In a recent tete-a-tete with Owais Alam, the WordPress Community Manager and developer at Cloudways, we got to know the ins and outs of website development and working with WordPress.
Here is the complete interview for your perusal!
#1. How did you first get involved with WordPress and WooCommerce?
I was already involved in small WordPress projects throughout my university days. Once I graduated, I decided to go into WordPress development as a full-time developer. During my initial years, I was fortunate enough to work with several large WordPress projects.
I suppose, WooCommerce was a natural evolution of my WordPress obsession. Every mid-level WordPress developer has several career paths to choose from and WooCommerce is one of these paths. I had exposure to e-commerce projects previously, and it was an easy transition to WooCommerce projects.
I originally started with adding small modifications to WooCommerce stores. What really sparked my interest was the localization of WooCommerce stores. The small modifications were enough of a challenge to hook me for life!
#2. You have worked with and blogged about WooCommerce extensively. What were the highs and lows of this process?
There have been many high points and surprisingly few low points of my association with WooCommerce. I suppose this is mainly because of my background in WordPress, which allowed me to understand the relationship between a CMS and an e-commerce store.
I must confess that blogging doesn’t come naturally to me. I am a developer at heart and as such blogging is an acquired taste for me. However, now I now devote a good chunk of my time to creating tutorial and blogs.
Originally, I was very unclear about what I wanted to blog about and whether it would be a success. However, I had good support from fellow developers and content producers who edited my work and supported my efforts.
#3. According to you, which aspect of website development is the most challenging?
User requirement gathering is one area where many web development projects start to die. If the developer does not dedicate enough time and attention to this area, all the subsequent development, testing and deployment phases could not compensate for the loss. The result would always not live up to the client’s expectations and that is very unfortunate for any development agency/freelancer.
#4. What is your approach to writing a blog?
My approach is simple:
Research > Plan > Execute > Measure > Repeat
I start by researching the trending topics. For me, this usually means the WooCommerce Reddit pages and Stack Overflow. Once, I have decided upon the topic, I sketch out the structure and start working on the code. Once the code is ready, I use my notes to write the steps and complete the blog.
#5. How do you stay updated with the latest developments in WooCommerce?
WooCommerce has several community-driven resources that provide all the information I need for staying up to date. However, the official website is my go-to resource at all times.
#6. Which is your favorite WooCommerce plugin and why?
I have worked with enough plugins to have several favorites. I would like to go a step further and say that my favorite category of WooCommerce plugins is Payment Gateways. These plugins are among the best maintained in the WooCommerce plugin space.
#7. What qualities according to you make for a great developer and what advice you would like to give newbie developers?
For me, a good developer isn’t the one with the perfect code writing skills. A good developer should have problem-solving skills that should be independent of programming languages.
Always remember that writing code is less important than framing the right solution for the problem. If you couldn’t come up with a solution to the problems, how could you expect to write good enough code to solve the challenge?
#8. What is the most important aspect of any WooCommerce project?
In my opinion, the most important aspect of any WooCommerce project is the hosting that powers it. I suggest that developers love into managed cloud hosting in order to have excellent performance without having to deal with server management hassles.
Thank you, Owais, for taking the time out to answer our questions! It has been great talking to you!:)