Support WordPress

New year, new journey

If anybody here knows me (personally or virtually) then there’s no point in reminding that I’m in the customer support business. I always liked to help others and this is what drives me to do my job every day. It might sound a bit cheesy but well, this is it, there’s nothing to hide.

Also, I always liked to learn new things, whether it’s about my job (read a book about working with clients or to improve the writing skills) or about my skills. One of the last few things that I learned lately is riding a motorcycle (it’s winter season right now so no fun for now). Also, I recently read a book called The productivity habit that I would recommend. I know there’s room to improve this side (at least for me).

What else?

The most recent thing that I’m trying to learn about in my spare time is JavaScript. I worked with WordPress for around five years now and I’m pretty sure that I won’t stop working with it anytime soon. In order to stay up-to-date and make sure that I can work with WordPress in the long run, I decided that it’s time to allocate some time to learn JavaScript. As the founder of WordPress said, it’s time to “Learn JavaScript, deeply.“. Contrarily to what everybody else might think, my guess is that this won’t be mandatory only for developers. I mean yes, right now it’s not enough to know only PHP anymore in order to work with WordPress. However, even from the position of being a support person is important to identify a user’s problem as fast as possible. Well, sometimes, a simple investigation might be worth a lot in the eyes of the customer when you’ll be able to fix the problem he has just by pointing the place that’s causing the issue he has.

I know that this advice (about learning JavaScript) was launched in 2016 but I think that it’s still not too late to start. This is the time when everything changes in the WordPress ecosystem, things are moving to a new editor, a new way of doing things… basically a new WordPress (well not entirely, mostly improved).

Why all this story?

I wanted to share how did I start learning JavaScript. It all began with a mail from Codecademy about some enrollment offer. I was curious about what else I can find on their website. They had a 30-hours JavaScript course and challenged me to work at least half-an-hour a day on it (why just 30 minutes and not more? Maybe I’ll write another article about this). However, I managed to finish it in about two weeks (along with my full-time job). The next step is to go through some more courses (some ReactJS too) and read the books from the You Don’t Know JS series.

I know that right now things are pretty simple when it comes to support: a little bit of CSS, maybe a line of PHP to change the query and everything’s fine. However, things are changing, Gutenberg is here, and even understanding just the basics of how everything works will definitely be very helpful.

This is it for now. If anybody has some other resources that might be helpful for learning JavaScript, leave a message and I’ll definitely have a look. Also, I would love to hear some other stories about learning journeys.


Is WordCamp an important thing?

Let me start this article by making crystal clear the fact that these thoughts have nothing to do with my job as a customer support at Pixelgrade. They're my humble opinion about WordCamp events in general.

I feel the need to share that WordCamp is the place where I always find great people that inspire me by their perspective on WordPress. They're also folks that are money driven, which is fine as long as I can have a relevant chat about common topics. However, most of the people are looking to share their knowledge, make you feel better, ask you witty questions or even congratulate for doing a great job. How cool is that?

The moral of the story: attend a WordCamp, I can assure that you won’t regret it. I had the chance to talk with Zac Gordon, a great teacher from JS for WP, find out about a new product that would compete with WPML and, the best part, start working for the community in reviewing themes from Yaaay!

I’m a support guy that gives his best to help everybody during the day, but after 6 PM I’m trying to learn new things, and I believe that by reviewing themes and following different courses I improve my skill set. I have a feeling that I can't quit any of these two areas since both recharge my batteries and improve my energy level on a daily basis. I always loved teaching other people things that I know, and by following this path of being a customer support and learning new things, I can keep my dream alive and kicking.

As you might notice, I switched the topic a bit, but the whole point is that the WordCamps events are the ones which made me aware of the importance of never giving up and surrounding myself with people who share the same mindset.

In just a few words, the moral of the story would be this one: attend a WordCamp (or at least a local meetup), I can assure that you won’t regret it. In fact, you will thank me later.