Favorite things to do in Austin: Craft beer and sports!
- Aaron Brazell is a long-time core contributor to WordPress and has been involved in several startups including Austin's own WP Engine. He wrote The WordPress Bible (Wiley) and has been providing high-end WordPress development solutions to clients for much of the past 3 years. He has also traveled around the country speaking at a variety of industry events relating to open source, media and social marketing.
- Aaron has written code to assist developers using various open government APIs and Twitter integrations and has contributed code to almost every major WordPress version for the past several years. He moved to Austin in 2010 after spending most of the previous 20 years in the Baltimore/Washington region. In his free time, Aaron spends most of his time thinking about craft beer, sports and photography.
- [Photo by René Lego Photography]
- WHO IS AARON BRAZELL?
- I wrote the WordPress Bible. It's in second edition now, so it's actually -- the second edition had 50 or 60 extra pages of new content. I wrote it in such a way that beginners who are just getting started and getting their feet wet can pick it up, they can learn what they need to learn, and be able to move forward.
- Then advanced people who've been doing this stuff for years, myself included, can reference it, and I do. My copy of my own book is very heavily referenced all the time because, you know, I forget.
- Technically, I've been involved with the WordPress world for the last eight, nine years, something like that. As a part of that, I've been very much involved in core contributions in big plug-in development things that started very early on with just some basic stuff, but have gone bigger than that as the years have gone by. In every release since WordPress 2.5, I've had at least some code contribution that has been committed to the core.
- WHAT'S SO GREAT ABOUT WORDPRESS?
- WordPress is right now one the most popular blogging platforms in the world. It's becoming one of more popular content management systems in the world. By some reports, it is powering 14% of the internet, which is massive. That is a non-trivial number if you think about how big the series of tubes really is. We're all WordPress, everybody's WordPress.
- I think that the popularity of it has come about because it's been so easy to use. And particularly, in recent years, the core contributing community that I'm a part of, has been paying a lot more attention to what users are asking for, as opposed to just spit-balling and trying to see what works and makes
sense, which is really problem that Drupal had; it was just for developers by developers.
- If you're just getting started with your business, your startup, your product, your plumbing supply store, and you need to get a website up really quick, WordPress is very easy to get installed, and there are a plenty of free themes out there. I've seen people on Twitter who'll throw something out there into the ether, and be like, "I need help with this." And then people help. It's amazing how that community has been really big, really solid. And it's a credit to WordPress, how easy it is for so many people to get involved so easily and be able to assist other people, as well.
- WHAT ARE YOU MOST INTERESTED IN REGARDING WORDPRESS?
- If a customer was to come to me and say, "I've got this idea for this project," and lay it out for me, and it's something that is not just easily achievable in WordPress, I'd be all over it. Those are the types of things that fascinate me and challenge me, actually.
- WHAT'S BEEN YOUR IMPRESSION OF AUSTIN?
- Austin's been very open to me and welcoming to me. If you're a political nerd, you got politics here. If you're a music nerd, you've got music here. I you're a food snob, guess what, there's tons of restaurants. If you just like weird, crazy, funky stuff, Austin's got tons of it.
- WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR AUSTIN?
- I think we're on a good trajectory, overall. I think once this recession starts lifting a little bit, I think we're going to start seeing even more growth here in Austin. I think that's a good thing.