A computer science student from Berlin, Hans-Helge Bürger- WordPress developer, translator, WordCamp organizer, speaker, and blogger- has shared with us the story behind his achievements and his goals.
Having started with WordPress as a podcaster in the year 2006, he is now active member of the WordPress community, actively contributing to WordPress development.
From developing a new WordPress podcast Plugin (Dicentis Podcast Plugin), to being a nature lover, to working in church as a sound engineer, Hans-Helge describes himself as a curious person.
We asked Hans-Helge a few questions about his journey with WordPress and development. Here’s what Hans-Helge had to say!
Tell us about Hans-Helge Bürger
My name is Hans-Helge Bürger and I am about to complete my Master’s degree in Computer Science from Berlin. I got my Bachelor’s degree from Dualen Hochschule (Cooperative State Uright from… to deutschniversity), while I was working with a global IT company. Soon after that, I started working professionally with WordPress. However, it was in the year 2006 that I, first became a WordPress user as a podcaster and later in the year 2013 was when I started with WordPress development.
I’ve been practicing WordPress as a freelancer in order to finance my studies. Apart from that I also write blogs on WordPress for Webschale and podcast regularly with Sven Wagener and Rene Reimann at WP Sofa.
Being an experienced WordPress user, how do you feel about your journey? How has WordPress changed your life?
In my opinion, working with WordPress is quite simple and one need not be a developer to understand and work on it. WordPress may have changed my life to some extent, but that would clearly be too much to say. WordPress is a great software to implement web projects, but it is not the only one.
I am a developer and therefore see the code behind it. There are many things in WordPress which do not fulfil my requirements, but the affection that has grown over these years among people connected with WordPress, is much more than love for the software.
There is always a scope for improvement and in an open source project, there is always more than enough to do. It is therefore always important to be able to see the great minds behind it and this is best possible at WordCamps.
So I would not say that WordPress has changed my life, but rather the people who work on this software definitely have.
How have you improved as a developer since you started out?
A lot of changes have occurred since the beginning of my journey with WordPress. My computer science studies have taught me many great things and an interesting range of subjects in which I could potentially work.
But honest thanks to WordPress, that I actually realized my passion for the web.
The web offers many options, and with WordPress, I learnt many of things for the very first time. However, I am always keen on knowing new things. According to me it’s never good when you are stuck on one thing. It is essential to be flexible in today’s world. More importantly, one should watch out for new technologies overtaking the market.
You are an active WordPress Blogger. Where do you get the inspiration for your post topics?
I do not have a muse who kisses me every Monday and inspires me to write a blog post. Rather, I go out with open eyes and ears. As mentioned, I always try to do something out of the box, to find out what is good and what is better. My curiosity to understand and learn new things has brought me where I, am and this is the same with blogging. When my curiosity triggers me to know what my readers want to read, I blog about it.
I often find it difficult to come up with a precise topic and moreover, complete the blog post. However I always try to improve myself and to write interesting and informative posts.
We all have some influencers, who inspire us with their work or their quotes. Name people from the WordPress community who have inspired you the most?
I don’t have any specific role model, but there are a handful of people I follow closely, because I find their work and development very interesting. Some people who I would like to mention are Brad Touesnard and Pippin Williamson, who present the Apply Filters podcast.
Both are developers like me, but they have also managed to achieve entrepreneurial success by earning money using WordPress, by establishing their own company. That truly fascinates me. So, I nurture this idea of me being completely independent and implementing my own business ideas someday. However, I still lack some knowledge before I can really take off. But that should not take much time, for a person learns the most and the best when he makes mistakes 🙂
You have been a WordCamp speaker as well. What are the three best things about WordCamps?
A) Help the people
The commitment to contribute to WordCamps is very big and important to me. I have myself organized a WordCamp and I always try to share my knowledge in every camp. And that makes me stronger. I want to help the people who come to the camp to learn something new. The thought of not knowing something, which someone else has known for a long time is wrong, I would say. Everyone has something to say and I have learnt that throughout my journey. That’s why I want to my share knowledge to assist others.
B) Help the community
In addition to people who want to learn, there is also the community. The people who keep doing what’s possible to organize such camps are great! I count myself as part of this community and feel no obligation to just help but be encouraged and empowered to work together. It’s a great feeling when you work together on a vision and can thus form the German community
C) Help myself
Having helped everyone, I help myself as well. I love to present and make good use of opportunities to refine my style and practice it well. Besides, my contacts with great people help me keep my feet on the ground and make me realize that I am no uber-developer, or rather I am just one of many WordPress users.
When you are not developing or sharing your knowledge with the WordPress community, what do you like to do in your spare time?
Development is more of a passion than a job, which I would also love to do in my spare time but there are obviously other things, which I like to do. I like to just go out and get some fresh air or go hiking, which has been my passion for a few years. Be it a trip to the mountains or a comfortable walk through a forest in Brandenburg, nature makes me feel fresh and energetic. And a Geocache during a nice walk in the fresh air is icing on the cake!
Furthermore, I volunteer at my local church as a sound technician, and lead the latest Berlin SMD Group. This is a network of Christian students at universities across Germany and I may be leading the group in Berlin for the next half or one whole year.
We’ve come to the end of the interview. Any piece of advice you would like to share to aspirant bloggers and developers, who want to start their careers with WordPress?
Stay curious! It’s okay if you do not understand something, it is not the end. Never give up on research and the will to learn. There will always be someone out there, who is better, but that should not discourage you. Lifelong learning is my motto.
Thank you Hans-Helge for your wonderful answers. Keep inspiring people like you always have and all the best for your journey with WordPress. For connecting with Hans-Helge Bürger, you can follow him on Twitter @ or subscribe to his podcasts at WP Sofa!