Joining GoDaddy as a Full-Time WordPress Core Contributor

Today is my last day at iThemes. It’s been a great two years, and I’ve learned a lot. I’m very appreciative of my time here and I will absolutely miss all the people. If you haven’t checked out iThemes or had the chance to meet Cory, Matt, or any of their amazing team, you definitely should.

So, what now?

Well, the title here kind of gives it away. I’m excited to say that I’m officially joining GoDaddy as a full-time WordPress Core contributor. I start there on September 6th, and am excited to help push WordPress forward with the full support of a company like GoDaddy behind me.

But why?

I honestly can’t remember when I first started using WordPress. I think it was sometime in 2004, because it was before Kubrick became the default theme. And it was certainly before we had things like WYSIWYG editing, which came along in late 2005 with the WordPress 2.0 release.

But while I can’t remember exactly when I started using WordPress, I remember very clearly when I started contributing to WordPress. It was June 12, 2007. That was the day that I opened my first ever bug report for WordPress, uploaded my first ever patch, and had my first bit of code put into the WordPress codebase. Yep, it all happened on one day!

Aaron's First Ticket

The feeling that I got from that was amazing. I loved that I’d just made a small impact on a group of people, most of whom I didn’t even know. I started to slowly ramp up my involvement in the project. I contributed more and more, and got involved enough to really get to know the people. By 2009 I was traveling to WordPress events, and by 2011 I was speaking at them regularly.

I’ve become very passionate about the WordPress project and the community that has built up around it. For a long time I’ve wanted to do more; to contribute more often and to take a more involved role in pushing the project forward. So when GoDaddy talked to me about bringing me on as a full-time WordPress core contributor, I was excited.

What does that mean?

Basically, I’m going to be working to make WordPress better and GoDaddy is going to pay for it!* There are a lot of massive benefits to this, including being able to have very consistent reliable time that can be counted on by release leads, being able to reliably take on projects that span releases, and being able to work on some of the less fun areas that are generally more neglected by volunteer efforts. I think that this kind of dedicated support from companies whose businesses are heavily invested in WordPress is extremely healthy for the project as a whole, and I’m ecstatic to get the chance to do this.

* For those that don’t have experience with open source software development, or don’t understand the pervasiveness of WordPress, this is going to be confusing. You’ll have to ask me to explain it all over coffee some time.

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