I have always had a knack for technology. I still remember the summer of 2006 when I bought a PC for the first time. I would try to install Windows XP many times so to make Windows work smoothly but without any luck. It was those stubborn viruses, which would only be removed by running a virus scan, not a fresh Windows install, something I figured out later.
Although, it took me another decade – right after my MBA in 2015 – to turn my curiosity for technology into a passion after I stumbled upon web technologies from the development perspective. It is when I started learning WordPress while still working in an administrative and support capacity at an organization in my hometown.
Being an introvert in nature, the thought of working remotely providing value using technology with the freedom to choose my own work hours has always fascinated me. While becoming a digital nomad exploring nature felt like touching the sky. I knew it was quite possible after finding real stories online but I had no path to follow to turn my dream into a reality.
After spending tons of time online, figuring out the way was the easy step. Now that I look back during my initial days when I was getting started, the biggest challenge I have come to realize was to stay motivated as being all alone with the Imposter Syndrome – which I am sure every developer has faced during their careers – did take a toll on me.
I think it is not easy to stay motivated when there aren’t immediate rewards for the hard work we do. Sometimes, weeks would go by for me to not do anything but try to stay motivated and don’t just give up.
I could easily recall the evening of my last MBA exam day when I started exploring web technologies. Even just before that, I spent a good 2-3 months learning and then finding projects for web design on 99Designs until I realized that I am not very passionate about becoming a designer.
While celebrating the 68th independence day of Pakistan online I came across this amazing article by Ahmad Awais (big props) which really helped me to make a definite decision to choose WordPress over other online publishing tools.
After basic learning, I started right away working as a WordPress Power User, mostly delivering theme customizing projects for the clients in the local market while still working a day job.
All the Way WordPress
It took me another two years to finally choose WordPress as my full-time career. I moved to the capital and after many failed attempts at getting hired and desperate moments followed afterward, I finally received an offer letter from a digital agency, Centangle Interactive, where I joined as a Web Developer focused on the WordPress platform.
I consider joining Centangle as one of the best decisions of my life as it helped me with my professional growth by becoming familiar with the whole WordPress ecosystem in a supportive environment. I was being valued for my opinions in the web projects I was involved with. I was also appreciated and encouraged for the open-source work I did for the company.
During the pandemic last year, I joined a startup viz. UPTEK. The company provides web development services to its international clientele. I have been trusted with the opportunity to work on some of the premium freelancing platforms on behalf of the company.
While apart from the developer role at the company, I am also involved in client communication and project management which has been an exciting journey for me so far with lots of learning almost every day.
WordPress introduced me to the world of open-source software and the WordPress community itself. WordPress community connects WordPress enthusiasts via monthly Meetups, annual WordCamps, virtual collaborations like contributions to the WordPress project, and a whole lot more.
The WordPress community made me a firm believer in the power of open-source software and an enthusiast who enjoys a great deal to contribute back to the WordPress community via writing, speaking, and helping organize meetups.
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to write open-source software for the WordPress platform and feel humbled to contribute to the WordPress core. I have also had the privilege to speak as well as help organize the monthly WordPress Meetups and the annual WordCamp(s) for the Islamabad/Rawalpindi WordPress community.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to help start the Elementor Community Islamabad Chapter – which organizes monthly Elementor Meetups. Yet that is not it, I have met some really humble people over the years, whom I proudly call my besties. I met these fine folks on a train on my way to WordCamp Karachi 2018 which was the very first WordCamp in Pakistan. It is all made possible by WordPress and its community and for that, I am forever grateful.
Now fast forward to the present, I have been traveling and exploring every corner of the country almost every other month with my train buddies by fulfilling my dream of traveling.
If anything, one of the main takeaways, why I shared my story, is to stay persistent. I know it is hard to stay motivated and break into this industry. But if you are determined, then WordPress will surely reward you as It can’t be said in any better words than by the words of the very Chris Lema himself:
“WordPress will change your life if you let it”
So, if you are starting out then get yourself a clear path and just dive in doing WordPress as things will get better for you over time as they were for me, I promise. Good Luck!