For more than a decade now, I’ve been using WordPress. Using is a keyword here. I’ve been using it without contributing back.
WordPress has reached 20 years this year, primarily due to the thousands of volunteers who contribute to its continuous development and maintenance, keeping it alive.
Looking back, it was working on WordPress-based projects that opened a lot of opportunities for me. The projects and jobs I got from it put me in a position where I could provide a comfortable life for my family.
I could say that if it weren’t for WordPress, I would not be where I am at now.
Applied as a speaker for WordCamp Cebu 2023
I had the intention to give back for a long time but I did not know where to start. When I saw that WordCamp Cebu was looking out for speakers, I applied.
My topic was not even about promoting myself, or any of my work or expertise. It was about how I personally use WordPress and why I think it’s the right choice for a CMS as it guarantees that you own and control what you produce.
As a speaker, I had the chance to meet Drew, the lead organizer of WordCamp Manila, and Dreb, the lead organizer of WordCamp Davao, at the welcome dinner. It was super fun to hang out with them, an experience that becomes increasingly rare as I grow older. It felt like being around with my kind of people.
Attended WordCamp Asia 2023
The following month, WordCamp Asia took place. I connected with more people, and it was surprisingly easy to get along with them. It felt like WordCamps attract a certain kind of people who are open and inclusive by default.
The after parties were so enjoyable that the people I was with expressed a desire to bring that same fun back to our local community.
We started casually talking on organizing WordCamp Manila. No concrete plans yet, but it planted a seed with everybody about making it happen.
Helped organize WordCamp Manila 2023
After coming back home, I started getting more involved with the local community. I did another talk in a meetup, I volunteered, and I was always present in-person and in our weekly calls.
Last November 11, we finally made WordCamp Manila 2023 happen.
It’s just amazing how one thing always lead to another.
Getting involved made me realize that community work is a key factor in sustaining WordPress’ longevity. With organizing a WordCamp event, even if we inspire just a single person to contribute back, it will help WordPress. And I’m hoping that we did.
I work with very talented people who’s an active contributor to WordPress. I’d like to explore more ways to contribute back, especially to Core and Hosting, which is directly tied to my work at Human Made.
No concrete plans yet, but let’s see what happens.
I did all this with the pure intention to contribute back, not expecting anything in return. I felt like it’s time for me to give back. However, I still ended up gaining more than I gave – new friends.
WordPress just keeps on giving.