Miriam is a WordPress Engineer at Kanopi Studios. She started playing around with WordPress for personal projects in 2008, and for professional projects two years later. Miriam is also one of the co-organizers for WordCamp Ottawa, as well as the Ottawa WordPress meetup community. She also speaks at various WordCamps across North America.
Outside of her web development life, she is a 3rd degree black belt in karate, plays clarinet in a community band, and also competes in the pro-am categories in international latin ballroom dance.
Michele: What do you do in the WordPress ecosystem?
Miriam: Developer and Community Team member
Michele: How did you get involved with WordPress?
Miriam: I was asked to build a website for my friend’s (now defunct) band, but with a catch – they wanted to be able to update the content by themselves. This was back in 2008. I was used to creating my own databases, forms, etc – but did not have some time. Essentially, I researched different CMS platforms, and WordPress came up first – and I fell in love with it right away.
Michele: Please tell me one story of someone who has inspired you within the WordPress Community?
Miriam: This is a hard one, as many people have inspired me. But I would have to say Kathryn Presner, from Montreal. Without her gentle encouragement, and sharing of speaker resources, I would have never spoken again after speaking at WordCamp Ottawa 2016.
Michele: What does the Open Source Community mean to you?
Miriam: Openness, transparency, and belonging. Everyone comes from a different background when they contribute to the open source community, and it’s important to acknowledge and let that shine. Ideally, it would stay a democratic society, without much (or any) top-down direction. You build together.
Michele: Please name some of your favorite plugins.
Miriam: All in One WP Migration, Yoast, Gravity Forms
Michele: Do you have a favorite theme or framework you like to use?
Miriam: Not particularly – but I use X-theme a lot.
Michele: If you could change one thing in WordPress, what would it be?
Miriam: Making it easier to contribute to core. As a senior developer, I still find it daunting. Accessibility is definitely something that can be worked on.
Michele: What is your most memorable WordPress moment?
Miriam: WordCamp Seattle 2017. The response we had to the Women in WordPress panel was mind-boggling, and cemented my belief that this panel was important – and needed to happen at other camps. The fact that I missed 2 sessions in the afternoon that we spoke, just to carry on conversations, means a lot.
Michele: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just getting started with WordPress?
Miriam: Find a mentor. Don’t be afraid to reach out. For the most part, the WordPress community is friendly, and no matter if you are a developer, designer, or marketer, you can find something to help guide you. It’s not that scary.
Michele: What do you think is in store for the future of WordPress?
Miriam: Not too sure on this one. Continued growth and evolution, while strengthening existing architecture, and making it easier for end users to build websites.
Michele: Just for fun, share one memory that makes you proud to be a part of the WordPress Community.
I’ve got two. First, karaoke after the speaker dinner for WordCamp Montreal 2017. I was still relatively new to the speaker world, but I was accepted right away and made amazing friends.
Second is more recent. Shanta and I did a WordCamp kata session informally this year at WordCamp Ottawa. We posted the video, and the lead org for WordCamp Rochester saw it on Twitter, and immediately asked if we could do it at her camp this year – which we plan on doing. Just little things like that, being able to share your non-tech passion with your tech friends.
You can find Miriam Goldman on her blog: https://miriamgoldman.ca
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