Artemy Kaydash discovered that working with WordPress has opened possibilities greater than he imagined. For him, the “active, responsive, and enthusiastic community” makes the software fresh and alive with many ways to experiment and practice adapting it for clients’ needs.
Back-end development with WordPress has proven to be a rewarding career choice for Artemy. He believes developers can inspire others to choose the same career path by sharing the opportunities and satisfaction of working with the content management system (CMS).
The adventure of learning WordPress
Learning new software can be daunting, but Artemy realized that learning with and from inspiring people makes a real difference: “I vividly remember my first WordPress experience. I was confused, had many questions, and was desperately trying to understand how to do the most simple things.”
Working initially in a small agency in Ukraine, Artemy had basic HTML/CSS skills and had just started learning PHP development. His senior colleagues helped him take his first steps in web development and were patient with his questions.
The agency director later gave him the responsibility of creating a WordPress website for a friend. He recalls being nervous, as he was not yet confident in his PHP skills. Colleagues reassured Artemy as he worked, and he went on to build a career in international web development.
Like many others, Artemy found that experimenting with WordPress intrigued him, and he wanted to learn more about it. Looking back, he said: “The first theme I built was awful. It was composed of my own creative solutions and code snippets I found in searches. It had lots of bugs, but as people say, ‘the first pancake is always a bit tricky.'”
Artemy is a great believer in reflective learning, going back and reviewing a piece of development. He said: “No matter how bad it was, it was my first experience, and I learned a lot about the basic concepts of WordPress. That’s why I believe that learning by doing is the best way to learn something new.”
He added: “My advice to others is don’t be afraid of doing something awful when you create something for the first time. It’s okay. We’ve all been through that initial phase.”
“It’s nice to have a mentor when you learn something new. Luckily, you don’t need a person sitting next to you anymore. All of us have got the best mentor possible: the Internet. If you don’t know how to do something, then search for how other people have done the same thing,” Artemy said.
“No wonder some say that one of the most required skills of every developer is the willingness to learn and to know how to search for information. This is one of the reasons WordPress is one of the best options for beginners. Now there is so much more information and help available to learn, more than there was when I first began.”
Artemy feels that the willingness of others to share their experience and problem-solve together is a big strength of the WordPress community and also the reason for its ongoing success: “When you stumble upon a problem, there’s a high probability that someone already asked the same question on one of the forums or websites. If you’re lucky enough, someone already wrote a post about your problem with a great explanation of how to solve it with examples and code snippets.”
WordPress is for beginners and long-term careers
WordPress is not a software with strict limits, and it can be adapted and used in many different ways by beginners and advanced developers.
I like to learn something that excites me and makes my brain work. With WordPress, I am able to find interesting and creative solutions.
There are so many new things to learn that Artemy decided to stay in web development, and he sees it as a perfect channel for his creativity and abstract thinking. It may seem very different from his initial education in literature, sociology, and philosophy. Still, he has found those studies sharpened his skills for understanding, communicating, and working with clients on creative solutions to challenges.
Artemy enjoys the client side of his work and interacting with different studios and agencies. His international work allows him to use WordPress and WooCommerce in many different environments, both large and small, which keeps the software exciting. He said: “I believe if you want to learn something you have to practice using it a lot. Open source is a big advantage in this.” Artemy found that the more he experiences various sites and clients, the more flexible and helpful he can be in helping them find the right solution.
Inspired to help others use WordPress
A willingness to share and grow skills together is what open source environments champion. This collaborative environment inspired Artemy to focus on using WordPress professionally and to share what he learned. “There is a lot of free code and snippets available for anyone to use. I have been grateful to all of the people who have written answers on sites like Stack Overflow, written blog posts, created free plugins, and other helpful materials. It made me want to help others when I was able to.”
In August 2021, Artemy began blogging about using WordPress: “I like to think that this way I am repaying my learning debt for all the content I have consumed. It makes me happy to see that people really read my posts, and it helps them solve their WordPress problems. So, today, when I face a problem and can’t find the solution, I think it might be a great idea for a new post!”
He also likes to keep up with how other people use WordPress by visiting Stack Overflow, WordPress Facebook groups, and other communities where people ask questions almost daily. He helps where he can in those channels or gains inspiration for new content. He believes Learn.WordPress.org and the Developer Blog are valuable resources for beginners and more advanced developers too. As those resources grow, they will increasingly become a place where others can share their development knowledge and use cases.
Every community is a two-way street
Artemy encourages everyone to become a part of the WordPress community. “There are a lot of opportunities for everyone,” he said. “You can help with the translation of your favorite plugins or themes. You can create your own plugin or become a contributor to an already existing open source plugin. You can write tutorials. You can write reviews helping other people to choose the best option for them. You can help people on support forums.”
Every contribution, big or small, makes WordPress better. It is a great experience to be part of it.
Share the stories
Help share these open source contributor stories and continue to grow the community. Meet more WordPressers in the People of WordPress series.
To discover more about how to use WordPress, and start your own story, visit Learn.WordPress.org.
Thanks to Artemy Kaydash for sharing about his adventures in WordPress, and to Abha Thakor, Nalini Thakor, Meher Bala, Mark Smallman, Nicholas Garofalo, Chloe Bringmann, and Mary Baum for interviews, editorial, images, and reviews.
This People of WordPress feature is inspired by an essay originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. It highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories might otherwise go unheard. #HeroPress