A High School Student Become a Specialized WordPress Developer – Really?

In the last couple of years, WordPress platform has been expanded dramatically as a more wonderful Content Management System. When it comes to talk about the latest version of the CMS, it had more than 8,000,000 downloads worldwide.

For all the old internet illiterates, it is an easy to access system without learning about some weird subjects like HTML, PHP and CSS.

Today, WordPress is widely used by people worldwide as it comes with thousands of attractive and out-of-the-box designs and plugins that can add some extra features to this platform. People can use this platform for anything like personal website to massive commercial as well as news websites.
However, it is essential to make this platform easier so that people, who do not have any knowledge about this platform, can access their websites or blogs without any hassle. Someone has to develop some wonderful designs and plugins that enhance the functionality of website.

With increasing the number of websites using WordPress platform, there are lots of non-qualified developers as well, who are young, self-obsessed and self-taught to earn good money while they are stilling going school. Yes, you read it correct, you can find many developers, who are still going in schools and studying.

One of such WordPress developers is Sarah Gooding, who is a professional WP expert, and author at WPTavern. A high school student ‘Sarah’ becomes a professional WordPress developer, but what the importance of mentors:

Sunny Ratilal's WordPress adventure started when he was 13 years old. While learning how to build a custom content management system, he stumbled upon WordPress and started fiddling around with it to learn more about its features. At the age of 14, he landed his first client. WordPress ticked all the boxes for the client’s requirements and Sunny launched his career as a professional WordPress developer.

Fast forward to three years later, Sunny is now 17 years old and currently in Sixth Form in London. When not busy studying, he enjoys developing custom plugins for clients and is also a prolific contributor to Easy Digital Downloads, having logged an impressive 1,097 commits to the codebase.


Contributing to Open Source Projects to Learn:

At the time of contributing to EDD, Sunny said that he got huge information about working in remote teams.
Working alongside EDD developers, we’re scattered all around the World! Some are based in the US, England and even New Zealand! Remote teams are fantastic because it always means someone is around whatever time of the day.

Getting involved in EDD changed Sunny's life and opened him up to a new world of collaboration.
Open source software has empowered me to code,
he said.
Contributing to EDD was my first open source project which gave me confidence to contribute to other smaller plugins and then eventually WordPress Core, submitting my first patch to WordPress last year.

Some Advises for Developers to Keep It Clean and Simple from Sunny:
Firstly, he said
Don’t build the extension because it’s something that’s required; build it because you want to build it. Build something you’re really passionate about; that’s what’ll give you the most pleasure whilst coding it. The key to success is not all about marketing the plugin, it’s about how the plugin is written.

● Firstly, write down clean code.
● Then, document it very well.
● Now, ensure that you make the code effective and don’t have lots of WP_Query instances or load numerous JavaScript/CSS files.
● Never, give your customers a single chance to complain, so opt for a complete feature list and beta test for sure.
● Offer wonderful support to all customers.


Significance of Having WordPress Role Models

Sunny said that it is highly important all the people, who are leaning and working with WordpRess, have good role models. Good role models always inspire them to further develop his skills. He said
I have three very important role models: all three are fellow WordPress developers: Tom McFarlinPippin Williamson and Mark Jaquith
.
He also added,
They are exceptional developers who have a myriad of knowledge. The plugins/themes they create are made with other developers in mind and their coding is by far some of the best you will ever see.

So, learning and working with WordPress is not as easy as it sounds, one just needs courage and passion to do anything with this platform.

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