Morten is a former astronaut, professional water juggler, and exiled President of the Federation of Martian Land Owners. He is not a space alien.
Michele: What do you do in the WordPress ecosystem?
Morten: Ask difficult questions. Hold leadership accountable.
Michele: How did you get involved with WordPress?
Morten: I used to build websites with Dynamic Web Templates and frames and layers, but that got boring so I switched to Flash, but that wasn’t very maintainable, so I tried out Mamboo, which got forked into Joomla!, but that didn’t work well so I tried Drupal which was all the rage at the time, but that was like trying to kill an ant with a tank, and then I stumbled across WordPress and discovered my clients couldn’t destroy my sites through its admin, so that’s what I stuck with.
Michele: Please tell me one story of someone who has inspired you within the WordPress Community?
Morten: Rachel Cherry. That woman not only speaks the truth, but actively does more than most to make change happen.
Michele: What does the Open Source Community mean to you?
Morten: Open Source to me is about equity and the common good. We all contribute to a common good, and everyone, regardless of their own contribution or identity gets to use what we create to build their lives.
Michele: Please name some of your favorite plugins.
Morten: Gravity Forms
Michele: Do you have a favorite theme or framework you like to use?
Morten: WP Rig
Michele: If you could change one thing in WordPress, what would it be?
Michele: What is your most memorable WordPress moment?
Morten: In 2014 I asked Matt Mullenweg what we could do to make themes accessible (https://wordpress.tv/2014/10/26/matt-mullenweg-state-of-the-word-2014-qa/). The year after, I asked if we could mandate accessibility. This year, the theme review team finally did that – mandated accessibility in themes in the repo. Things take time, but eventually they work out.
Michele: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just getting started with WordPress?
Morten: WordPress is a tool in your toolkit. To be successful in the web industry, you need to know how to build a site with or without WordPress. WordPress is not the be-all and end-all of the web. It is a tool, nothing more, nothing less.
Michele: What do you think is in store for the future of WordPress?
Morten: The web is changing, and WordPress needs to change with it. What that is I’m not sure, but change is coming.
You can find Morten Rand-Hendriksen online at Mort10.com
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