching about it, and by the time I was out of the shower folks had pooled money for a new machine.
Michele: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just getting started with WordPress?
Norcross: First off, know that none of us are celebrities. *NONE* of us. We are very much approachable, either online or in person. So always feel like you can join a table or a conversation.
Another thing I’d say is don’t rush to try and impress people with how smart / good / clever you are. Lurk for a bit and see how people communicate now and work towards becoming fluent with those channels.
Michele: What do you think is in store for the future of WordPress?
Norcross: I honestly don’t think any of us know. The web moves too quickly to make predictions other than “forward”. I do think we’ll see a change when some of the older community members start to “age out” and contribute less, as their lives grow into other areas. I’ve certainly not had the same amount of free time as I did 5 years ago.
Michele: Just for fun, share one memory that makes you proud to be a part of the WordPress Community?
Norcross: I remember back in 2011 when Ptah Dunbar was in that motorcycle accident and was as risk of losing his eye. I saw the community immediately rally and raise over $6,000 in about two hours to help with the cost of ongoing care. No one spent time arguing over whether or not he should have been on the motorcycle to begin with, or the issue of health care, etc. We just took care of one of our own.
You can find Andrew Norcross online at andrewnorcross.com.
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