Sandy is a WordPress developer that enjoys spending her time teaching others (including kids) about WordPress and also at the theme parks. You will find her working hard to help bolster small businesses online for her day job, traveling to WordPress conferences and frequently (a couple of times a week) visiting the various theme parks.
Michele: What do you do in the WordPress ecosystem?
Sandy: Mostly Project Management, but education is a big part of that.
Michele: How did you get involved with WordPress?
Sandy: My WordPress journey is an interesting one. About 8 years ago an agency my husband worked at needed someone to claim Google listings part-time. I was a substitute teacher working on my teaching certificate and said why not. It quickly went from part-time listings work to full-time project management work. We launched a new product built on WordPress and I quickly became a user. One weekend I got tired of waiting on contract developers to get me minor changes and sat down and learned HTML5 and CSS3 all in one weekend. Now I am able to troubleshoot JS, PHP, and code in HTML5 and CSS3. It is a really awesome feeling. Fast forward to today and I co-own a successful agency, travel teaching kids and adults technology, and have the freedom to visit Disney when I want.
Michele: Please tell me one story of someone who has inspired you within the WordPress Community?
Sandy: Jean Perpillant is someone who always inspires me to be a more positive person. He is always lifting others up and continually pushing all of us in the Orlando community forward. He is doing some awesome things personally, but never really totes about them. Instead, he always points out the awesome stories everyone around him is creating. It is truly refreshing and brings everyone a little more joy.
Michele: What does the Open Source Community mean to you?
Sandy: Open Source Community to me is moving forward to a better future, together. It means putting aside ourselves and our personal plans and pushing to a unified goal of creating a better world through tech.
Michele: Please name some of your favorite plugins.
Sandy: WP Rocket, Beaver Builder, Imagify, Advanced Gutenberg, Yoast SEO
Michele: Do you have a favorite theme or framework you like to use?
Sandy: Beaver Builder
Michele: If you could change one thing in WordPress, what would it be?
Sandy: I really feel that the community needs to grow more. We need to focus more on outreach as a community. The software that powers 30%+ of the internet should have more than 3,000 people at its national conference.
Michele: What is your most memorable WordPress moment?
Sandy: For me, the most memorable moment was building my personal website. It took a ton of soul searching to make that site happen and it was a joy to finally launch it.
Michele: What is one piece of advice you would give to someone just getting started with WordPress?
Sandy: Just do it! Diving in headfirst it seems like a lot to take in, but the community that surrounds the software is amazing! Jump in feet first and just start doing something. Baby steps are still steps.
Michele: What do you think is in store for the future of WordPress?
Sandy: I still go to non-WP tech events and people dig in on WP not being a great option. We need to work hard on changing that image. If we can do that the future is limitless.
Michele: Just for fun, share one memory that makes you proud to be a part of the WordPress Community.
Sandy: At WCUS 2017 a friend of my son was rediagnosed with a rare form of Kidney Cancer. The community rallied to not only help me get a website launched that could take donations to help the family but we raised over $10k in 48 hours. This community takes care of its own and those directly surrounding it. Never underestimate the power of community.
You can find Sandy Edwards online at Florida Sun Adventures.
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