David Needham is a Developer Advocate at Pantheon where he focuses on developer education and training. David serves on the board of directors of Enjoy Creativity. David enjoys blogging about productivity at davidneedham.me and sharing his experience by speaking at conferences. David is based out of Champaign IL, enjoys biking with his wife and kids, and playing board games.
Michele: What do you do in the WordPress ecosystem?
David: I contribute to the Training team, volunteer at WordCamp US as a photographer, and have helped organize camps (including WCUS 2018)
Michele: How did you get involved with WordPress?
David: My first website was in WordPress, but I didn’t really get into professional work until around 2013 when I started an online marketing nonprofit for churches and other nonprofits. We mostly stuck to Drupal (where I have the most history) but WordPress became even more popular over time. When I started working at Pantheon in 2016 I started using WordPress even more.
Michele: What does the Open Source Community mean to you?
David: I got into Drupal because a mentor took the time to help me learn how to use it. He also introduced me to the community by encouraging me to speak at my first camp. When I came to the WordPress community, I saw that we had more in common than I expected. Open Source Communities mean a lot to me because it unlocks powerful, free software for anyone, from any background, ethnicity, etc. The community aspect is particular important because without people to help through education, mentoring, and volunteering time working on documentation and training, the learning curve would be too much for most people.
Michele: Please name some of your favorite plugins.
David: WordPress Configuration Management (WP-CFM)
Michele: If you could change one thing in WordPress, what would it be?
David: Gutenberg is exciting, but I’m concerned about it creating “blobs” in the body field. How will that data be properly parsed and reused? I think it remains to be seen.
Michele: What is your most memorable WordPress moment?
David: Standing up to give my first talk at WordCamp EU 2018 (Intro to Drupal for WordPress Folks)
Michele: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just getting started with WordPress?
David: Don’t be afraid to ask questions – even if they seem stupid. We all started there at one point. And try to find a mentor that is willing to spend time with you.
Michele: What do you think is in store for the future of WordPress?
David: I’m looking forward to Gutenberg!
Michele: Just for fun, share one memory that makes you proud to be a part of the WordPress Community.
David: When volunteering at contributor day I was amazed how many brand new people were there. And furthermore, how welcoming the volunteers were to help beginners get started. The community is an amazing, welcoming place.
You can find David Needham on his blog: DavidNeedham.me
If you find these interesting and would like to be spotlighted yourself, please see our interview form.