001: How did we get here?

It’s finally here, episode one of Women in WP, where we answer the question, how did we get here? Find out the backstory of this not really new idea, how we decided to come together and why this podcast is needed now more than ever. We hope you stick around for this journey.

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Women in WP | WordPress Podcast
001: How did we get here?


Amy M.: 00:01 Welcome to Women in WordPress, a bimonthly podcast about women who blog, design, develop, and more in the WordPress community. I’m Amy Masson. I’m here with my friends, Angela Bowman and Tracy Apps.

Tracy A.: 00:01 Hello.

Angela B.: 00:20 Hello.

Amy M.: 00:22 I’m going to just jump right in and tell the story of how this happened and how we got to this point. In December I was planning my drive from West Lafayette to Nashville for WordCamp US, and I was loading up my phone with some industry podcasts so I could educate myself on the road like I like to do. For some reason I can’t stand to listen to music in the car on long trips.

Amy M.: 00:22 I noticed all of the podcasts were hosted by men. And it crossed my mind, why don’t any of these podcasts have women hosts? And I know there are a few, but I just feel like so many are dominated by men. So I kind of brought it up a little bit at WordCamp US, you know, kind of throw it out there and I felt like I didn’t get a big response, at least from the woman I talked to at the conference. But I got back and I put out a tweet saying, I have this idea for a Women of WordPress podcast. Is there any interest? And that tweet had 54 comments, 142 likes, and 31 retweets, which, you know, maybe for someone like the Kardashians that’s not a big deal. For me, that was a huge response and I was totally overwhelmed. But it really reinforced that maybe this is something that needed to happen. Two of the people that responded were Angela and Tracy, and so I reached out to them to see if they wanted to be involved.

Angela B.: 02:00 Yeah, when I saw that tweet, I was like, oh my gosh, someone else has this idea. I talked to Tracy about a podcast in 2015 when we were at LoopConf. But when we talked about that, it was just so daunting, the whole idea of doing a podcast. But when you said it, it was like, oh, someone else wants to do that. And I still had that interest kind of burning there for the past few years.

Tracy A.: 03:00 One of the things that I noticed very vividly at LoopConf was that it was very developer heavy and therefore unlike WordCamps, which has a really great balance of genders and starting to get more diversity. LoopConf was, especially the first one, very heavily dominated by men and all of us women, between sessions, we all just kind of found each other and we ended up kind of automatically, you know, hanging out and talking. And that’s where we started talking about this podcast idea. And everyone that we talked to actually had some pushback. They didn’t want to have women being set apart. But that is not the intention of this by any means. It’s more of formulating the community, bonding together in a place where we are the minority in this industry.

Amy M.: 03:31 And do you think that there’s been a shift in 2019 with the me too movement that maybe women are more interested in hearing from other women rather than just maybe taking a sideline to the men, or maybe that’s not the right way to phrase it, but do you feel like there’s something that’s changed this time around than when you guys first had the idea?

Angela B.: 03:55 I think there’s been a huge shift in the past four years. I think there’s been a lot more conversation around the numbers of women in tech. There’s been a lot more industry talk about and studies of different companies. When they include women and they include diversity, that they actually perform better. And so I think that there’s just more of an openness to talk about it’s being an issue, and there’s value in having women. But then there’s also been studies that there’s value in women-only conferences and kind of these women-only things isn’t so much about discriminating against men. It’s more that when you’re in an industry that you’re underrepresented in and having to hit that glass ceiling that these women-only conferences and events really do help women to feel more confident and more positive and financial benefit as a result of participating in those. So I think there’s just a lot more talk about the whole topic. It’s kind of opened up more I feel like in the past four years.

Amy M.: 05:06 Yeah. And I definitely want to make sure that everybody understands that this isn’t a, you know, man bashing podcast or that we hate men. That’s not the case. And it’s not a podcast about complaining about how we are mistreated or under treated or whatever words we want to use. Uh, you know, words are my great forte here. Um, but it’s just something that says here, we’re here, we’re out here, we’re doing great work, we love this field. We just want to support each other and provide a space for showcasing what we’re doing and what other people are doing in this industry. And I think, the WordPress community especially has something really special and it’s different than I think the other open source or other tech communities are.

Tracy A.: 05:59 Yeah, absolutely. And like what you said is that the community, banding together and showcasing, in my, at least in my realm, I’ve been self employed for many years, with, you know, sometimes working contract and working with teams, but a lot of the times just working solo and that whole imposter syndrome coupled with being a minority in a field, it just seemed to magnify that. And so to have this platform basically to lift up people and be like, nope, actually there are more of us and, we’re doing amazing things. So let’s highlight that.

Angela B.: 07:37 Yeah. I host a couple of meetup groups. So one meetup group is mostly for developers, people who are responsible for building sites for other people. And when I started that meetup group, I kind of started co-organizing it with someone else who was actually the organizer of the group and kind of took it over from him. But, there were mostly men, and I would be in the room talking to 12 or 15 dudes. And I was like, either the only woman or there might have been one other woman in the room. And these guys were super respectful. You know, I kind of at times would feel a little verklempt because I’d be like, wow, these guys are here and they’re listening to what I have to say. And it just like, so it was so amazing to me, but at the same time where were the women? But I just kept at it and kept at it and kept at it. And then the women started to come. And I think the reason the women came was because it was led by a woman. Had this meetup group been led by a guy and with, you know, 12 or 16 guys showing up every month, I don’t think other women would have felt as safe to come. But now we have more like equal numbers, men and women. And I think that is in large part because I’m the one who’s leading it and I’m a woman and that automatically creates a safe space for women and they are super smart and doing developer level work. And it is challenging when it is mail dominated.

Amy M.: 08:22 That’s amazing that you were able to get so many women. I don’t have a local WordPress community in my town, but there is a local open source community and you know, there, I’m friends with the people that run it. And for years, the person that was kind of managing all the meetings, and he’s a huge feminist, was really trying to get, you know, women, he was champion women, come to our meetups, show up, we want you to be there. And so I did. I went to one. I knew the people there and I, you know, I, it was fine. I enjoy talking to them, but I was the only woman in the room, and it was uncomfortable and I don’t, and I never went back, even though I know these men and I like these men, I just never went back because I didn’t feel like it was for me. It wasn’t a space that I felt like I belonged even though I did. So I think that that is something that’s led me to where I am today and wanting to create more spaces where women can come together and, and you know, talk about what we do and be nerds because I just really liked being a nerd.

Tracy A.: 09:29 Yeah. I mean, it’s interesting because in a lot of areas of my life, in my history of my journey, like I started off when in college, in a computer engineering at an engineering school. I was very often the only woman in the class. I played drums. And then, you know, that was one of those things where all the guys were drummers, right? A percussion sections and such. But I’ve always felt like this challenge and I just wanted to stick with it, because one of the things that I bring to the table, this value that I bring, is that I have a different perspective. And like you said, it’s not okay bash or have criticism against the male dominated space, but that kind of standard stereotypical male developer for example. But I go through life differently. I think of things differently. We all do when we’re women in this world even. So things like safety when we’re making products, those kinds of things aren’t always thought it through because if you don’t experience them yourself, that doesn’t necessarily get on the table. Someone who has experienced that or has the empathy of, you know, seeing that in their life or close by their life, brings that to the table sometimes. Cause a lot of times it gets overlooked.

Angela B.: 11:11 That’s interesting. You mentioned the word empathy because that’s something, I’m sure you all go to enough word camps to know, that’s been a big topic lately. Like empathy in code, empathy in development, empathy for your users. Yeah, I think women do kind of bring some of that empathetic perspective to the table for sure.

Amy M.: 11:38 Well, I’m also really hoping that this podcast can help women that are in this field, but are struggling with imposter syndrome. I noticed that that’s something that all three of us experience,when I went to my first WordCamp now. So I started my business in 2006 and I went to my first WordCamp in 2013. And so there were a lot of years of just working all by my self in my house and not talking to anybody else who was doing the same thing. Like I said, I don’t have a WordPress community here locally. There are people that are doing it, but there’s no kind of organized, movement. So I just had not talked to anybody else using WordPress at all before that WordCamp. And I went in absolutely terrified. I sat in the back. I didn’t talk to anybody else except for the people I came with. I left feeling better about myself, but, you know, there were talks about imposter syndrome at that camp, so that really gave me a little more perspective. But I’m hoping that sharing other women’s stories in this podcast, we’ll also help other people that felt like I felt at that first WordCamp.

Tracy A.: 12:49 Yeah that’s a really good point because I felt the same way when I started doing WordPress development. I don’t even know. My first blog was on b2, which is the code base that ended up becoming WordPress. I’ve been doing this stuff since then and you know, had a blog before, comments were around, all that kind of stuff. But again, it was in a silo. This was before stack overflow, the stack overflows of the world weren’t even around, and you had to piece together everything through books, maybe some websites, you know, to do this like development stuff. But very, very siloed. Especially because now it, it didn’t even have like articles to read that for someone at my level learning this stuff.

Tracy A.: 13:44 And, yeah, it was when I started going to the WordCamps is when I really started seeing like, wait a minute, like one I was really impressed by how big WordPress is like, it’s so huge. There is a real sense of community, which I think I really need to like call attention to that and celebrate that because you know, you know, these big corporations or something, anything that gets big, it starts feeling just big and you just feel anonymous. So this I was seeing, I was like, oh, there’s a core community, there’s community, there are people you are able to share things with and learn from each other. And it was just, it was mind blowing really.

Amy M.: 14:35 Oh, I know. I wanted to add on to your story about this community. So, you know, I kind of stumbled into it by way of a having a mommy blog that I wrote about my family. But, you know, before I was using it professionally, that’s what I used it for. But, so I, you know, like I said, I didn’t know anything about the WordPress community until 2013. I was just looking at other people’s websites, that other people were making websites. And their website would have a woman’s name on it and it wasn’t WordPress. It was some kind of e-commerce site she had white labeled. Like I was looking at the source code and I could see she’d white labeled it and I sent her this message and I said, hey, you know, I am also, you know, I build websites.

Amy M.: 15:18 So I was wondering what you’re using, what, you know, what is this content management system, that you’ve got white labeled. And she responded. She was like, well, obviously I can’t tell you that. I am sure you understand. And I was just shocked. I couldn’t believe that I got that response, that she would not tell me what she was doing. And then, you know, once I learned about WordPress and all these people in WordPress and everybody just vomits their information all over you, every time you talk to them. It’s such a different dynamic.

Angela B.: 15:52 Yeah. It’s interesting cause I love the whole mommy-blogger-to-developer story. I think that is so fabulous. It’s should be a headline or something. I was kind of similar to Tracy. I had been building static html sites and took this class in CSS and at the very, very, very last five minutes of class., the guy was like, well, if you’re going to use CSS, you might want to look into using a content management system. And WordPress is the thing that people are really into. And he also mentioned Joomla and I think Drupal and he explained how to install WordPress. And so I went home that night, you know, like 9:30 at night and I start the Famous Five Minute Install.

Tracy A.: 16:47 Before the five-second install stuff

Amy M.: No Fantastico, right?

Angela B.: 16:50 No, there were no auto installers. Yeah, by midnight I completed the Five Minute Install. But I like felt like, wow, no, this is the future. And I just knew it and it was in 2007 and I’d been working, building some sites and struggling with “What is a style sheet? What’s, what is this, what are these templates? Where are they even existing?” Like how do you get a widgetized sidebar? You know, that was the big thing. Then it’s like, can I just get a sidebar that I can put widgets in?

Amy M.: 17:26 Now, we all hate widgets and we all hate and side bars.

Angela B.: 17:32 Right! That’s awesome. So I went to this all women designers group, and I was invited to just go to this group and there was another woman there using WordPress and it was like, wow, you use WordPress? I use WordPress!!! And we started working together and sharing our struggles and trials and tribulations. And then we thought we should teach classes cause we’ve figured some stuff out. Let’s vomit on people. And it was hard to get people to sign up. We had to cancel a few. No one knew what WordPress was, but it’s like it grew and, and it’s amazing how little kinds of information there were. But there were a few people online sharing information and, and that was, you know, you’d Google a lot. You’d have to figure out a lot, but there wasn’t quite the wealth of knowledge at all that there is now.

Tracy A.: 18:29 Yeah. I have to make a confession cause I also started like hard coding html and before CSS and would just use tables. Oh for sure.

Angela B.: 18:39 Yup. 100%.

Tracy A.: 18:40 And that one by one pixel transparent spacer Gif. But I’ll admit I did not understand how themes worked and I couldn’t wrap my brain around it because I was used to this file showing up, because you know, like this is the URL because the file is this path, so I could not figure out themes. So I would basically hard code a whole website and then just take the WordPress guts and throw it in the middle of the table and done.

Amy M.: 19:18 If you’ve been doing this long enough, I think that we’ve all done this.

Angela B.: 19:26 Before I really knew how to call for different things conditionally, I got a PHP developer to help me. Right. And I had like 10 different sidebar.php files that I’d called for conditionally. But you know, if we looked back at some of our old sites… But that’s all part of what I think is great about this community is people are willing to share and you don’t have to be super, super embarrassed to be like, ugh, I don’t get it.

Amy M.: 20:02 And I think episode two should just be US showing our first sites.

Tracy A.: 20:06 Oh no, no, that’d be awful. Oh, it would be worse than baby pictures.

Angela B.: 20:17 Teenage pictures. Yeah.

Amy M.: 20:19 Well, I think, you know, going forward, what we want to do, I think we’ve all agreed on this is we want to bring in other women to be guests on the show and talk to them about their journey and how they got into WordPress and what they’re doing with WordPress. So I wanted to start by asking each of you your journey and how you got to WordPress.

Tracy A.: 20:44 Well, I’ll start. Like I said, my first blog was in b2. But backup. Before that, like how I got into just design development in the first place. I remember it was like 1996 and I want to say it was like the summer because I didn’t think I had school the next day. I was in high school, and I was browsing cause we finally had a computer that called the Internet, and it was amazing. And I would just spend hours clicking on links and seeing people like make these websites. Well even then, they were pretty horrendous patterned backgrounds, animated gifs galore. But I was realizing that these sites were actually being made, some of them, by people that were my age. So I was like, oh, someday I want to do that. And I stopped myself mid thought sentence in my thoughts. I was like, oh, I don’t have school tomorrow. So I stayed up all night, tied up the only phone line in the house. So I got in trouble from my parents because what if there was an emergency?

Angela B.: 21:56 What if there was an emergency? Yes.

Tracy A.: 21:59 But I taught myself and I made my first website. I then I bought html books and I just kind of went from there and then, you know, saw whoa BLOGs!, this sounds like a great idea. I could put all of these things, all of my thoughts and just puke them up on the Internet. Cool. Uh, and it just snowballed from there.

Angela B.: 22:21 Yeah, my story. I started in the 90s as well with html cause I worked for a software company, and I was responsible for their post-release technical notes, and they had to be posted online. So I kind of had to learn how to put all this text into html. So I knew basic html and it wasn’t until a few years later, during the dot com crash, that I was out of a job, and I actually said this when I did the keynote talk for WordCamp Denver last year. My keynote was about he strange ways we come to be where we are and the chance meetings and, being willing to help other people that kind of takes us on the next step of our path. But I was unemployed and helping this old lady who was having issues with her computer and some files she lost. And a woman there saying that, “Oh, you’re good with computers. You should volunteer for our nonprofit organization.” And then the nonprofit needed a website, and I needed to figure out how to build a nice fancy website. And so I used, um, Microsoft Front Page.

Angela B.: 23:31 Yeah. So Microsoft Front Page and I made what I thought was a nice website, but then there was this transition between people wanting brochures to people wanting websites. And so I knew graphic design and people stopped asking for brochures and start asking for websites. It was in that path that I got into WordPress after several years of building those table-based sites. But the community part of that was pretty key because I don’t think I would’ve been able to be doing what I’m doing now without getting away from working on my own by myself in my own space because by meeting other women and other people in the space and being able to partner with them and get help and, you know, someone who is maybe more skilled in PHP than I am or someone who’s a better designer or better writer. Like it is amazing. I think a lot of people come to WordPress thinking that they have to be everything.

Angela B.: 24:46 And, and I think it’s just so important to realize that you don’t have to know it all. You don’t have to be at all, you just have to be resourced and be able to pull in other people to help you. And I think that’s kind of what you do, Amy. Right?

Amy M.: 25:01 Yeah. I really, I try to be everything to everyone and it doesn’t work. And so I think one of the best things that’s ever happened to me in my career is finding other people to do the things that I don’t know how or I’m not good at or I just don’t want to do. So my path to WordPress started in the 90s, in 1995 when I made my first website and then my sophomore year of college back when we were using Netscape. I learned and taught myself html by looking. I didn’t have a book like Tracy. I wasn’t fancy, but I taught myself html by reading the source code on other websites. And I would just look at their source code and I would copy and paste and make my website. And it was mostly about, you know, this was college, so it was about politics and drinking. I think that was mostly it. But you know, I left college knowing how to make websites. I took a few computer classes for part of my major in education, but then I went on to be a teacher. So I was teaching middle school computers, so I was still, you know, in the computer industry by happenstance, just that, that was the only job I got offered at the time. I spent a few years teaching computers until my son was born and I decided to stay home and I had no intention of doing anything other than teaching.

Amy M.: 26:21 My plan was to be home with my kids and then when they went back to school, I was going to go back to teaching. And instead what happened is that my hairdresser needed a website and she asked me, I know she asked me, I really should send her a thank you card. I think we’re still Facebook friends. She asked me to make her a website for salon, so I did and then one of her hair clients had a boutique in town and asked her about it. And so she called me up one day and said, hey, I’ve got this lead for you, you should call her. And so I did. And I got that job. And, so in my business, I work with my sister, she’s a designer, which I’m not. So we were able to kind of merge our skills too, be a full service, you know, website-making company cause we had the skills to get it built and design it and people just started coming to us.

Amy M.: 27:12 And you know, a lot of it started by referral and you know, 13 years later now we’re full time with people that work with us. And I am really, really glad that I didn’t go back to teaching.

Tracy A.: 27:23 And actually that brings up a really interesting point. Like what is your degree in? Cause like are you, is it, you know, computer based?

Amy M.: 27:33 So my main degree and I should pull up my diploma at somewhere around here. Um, it is, um, secondary education. Um, but my main um, area of subject was English, so I was going to be an English teacher. Um, one of the options they had was to become licensed to, they called it a computer endorsement so you could get licensed to teach computers. You just took like an extra 12 credit hours and I had room in my schedule and I liked the instructor of the first class. And so I’m just like, what I can do that. And then I’ve got this little, this little good on my resume that I’ve got this computer endorsement so I can teach computers. And then, you know, I just happened to send resumes to every school with an opening and this one was the one that hired me. And so that’s kind, I should send that person a thank you card to go cause that’s how I ended up teaching computers.

Tracy A.: 28:20 That’s awesome. Angela, what about you?

Angela B.: 28:22 Well, I was a high school dropout. I wow. Yeah, I was like a gifted and talented student who was also bad. I mean, I wasn’t really a bad girl. I got all straight A’s. I went to all my classes, but I got pregnant at 14 and I dropped out of high school and you know, it was kind of this moment of wow, how am I going to get back up into the level with my peers? It was, it was pretty intense and I knew I was going to keep the baby. It was like, wow, I’m going to have to work my ass off to make this happen. And I really wanted to be able to go back to school. So I got my GED when my daughter was four years old and I went to the community college and I got a degree at the time.

Angela B.: 29:20 Like they did have some really interesting classes there. But I think in my mindset, as a woman, I felt like, oh, I need to get a secretarial degree. You know, like that was the kind of track that I felt pushed towards, and it seemed practical, you know, to have these office skills. But really what I got was kind of a computer applications degree, and I was so good that the school hired me while I was taking these classes to actually teach the other students in the class.

Amy M.: 29:50 Wow. Nice.

Angela B.: 29:51 Yeah. So I ended up running the computer lab, tutoring other students, but this is like, this is before Windows. You guys like, this is really dating me, but this is like, it’s like dual disc, floppy drive days, you know. Like DOS, this is WordPerfect.

Amy M.: 30:07 This is King’s quest. A little Rogue. I can get on some DOS with you.

Angela B.: 30:14 Yeah, let’s do it baby. Hey, I can rock those terminal commands now. But anyway, so yeah. So then, I got that degree. I became a secretary, and I hated it, absolutely hated it. And I thought I want to go back to school. I always wanted to get my bachelor’s degree. And I went to CU (the University of Colorado), the thing that I was most drawn to my first semester, I took a class called Women in Religion, and it was so fascinating to me. So I ended up being a Religious Studies major and loving it. And I had a big emphasis in Buddhism, Hinduism, Christian traditions. I took some Islam, Sufism, Native American traditions, and I just loved liberal arts. I did a lot of film studies and dance.

Angela B.: 31:08 I’m a product of a liberal arts education. And I really crafted it to my liking. And then I graduated and it was like, oh, now I need to get a job. And so I went straight into software.

Amy M.: 31:22 That is an amazing path.

Tracy A.: 31:23 That is great.

Amy M.: 31:25 I think you just blew us all out of the water.

Tracy A.: 31:27 I’m an artist because I just have a general art degree. No focus. Just be BA Art.

Amy M.: 31:35 Now what do you do with a BA in art?

Tracy A.: 31:38 Whatever you make up.

Amy M.: 31:40 Okay. I just wondered what a path would be for that.

Tracy A.: 31:45 Yeah. That’s uh, that would be the complaint of parents around the world of “what are you going to do with that?”

Amy M.: 31:52 Well, that’s the same like with a history degree. It’s like, great, you know a lot about history. What do you do with that?

Tracy A.: 31:56 Exactly. Exactly. But yeah, I had started doing client work when I was in college, so when I graduated with my BA in art, I already had a portfolio of client work, at least three years’ of client work because everyone wanted to hire a college student because they were cheap. And I loved working. That was more than ramen noodles. That’s a win in my book when I was in college. So yeah, it was just one of those, we just kind of make your own path.

Angela B.: 32:33 I’m really curious with you, Tracy, you have really great artistic sensibilities and you know the design sensibilities, but you’re also a damn good coder. So where do you find yourself in terms of your left brain, right brain and what do you love the most and how did you discover that you were a good coder?

Tracy A.: 32:58 It’s funny that you ask that because every time when I would try to apply to jobs, I wouldn’t know what to apply for. I didn’t have a good way of describing what I did because for me, I’ve always viewed, especially when I was doing design for anything technology, Internet based, it was like, well the design is just one piece of it. The interaction with it is also a part of the design. Though the content that the writing style, all of that is a part of the design, like all of that. So I’ve never been able to separate the two, especially when it comes to doing web design.

Tracy A.: 33:41 So I really started to sharpen my skills as a developer when I was working with other developers, either actually taught myself CSS from a lynda.com video from molly.com, which, I love her. But it was when I was working as I think the title was web designer for this company in Milwaukee, and we were doing everything with HTML tables and then we handed it off to the back-end developers to do the ASP dot net stuff. We did everything in tables. That’s just how we did it. We had these templates and then I was like, this CSS might actually be really cool. So I was the first front end, you know, web designer to make a fully CSS layout at this, this company. So just like spending that time and learning from others has been invaluable.

Tracy A.: 34:49 Working at being pushed really hard cause I am stubborn. Like I’m not naturally smart and these things I just work really hard cause I don’t want to like look stupid kind of thing. So I end up, you know, spending extra hours when I’m in an agency world for example, that has this like skip process. And all of these, they use gulp or grunt or all this other stuff. So I was like, all right, well, I need to figure this stuff out. And so yeah, I just do a lot of research and yeah, I guess that’s it and practice it a lot.

Angela B.: 34:49 Amy, do you have that same kind of tenacity? Are you dog on a bone with things?

Amy M.: 35:38 Oh yeah. Oh yeah. No. Once I see something I want to make happen, I won’t stop until it happens. So yeah, I’m definitely like that. And I’m also just a really big nerd. So, you know, put those two things together and I will spend days staring at my screen. I’m trying to figure something out that I just know can happen. I know it can happen and I just, I know I’m going to figure it out if I sit here and, and Google enough and look at it enough stuff. So my skills are almost entirely self taught even though I do have that computer endorsement that has helped me so much in my career. I am learning all the time, too. So it’s never ending. I really want to take a day where we all look at all our old sites because I just think of even what I did five years ago compared to what I’m doing now, I just feel like there’s a different person that was making those websites then. Wow.

Tracy A.: 36:28 Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.

Angela B.: 36:31 And it would be interesting to know like, you know, we all have a tenacity for self learning, which I think we’ll probably find with a lot of women that we interview that they really had to kind of pave their own path and, and dig in quite a bit to do that. But then also this idea of how do we grow and what has helped people grow, you know. And what kind of supports did you get? For example, there’s this one theme that I’ve used to build a lot of sites. The developer of that theme, he’s younger than me by probably 20 years. And he’s so great cause he’ll give me a hard time about stuff like “Angela, I cannot believe you’re still using Coda. You know, like the kids are all now using Atom or Visual Studio. But he also taught me Sass and Gulp and Git.

Tracy A.: 37:29 He’s like, “you really need to be using GitHub.” And so he sat down with me at a Starbucks for like four hours and just went through it all and explained it all. And then I was able to absorb it like a sponge. Then, at our next meetup I’m like, okay people, this is what we’ve got to do. And I had to teach it. But then in teaching it, I really had to get the step-by-step down. So other people maybe aren’t willing to spend eight hours figuring out these step-by-step instructions like, okay, install this, this works. If you do this, it’ll happen. And struggle with the things that you have to struggle with rather than some of this other stuff that’s a pain in the butt to have to work through.

Tracy A.: 38:17 You know, one of the experiences that I’ve had is, especially when teaching myself through online documentation of things, they already assume so much, so it starts like halfway through. Like there are these initial steps that they don’t really talk about because they assume that everyone know how this is done. I remember spending, I don’t know, like a couple hours, just trying to figure where do I put this? Is this something that I put in a file on the server? Is this something that I type into a command line? Like I just needed that. The documentation was set up for people that already had experience with it.

Amy M.: 38:59 Oh yeah. It’s like the furniture you get where it says step one open package, step two assemble.

Angela B.: 39:08 Yeah. I have a lot of, I have a lot of empathy for people now on the WordPress Forums when someone will throw out a snippet to put in your function file and not explain where it goes. It’s clear to me now that I know.

Tracy A.: 39:13 Right, yeah, where do I, what do I put this?

Angela B.: 39:22 And sometimes people can diss on them a little bit and it’s like, “Hey, wait a minute. There was a day where you didn’t know how to put that I guarantee you.”

Amy M.: 39:31 When I see those people chime in, I sometimes have to respond and just say, look, you know, we all started somewhere. So let’s try and be kind and I think we’re kind of running at a time here on our very first episode. So real quick, you want to let everybody know where they can find you online. Tracy.

Tracy A.: 39:50 I’m tapps most places, T Apps because my last name is Apps. You can find my most of stuff at @tapps and https://tapps.design

Amy M.: 40:01 And Angela

Angela B.: 40:02 I am @askwpgirl most places.You can also find our bios and links to our social media on womeninwp.com, right?

Amy M.: 40:15 Yes. And I am @amymasson in most places. I have a number of alter egos that you can also find online. Yeah, go to our website, https://womeninwp.com and follow us on social media and sign up to be a guest and, or just even to follow us or to let us know what you want to hear about because we’re new and we don’t know what we’re doing. So we need to hear from people to find out what direction we should go. Well, we’ll see everybody next time.

One comment on “001: How did we get here?

  1. Welcome to the wonderful world of WordPress podcasting! It’s great to see a women lead and focused WordPress podcast. I run a small podcast myself, and I would like to invite all of you to be guests on my show. I wish you all the very best.

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