Personal Development
for a
WordPress Developer

by Ahmad Awais

Ahmad Awais

Full Stack Developer & WordPress Core Contributor

I will tweet the link of these slides,
shortly after the talk.


Let's talk about development.

First, a story

It's about

Audio/Compact Cassettes

$20 Billion to $WTF
In 10 Years!

Web is evolving in exactly the same way.

Some developers realize it while others are waiting for the high tide.

Change is imminent!
What can you do about it?

You can be smart about your progress!

"There are too many languages!"

"Which one should I use?"

"Everything is changing too fast!"


I'm overwhelmed
& Confused.


😭 → 😢 → 😑 → 😮 → 😁 → 😄

This talk is about how to learn and develop yourself and not just code.



Risk Analysis



Why self-learning?

How to teach yourself?



→ The Employee

→ The Employee



Easier road to pursue.

Paid vacation.  

Medical insurance.


Lack of freedom.

Income is capped.

→ The Freelancer

→ The Freelancer


More freedom (set your own hours).

New projects to work on.

Potential to make more money.


Have to find your own work.

Expense of running a business.

Trading one boss for many bosses.

→ The Entrepreneur

People Who Care About Your Solution

People Who Are Using Your Solution

→ The Entrepreneur


Complete freedom.

Huge Earning Potential.

Work on what you want.

No boss.


Most risky.

Completely on your own.

Requires many other skills.

Might end up working very long days.

VC/Funding ~ Bosses.

Pick one. Whatever is best for you.

I've been an employee, a freelancer and
now I am an entrepreneur cum freelancer.

Risk Analysis

Take a calculated risk

I knew the # of emails to send to get a client

You have tax-free $10 Million in your account,
and 10 years of your life left, what would you do?


WordPress is Open Source

Which means it’s code written by all sorts of people, not a single company.
And while this can sound crazy, it actually works.

Community is the best part

Community is the best part of WordPress.

During the nine years I’ve been a part of this community,
I’ve seen people selflessly contribute to core. I’ve also seen
companies hire employees with the sole job to improve
WordPress in favor of five for the future, and witnessed the
community’s unfettered ability to share everything.

Contribute To WordPress

There are many ways in which you can contribute to WordPress.

Build a
WordPress Plugin or Theme

WordPress Coding Standards

Turning pro is a mindset.

If we are struggling with fear, self-sabotage, procrastination, self-doubt, etc., the problem is, we’re thinking like amateurs. Amateurs don’t show up. Amateurs crap out. Amateurs let adversity defeat them. The pro thinks differently. He shows up, he does his work, he keeps on truckin’, no matter what.

“Simply put, a professional is someone who takes their responsibilities and career seriously and is willing to make the tough choices that have to be made—often at their own expense—for the purpose of doing what they know is right.”

You vs U

WordPress Developer

WordPress vs Wordpress

(notice the lowercase “p”)

WordPress vs Wordpress

(notice the lowercase “p”)

Whew. That was a lot.

Perspective is important

WordPress will change your life if you let it

Chris Lema