WordPress makes me, and a lot of other people, very happy

This past weekend, WordCamp Europe 2014 was held in Sofia, Bulgaria. A great event which underlines what makes the WordPress community what it is today. In this post I will try to share my story with WordPress, and how it got me happier.

When I started with WordPress

It’s June 4th 2009, a rather cold Thursday in Berkel en Rodenrijs. I wake up, take a shower and dress casual. Together with my wife I have breakfast. When she goes off to work, I start the engine of my last company lease car. My destination: The Chamber Of Commerce of The Hague, in Zoetermeer. I’m going to start my own company and call it nostromo.nl. Nostromo is Italian for boatswain, or just Bootsman, which is my family name. After some formalities I walked out the door as a company owner. Now bring on the customers!

Well, it’s not going to happen that easy, and of course I knew that. To prevent this blog being a guide-to-the-starting-entrepeneur, I’ll just say, grow yourself a good network of trustworthy people. And so I did, I joined business clubs, lots of business clubs. And yes, I grew a network. And yes, my first customer arrived. I was happy (oh, I still am). This customer wanted a new website and I had to select a CMS for it. Obviously, WordPress came out as a winner. Version 2.8.1 was not as cool as 4.0 is right now, but for me WordPress was already a winner. After presenting the possibilities to the customer, I got a signed proposal. I was happy again! The customer finally got a custom-built child theme based on the Default theme.

Since that first customer, I have built a lot of WordPress sites, done a lot of coding, done technical maintenance for WordPress sites and gave advise to costumers about their WordPress challenges. And I still do all these things! I managed to be successful with WordPress and run a healthy company thanks to WordPress. Thinking about that, I wanted to give something back to the community, and also give others the possibility to be successful with WordPress.

How I joined the WordPress community

Because I was following a lot of Dutch WordPress professionals on Twitter, I read a tweet about WordCamp Netherlands 2010. Curious to see what that was, I bought a ticket. On November 6th, I arrived in Utrecht, had a packed day of cool talks, lot’s of conversations and a great lunch. The first conversation I had that day was with Remkus de Vries (@DeFries), when I checked in for WordCamp. “Hey nostromo, goedemorgen!” was what Remkus said. And of course I replied and we had a short conversation. I consider that moment to be the very moment on which I joined the WordPress community. I wanted to participate, and so I did.

Where I am now

At this moment I contribute to WordPress in many ways:

  • I’m a moderator in the Dutch WordPress support forum,
  • I’m part of the Dutch translation team,
  • Stepped down as an organizer for WPMeetup010 (Rotterdam),
  • Part of the organizing team for WordCamp Europe 2013,
  • Part of the organizing team for WordCamp Netherlands 2014.

Where I want to be

I want to keep being happy about the work I do. I don’t even consider it as work right now, it’s having fun and getting paid to do it. Being part of a community where people don’t see sharing as a threat is amazing. And I hope to be part of it for a very, very long time. Oh, and I want to be at WordCamp Europe 2015, this year I had to miss it because of happy family obligations.

Thanks for reading this blog. If you have any questions on how to contribute to WordPress or any other WordPress related question, drop a comment or send me a message. Contact details can be found on this site, somewhere.

Marcel Bootsman

Marcel is a WordPress consultant and builds and maintains WordPress websites at his own company: nostromo.nl

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