We interviewed Daniele Scasciafratte, member of the WordPresscommunity, to learn how one of the most known and appreciated CMS has grown in the last 15 years.
Hello Daniele. Our first question is a simple one: tell us who you are and if you’re a member of any of the tech communities!
I’m Daniele Scasciafratte, I’m 28, I’m from Rieti and I’m member of various. The most famous is the Mozilla one, especially the Italian one. I’m also an active member of WordPress and the Industria Italiana del Software Libero, of which I’m also leader. I work in a web agency with some partners, with whom I started to build the WordPress community in .
My study route was very simple. I didn’t go to university, I graduated from Technological Science School and, as I’d finished secondary school, I immediately started working as a. Even today, I deal with , mainly back-end and systems, even though I have front-end side knowledge. So I consider myself a full stack developer because I also work with desktop solutions. As for technologies, I use Linux everywhere, all purely and I’m passionate about privacy and security. When it comes to my hobbies, I love comics – I have so many of them.
Could you tell us why you decided on a career in?
I had my first programming experiences in secondary school, even though I wasn’t satisfied with what the school had to offer. In fact, I started working in the world of IT as I think we all did: in assistance. Slowly I realised that what I really wanted to do was, because it gave me more satisfaction than computer assistance. Over time, this passion has evolved, in my case as an autodidact, and so I slowly met people participating in events, first national then international, meetups etc. So I started to participate in projects that allowed me to gain a lot of , probably much more than university courses.
Time to share some secrets with us. How do you keep yourself up-to-date? How do you learn new technologies?
Participating in many meetups, live events and conferences, over time I focused on the technologies that I liked and I trained myself by contributing to the. I see it a like being a mechanic: he knows more when he becomes familiar with the tool and knows how it works because he has to get his hands on it. It’s the same thing with software and technologies: “so how do you do this?”! Not only using the machine as a guide, but also discovering its functions and helping to improve them. I often discover interesting technology via the , or it’s suggested to me by a friend or at an event, then I get acquainted with it and if I consider the technology satisfactory for my needs, whether work-related or not, in one way or another I often find myself contributing, whether it’s a ticket, a translation or a patch. I use this process because I’ve seen that over time it’s what allows me to better remember the technology itself. When they make so many of them, when one works often it’s easy to forget about the technologies because, as we know, they change every year. I’ve seen that, in my case, contributing helps me a lot to remember even after some time what technology does and how it works, compared with reading an article and not remembering what it’s called. Everything’s born from that: looking for and being part of it. The community part and the projects have allowed me to get where I am today.
Regarding, which languages do you use and which ones are your favourites?
Do you have any personalyou’re currently working on?
As a developer, I have many repositories published online, my personal ones and others related to the. I have practically no stalled at the moment since I work on them all periodically according to need. Usually, my last a few years.
You’re often a speaker as well, let’s take a look at one of your presentations dedicated to– tell us the story of and what’s behind it.
Yes, it was the 15-year anniversary of. It’s said that over 30% of sites on the use the WordPress software. It is, therefore, a very important technology for the and the WordPress community has grown over the years as has grown. We can take, for example, the Italian community, that until 2012-2013 was very absent apart from the fact that it took care of localising software. Today, in 2018, we have over 30 meetups throughout that continue to grow, several wordcamps, including the one in in September.
Theexploded when the itself exploded as a diffusion. But there are not only people who want to learn to use it better but also people who want to understand how it works, because they want to offer more and more services to their customers. In my case, I started using just for work. I saw its merits and its defects and I’ve been using it since version 4.3 from 2012, I’m a Core Contributor: there are also my patches inside .
You can say thatis community-based. Without the , there would be nothing. There’s support from large international , but everything starts with the of people who dedicate their time according to the , whether it’s marketing, graphics, development and so on. There are no behind it deciding the direction of the . Thanks to some , there are employees who run the or who can contribute continuously; this is a good example of . Everything else, however, is done by the and our Italian one is now very large, which shows that there is a sense of the fact that is not just a tool. How can be interesting today? Why is WordPress important today? Probably everyone knows it and there are those who love it and those who despise it. The advantage of is that it is easy to install and to use. The question is how to do everything.
The classic war betweenis that there are the simple ones and the complicated ones, but the difference lies in who uses them. has now shown itself to be a reliable tool for creating websites, portals and applications because it has a strong behind it, frequent updates dedicated to and it allows everyone to participate, to join the and understand the mechanics, because understanding the mechanics allows you to be a better mechanic than any others in the market.
In our agency, everyone contributes to thein different ways so we can offer a better service than our competitors. is important because it allows you to have a site in no time, with some plug-ins and themes allowing you to make it even faster and you can already have an MVP (Minimum Valuable Product) to check if your business idea, company or startup is feasible. So it offers many opportunities in terms of time, quality and money. definitely allows you to maximise time and money. As far as quality is concerned, it depends on how the solution is implemented. We celebrated because in the meetup are people who work with every day, so it’s right to celebrate the project that lets you bring home your salary every month and lets you meet other people, find new friends and even new customers, and learn new things. All this because we want to know more and more about this technology.
Why did you decide to talk about? Would you like to increase the behind it?
Absolutely, yes, because the meetup is made up of people and it can’t always be the organisers themselves proposing the topics. This was our problem with the meetup until we wanted to organise and promote and push people to do the first talk. So we’re not just doing the meetups to recruit new community contributors, but we want new people who want to bring theirto the meetup, because it’s all a quid pro quo that in our case makes a lot of difference. It’s very interesting to hear the working experiences on big as little things you’ve learned and what’s been discovered, everyone gets enriched when someone else shares their and in meetups this is fundamental. We’re working on growing locally and having new to share.
In your opinion, why should a user be interested in? Or a new developer who wants to enter the market? Why should they use ?
There are many aspects to consider – 30% of sites useand this means extensive job opportunities because it’s a very common technology. It’s very easy to learn, being an technology and having a very wide behind it. There are lots of free plug-ins available. It’s possible to make of your solution very quickly. You can cover 90-95% of the functionality necessary for any without implementing it from scratch. All this means saving time and money. In addition, who know well are highly in demand. In our sector there’s a lot of work for the junior figures who simply configure , but someone who knows the platform thoroughly really has very good opportunities as a senior figure. Knowing also means learning and more! Learning to program , therefore, means learning to use many other technologies that are very current today and that can be reused in other contexts.
What piece of advice would you like to give to your colleagues or those who want to follow a similar career path to yours?