Category Archives: WordPress

End of an Era: Moving on from WebDevStudios

After 5+ years, last Thursday was my last day at WebDevStudios, and needless to say, it was a sad one. I’m going to miss working with those guys/girls, who have become practically family, and they are, truly, an incredible team. 3 years ago, I wrote a post, Why you should work at WebDevStudios, and I still stand by that post. If you are looking for a great job in the WordPress space, you would be remiss in not considering applying with WDS.

I am leaving on really great terms, and am even seriously threatening to crash their next #WDSCamp. I have also bantered some ideas around with Brad, Brian, and Lisa individually about possibly working together in the future on different projects, and I’m very excited at that prospect.

So, the obvious question, why am I leaving such an awesome place? The simplest answer is, I’m ready to take my next step, and for me, that next step is freelancing. This isn’t a decision I’ve come to lightly, and is one I have been weighing for quite some time. This is going to be a huge change for me. While I had freelanced before starting with WDS, and have a bit since, this will be first attempt at full-time freelance work and trying to earn a living (I have a wife and 3 kiddos!) off of it. I’m exhilarated, but also, obviously, a bit nervous.

So that being said, I’m available for projects, starting immediately! If you know of any WordPress projects needing a senior level developer, please hit me up. I will be operating out of my DsgnWrks business, and would love to take any inquiries at my contact form (or hit me up on Twitter). I have experience in a variety of areas (just ask!), am a tenacious problem-solver, and can provide plenty of references and code examples!

As a parting thought, I will forever be grateful for WebDevStudios, and especially to Brad and Brian, for taking a chance on me in the beginning, when I was some house-painter guy from North Carolina with barely any experience, so thank you guys, and thank you to WebDevStudios for over 5 awesome years! And wish me luck for the next 5!


WebDevStudios Gives Back!

This holiday season, we (mostly our Project Managers, Cristina and Jaimie) spent a good deal of time deliberating the best way to celebrate the holidays as a distributed team. In a stroke of genius, they came up with the idea to have a ‘competition’ to see which Team at WDS could raise the most money for their respectively chosen charities. We on “Team Scream” consider our jobs to be “dream jobs” so we thought, wouldn’t it be cool to give the gift of code to kids who want to learn? Team Scream is partnering with, an awesome non-profit that uses your donations to give free computers to children enrolled in programming classes with one of their partner organizations. Please consider donating (and getting more information) here.

It wouldn’t be right this holiday season to not mention the amazing projects the other WebDevStudios teams are representing, so…

The amazing charity the “A-Team” is partnering with is
Team Maintainn is requesting we help them Maintainn Net Neutrality. (I see what they did there!)

I hope you’ll take a minute to also read and consider donating to their projects (as much as it pains me to recommend you help their team :), I think the end result is more valuable).

The WordPress community is incredibly generous. We have helped Justin Tadlock get a house, Gary Jones get a new computer, we’ve helped pay JJJ’s wages so that he can work on BuddyPress, bbPress, & GlotPress on our behalf for the next 6 months. Heck, we even helped Andrew Norcross get a new coffee maker after his was invaded by some inconsiderate ants. In the WordPress community, we have a lot of things going for us, and in turn, we like to give back wherever we can. I hope you’ll consider giving a few minutes and a few dollars to a few worthy causes that are outside of our WordPress bubble, and help us to ‘pay it forward’!

p.s. Read more about the competition on the WebDevStudios blog.

Why you should work at WebDevStudios

(the tweet where it all began)

This January marks 3 years for me at WebDevStudios and it’s been the best 3 years of my life. Overstatement? Nope. It’s incredible how having a great career can completely affect your entire life. It’s the difference between waking up everyday with dread and loathing and waking up excited and ready to tackle the day’s tasks.

Thanks to reaching a 3rd year, and the fact that we’re again hiring at WebDevStudios, it just feels right to express my gratitude publicly for WDS.

Considering my previous career was a house painter and I had only bits and pieces of design/development experience to speak of, WDS took a pretty big gamble on me when they hired me. At least from their perspective. From my perspective, I knew I wasn’t going to let them down. The only direction I planned on heading was up (and away from painting!). I just needed someone to give me a chance, and I’m so glad it was WebDevStudios.

I think it’s safe to say now after 3 awesome years that we’re a good fit! I’m officially “the old guy” on the team (been here the longest besides Brian & Brad, the founders, and April, Brad’s wife), and it feels like home. I like to think that I’m providing plenty of value for WDS, but honestly, they have done so much for me (most of us, actually), it’s ridiculous. Brad and Brian (and now Lisa!) have been the best bosses I have ever worked for. I’m not sure how they’re so good at it, but they get it. They know when to push us when we need it, while also protecting us from the occasional crazy clients or overzealous deadline. Because of this, it makes us push to do our best to happily deal with those same crazy clients and overzealous deadlines. They’ve also done their best to flex with us as we grow out of our roles. I was hired as a web graphic designer, but my role has morphed into what I lovingly refer to as a “designeveloper” wherein I do a mix of design, front-end and back-end development. It’s the best of all worlds, and it’s so awesome that they were willing to let me move into a more developer-heavy role as my skills improved. (edit 5/1/14 1/6/16: my role has again changed to ‘developer lead’ ‘Director of Engineering’, whoah)

So, on that note, why don’t you consider coming to work with us? We’re again hiring for positions including a Technical Project ManagerWordPress Front-End Designer, and a Full-Time WordPress Developer. If I haven’t made it clear, WebDevStudios is an awesome place to work. We’re no google, but what we lack in resources, we more than make up for with an incredibly awesome team (and #wdschat)! These guys are a blast to hang out with and our quasi-annual get-togethers are the stuff of legend. :)

WDS head bob
Creepy horse guy #wcsf
Sailing under the bridgeOn THE ROCK #alcatraz
(images from our trip to San Francisco for WordCamp San Francisco, 2013)

If you have any questions about what it takes to work with us, or what types of things we’re looking for in these positions, please hit me or one of our team up. We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

Let’s make awesome things together at WebDevStudios in 2014!

P.S. Here’s the announcement blog post written about my hire. :)

That is one of the many things I do love about the WordPress community is that users, at any level, do have access to the brains of people that really know what they are doing with WordPress. Developers, core commiters, themers, etc., — they are accessible in a way that I’ve not seen in other communities — and that is a very valuable thing.

— Lisa Sabin-Wilson (@lisasabinwilson) via Code Poet Interview