Speaker Interview – Andrew Duthie

I’ve been fascinated by computer programming since I was a young teenager because it enabled me to create “something out of nothing”. This led to a career in web development where I’ve worked in a variety of work environments: from enterprise, to agency, and most recently remote working. Currently, I work as a JavaScript Engineer at Automattic where I’m putting my passion for building rich interactive web interfaces to use in helping to build an improved WordPress.com experience.

Why Do You Use WordPress?
WordPress is extremely approachable and flexible enough that I’ve yet to encounter a web-related problem that it can’t be used to solve. It’s become natural for me to lean on WordPress because it allows me to hit the ground running and offer a simple and familiar administration experience for myself and clients.

When and How Did You Start Using WordPress?
I began using WordPress at a local web development agency two years ago. During my time there, I helped to build dozens of WordPress sites for clients both small and large. Once I had become familiar with WordPress and had optimized my own workflow, I found myself building quality sites for clients with very fast turnover.

What Tips or Resources would you recommend to a new WordPress User?
Seek out and learn from others who have WordPress experience. You can discover a variety of perspectives by attending your city’s local meetup group and, of course, WordCamps.

Many web hosts offer cheap one-click WordPress installers. Use this to your advantage and set up a throw-away site where you can take the WordPress dashboard for a test-drive without worrying about damaging your own personal or business site.

What advice would you give someone who’s building a business around WordPress design or development?
Find ways to re-use assets between projects. Find or create a starter theme from which you can quickly build new sites. Use a consistent design approach between projects. Build plugins when you can foresee development tasks being repeated in future projects. Don’t ignore quality as it can bite you and your reputation when clients approach you later with bug reports. Sacrificing quality can make your own life difficult when clients request additional enhancements after launching a site.

What do you like most about WordCamps?
By offering a variety of speaking topics, I can be guaranteed that I’ll always come away learning something new.

Where can we find you online?
Web: AndrewDuthie.com
Twitter: @andrew_duthie
GitHub: aduth