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I’ve learned a lot by working with Devin over the last 5+ years. He’s always got great ideas and a good sense of how to accomplish them. Devin founded GiveWP which is now part of StellarWP at Liquid Web, where he is now working with multiple Stellar Brands including SolidWP, GiveWP, KadenceWP, and IconicWP.
|Quel est votre titre d'emploi ?||General Manager|
|Quel est le nom de votre entreprise ?||StellarWP at Liquid Web|
|Que faites-vous avec WordPress ?||Product innovation and development|
|Décrivez la communauté WordPress en quelques mots.||Open|
|Liens du site||solidwp.com|
Transcription de l'épisode
[00:00:00] Speaker A: Welcome to WPCoffeeTalk with your podcast barista, Michelle Frechette. Special thanks to our sponsors WS Form and Beaver Builder. If you’re interested in joining WPCoffeeTalk as a guest or a sponsor, please visit our site wpcoffeetalk.com. And now on with the show.
Welcome back to WPCoffeeTalk. I’m your podcast barista Michelle Frechette, serving up the WordPress store is from around the globe, and today my guest is somebody I have not only known in WordPress for quite a while, but who actually hired me once upon a time, and we still work together as colleagues, so it’s really nice to have you here. Devin Walker. How are you?
[00:00:40] Speaker B: Hey, doing really well. Thanks for having me on the show.
[00:00:43] Speaker A: Yeah, well, I mean, it’s not like you haven’t been asked before, but you are the busiest man at work. I swear your schedule is insane, so you get a pass. But I’m really glad that you’re here now and your title has changed. So when I first met you, it was all about give, but now you’re the general manager at Stellar WP for items Give, WP, Cadence, and Iconic. And of course that’s all at Liquid Web, so that’s pretty true.
[00:01:08] Speaker B: I have to correct you, though, that it’s not items anymore, it’s solid W. True.
[00:01:14] Speaker A: You have to fix your bio because I pulled it right off of the work.
[00:01:20] Speaker B: That’s my bad then.
[00:01:22] Speaker A: It’s all good. It takes a long time to change all those little things here and there. It sure does.
Yes. Solid WP, which is very exciting. And we have just recently completed the rebrand of that. We’re going to talk about that, but first I’m going to go through our introductory question. So tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.
[00:01:41] Speaker B: Sure. Yeah. So, my name is Devin Walker, like you introduced me as, and I’m from San Diego, California.
Got into WordPress maybe twelve years ago, 13 years ago now, and started using it as a designer and developer working in an agency in downtown San Diego, building a lot of restaurant websites, hospitality websites for various hotels and fun things like that, and really got to flex my creative muscle there. And during that process discovered what plugins were, discovered what themes were built. First couple of themes and plugins for some clients and said, hey, there’s something here, I’m decent at this.
And the market was just starting to get going with some of the premium themes and premium plugins. So I was able to get in at an early stage and developed a couple of free plugins to start with and eventually led into doing premium plugins and partnering up with a couple of folks and then eventually led to some bigger things after that. I don’t want to get too far into that.
[00:02:55] Speaker A: Don’t tell the whole story at the right.
[00:02:59] Speaker B: Yeah. Other than know I’m engaged right now to my wonderful fiance Jackie and have two cats and enjoy playing volleyball on the weekends. That’s about it.
[00:03:13] Speaker A: I love it. And I do see a lot of your volleyball posts on Facebook. And I think, correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve seen some disc golf there once in a while as that’s.
[00:03:23] Speaker B: A that used to be bigger and now volleyball is bigger, but I still occasionally disc golf as It’s.
[00:03:28] Speaker A: I’ll always want to call it frisbee, but I’m learning not to do that. To those of you who are serious.
[00:03:32] Speaker B: About the sport, that’s a trademark. It’s like Kleenex and Chapstick. You can’t do that.
[00:03:40] Speaker A: So tell us about your mug. I see you’re drinking out of a can right now, but you got a mug with you or no? Because if you don’t, I got you covered.
[00:03:46] Speaker B: I looked real quick. I wanted to jump on this podcast. I just got the solid WP mug at home that we gave out to our rebranding team. So we did that as part of a keepsake for all the hard work that went into rebranding. So I’ve got that at home, but I just needed a little caffeine. So isn’t this your favorite, the diet Dr. Pepper? Weren’t you?
[00:04:09] Speaker A: Regular Dr. Pepper. For me? Yeah. I only have one or two a month now, but I remember Dr. Pepper fan.
[00:04:16] Speaker B: I couldn’t remember whether it was diet, but I am too. That’s what I’m drinking right now.
[00:04:21] Speaker A: Well, I have one of the OG giveaways.
[00:04:25] Speaker B: I love that one.
[00:04:27] Speaker A: Give WT. And I’m drinking tea because if I was drinking caffeine right now, it’s 530 here, so I would be awake all night. So I had to shift over to some herbal tea instead. But yeah, got my OG mug. I think it’s the only one I haven’t broken.
Protect it with everything I got.
[00:04:43] Speaker B: Those actually do break rather easily. The handle, I find, breaks pretty easily.
[00:04:47] Speaker A: Exactly. Then you have to turn it into a planter so that you don’t actually lose it.
[00:04:51] Speaker B: Good call. See, that’s creative. I wouldn’t have thought of that.
[00:04:54] Speaker A: I am in marketing, so there you go.
How did you get started with WordPress, though? Like, what made you choose to enter the WordPress community?
[00:05:02] Speaker B: Yeah, so rewind further back past the 13 years back. Let’s go back like 16. And I just graduated college. I had an internship with an It department in a large organization. I started working with Microsoft Technologies. So Microsoft SharePoint 2007 was the latest and greatest. It was updated from 2003. And so I built an intranet for the company, and that really got scratched. My Itch for developing on the Web, and Microsoft SharePoint was my gosh, that’s hard to compared to WordPress five minute install that you’re talking, like three day install with consultants and to. There was an easier way, and I knew it. And then I started diving into open source and seeing what was out there. And first I went to Mambo, which was the predecessor to Joomla. And then I moved to Joomla and then I started dabbling in Drupal a little bit, and that’s about a six month to a year span there. Eventually I stumbled upon WordPress, and from there it was like the curtain was lifted. And I remember first seeing the admin interface and just being amazed with how user friendly and professional it was.
And then I started looking underneath at the code and really enjoying PHP rather than ASP. Net.
And from there I just knew that’s what I wanted to do. And that’s when I started looking for positions at an agency. I didn’t want to work in it anymore, I wanted to do more creative work and I wanted to work for a company that specifically did WordPress work. And so luckily, after about a month of looking, I found that agency in downtown San Diego and they hired me pretty quickly and I moved downtown and it’s all from there.
[00:07:04] Speaker A: The rest, they say, is history, right?
[00:07:06] Speaker B: Exactly.
[00:07:07] Speaker A: I never worked with Joomla or Drupal, but I did take a website on once, like inherited a website with net nuke, and I swore I would never do anything other than WordPress after that. It was such a.
[00:07:22] Speaker B: Time, like nukes in the name of a CMS or platform, it’s probably better slowly, right? Exactly.
[00:07:32] Speaker A: Absolutely. Well, as you look across websites, whether you’ve built them or other people have, what’s, something that you think that we as developers, designers, web builders, don’t focus enough attention on that would make our sites better for the end user.
[00:07:47] Speaker B: Okay. I mean, I’ve said this a million times, you probably heard me say it, is attention to the details, right? The little things that matter the most, and whether it’s a pixel being off or a resolution not looking great on a tablet or an image that’s broken, all these little things matter to end users and experiences. And it can really count against the professionalism of the brand that you’re trying to build for or the brand that trying to sell on their website. And so I always stress attention to detail. It’s hard to get everything right, but if you do pay attention to those little things, and I do think those matter quite a bit yeah.
[00:08:31] Speaker A: What do they say? The devils are the details, right?
[00:08:34] Speaker B: Exactly.
[00:08:35] Speaker A: Yeah. No, I hear you and I have given you work before that got turned back because I didn’t focus enough on the details, and at the time you just want to rip your hair out. But having gone through the process, I’m such a better designer because of the feedback that I was able to get from you over time. So you may have heard your name somewhere out there before in a negative way, when I’m like, no, I don’t want to do it again, but ultimately it was a good thing because we get better.
[00:09:03] Speaker B: As long as it’s helping, then that’s fine.
[00:09:06] Speaker A: And I’m still here, so I didn’t run away. So it’s a good thing.
[00:09:09] Speaker B: Exactly.
[00:09:11] Speaker A: As you think over your WordPress career so far, what’s something that you wish that you had known earlier on that would have made your life a lot easier?
[00:09:21] Speaker B: Yeah, this is a really good question. There’s a lot of things that I wish I knew earlier on hindsight is 2020, when you’re building brands eventually going to market, going to different word camps, trying to be scrappy and utilize talent outside the US.
Eventually selling your business if you’re successful enough. Throughout all those steps. There’s lots of things that I wish I knew ahead of time, whether it was selling the business, using a banker, whether it was going overseas and utilizing a brand or individuals or sorry, like an agency. There’s lots of them.
But if I were to think back on it, the things that I would want to know ahead of time would be more about focus. And when I see this a lot in the WordPress space, people don’t focus enough on what their core product or offering is. And we did the same thing at Impress before we’ve really focused on give. We were building business reviews plugins. We still have one. We were building Google Maps Builder, which did okay, and it was fun to build, but it was a distraction and never got us to the next level.
We spent a whole heck of a lot of time building other things that didn’t matter. And if we were to focus from day one on what our mission was, and that was to democratize fundraising democraz generosity excuse me and to solely focus on that mission from day one, I think we would have been I mean, we did work out pretty well, let’s be honest. But I think it would have been better, you know what I mean? And I think we would have found success earlier rather than some of these distractions. So I do talk about attention to detail a lot. The other thing I talk about a lot as well is focus. And if you just look around in the WordPress space, there’s lots of companies doing lots of different things, and it’s muddling what their perception is. And they can’t provide as good of support on individual products. And ultimately, the products that they deliver to the market are not the best they could be because they’re distracted and doing separate plugins or themes, what have you.
[00:11:55] Speaker A: Yeah, it pulls you in different directions, and you can’t be good at everything, so it just weakens everything. Makes sense, right?
[00:12:02] Speaker B: Absolutely. Why not be an expert at fundraising, for example, rather than building the best map directory plugin for restaurants or something like that?
[00:12:12] Speaker A: Right, exactly. Yes, exactly.
As you think back over Word camps and meetups and WordPress events that you’ve attended, what’s perhaps a pivotal moment? I always like to say, like, maybe the angel sang or the sky opened up and maybe not quite so dramatic but something that happened or somebody that you met that really made a difference for you. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
[00:12:36] Speaker B: Well, I mean, we started the advanced WordPress meetup in San Diego, which led into the Facebook group, which is one of the largest now.
But this is back in 2012, 2013. And I remember this scruffy guy with a beard coming around. He was always sharing some pretty cool stuff, doing support for various plugin companies, and he’d go up and show some cool stuff off. I’d go up and show some cool stuff off, and then we’d go get some beers afterwards. And, like, this guy’s got some good talent here, and he’s kind of thinks differently from me, and we do get along quite a bit, and maybe we could do something together. And it turns out that person’s Matt Cromwell, and not only is he a lifelong friend, but he’s one of the best decisions and results, pivotal moments from a meetup that I’ve ever had.
We knew we wanted to work together, but it wasn’t then until the last word camp San Francisco in 2014. We flew up, and it was great word camp. We were very inspired. We knew we wanted something big to do together, and we were both passionate about a lot of different things, and we were building a lot of sites for charities at the time through white label agency. And so we went to this bar and sat down, and after working San Francisco, we should we should build a commerce solution, a fundraising solution for nonprofits and he’s. Ah, yeah, and that sounds like exactly what we should be.
And from like, just kind of the light bulbs both went off in front of us, and we knew that’s something we really wanted to do.
Luckily, the two of us together with our third partner Jason, made it.
We funded it through our agency and did some other work to make sure that I could be freed up and Matt could be freed up to make the MVP possible.
But it was both a direct result from that meetup, that AWP meetup, and that word camp, San Francisco in 2014. So I will never forget those two.
[00:14:52] Speaker A: And I like to think that the second greatest moment was when I met you at work at Pittsburgh. But we could talk.
[00:14:58] Speaker B: I remember the first time I saw you pulling up in the parking lot. You were greeting us right out front of that maker studio. And I go, who is this nice bubbly lady?
I definitely remember the first moment I ever met you.
[00:15:13] Speaker A: I love that. Likewise. And that was a really good camp, too, but we could talk about that.
[00:15:18] Speaker B: Except for the relegating us to the broom closet. That was not good.
[00:15:21] Speaker A: That was a little OD for sure. It was an interesting school downtown, but yeah, broom closet. I think I still have the pint glass I got from you at that event.
[00:15:30] Speaker B: Nice.
[00:15:33] Speaker A: Yeah. So let’s talk a little bit about solid WP and the work that you’re doing over at Stellar WP. So what was it like rebranding in public and kind of shifting one well known product to another name and reorganizing it? I mean, I know from my perspective, but let me hear from you.
[00:15:51] Speaker B: Sure. Yeah. So it all started last year, let’s say, around this time, where I was presented and Cromwell was presented with the challenge to take over the Items brand, take over more brands for me to become general manager, for him to always continue in his role. I think now he’s head of Customer Experience, but his role was more marketing oriented as well back then.
But we sat down and thought for a while, what’s going to be Items for the next ten years?
They don’t sell themes anymore, so we knew we had to get rid of that brand. We have cadence. It’s one of the leading brands. We’re not going to somehow bring that over to Items because they tried in the past.
They have a great security plugin, million Active installs backup. Budy at the time was one of the very first backup solutions for WordPress. Really made a name for itself. And they also had Item Sync, which is a competitor. WP more recent player is WP umbrella. They’re doing a really good job. And so we looked at these three core things, and these are very foundational items. Every website needs, right? Every website needs security. They need backups. They need maintenance across your network of sites you can update.
So we thought, hey, what is a good foundation? It’s going to be solid, and that need a solid foundation.
And so this domain wasn’t available.
It all hinged on being able to buy that domain and build a brand around it. So luckily, we were able to buy that brand and then start creating the brand from there, start creating the vision of these uni products, and we plan on building more solutions into this foundation. These are just our core offerings for right now. And then setting some of our other products. I mean, Items over the years have developed quite a large catalog of just miscellaneous grab bag products, everything from builder to WP complete to 200 themes that hadn’t been updated for a long time. There was a lot of stuff as you started peeling away that onion that my gosh, surprised the heck out of me. So strategy was to obviously build all those develop a sunset plan, and we wanted to do it as much in public as we could. The problem is, like you said, my schedule is really busy. Cromwell’s schedule is really busy. He’s in Germany. So I would say we didn’t do the best. I mean, I’m just being honest here. We could have done a lot better at that and done, like, two updates a week, a blog post, a video update, and for the first couple of weeks we had a pretty good role on it. But then it came down to like, hey, this rebranding is a bigger task than we thought. We really need to focus and get this done. And luckily we were able to launch it this month, thankfully. But it was a lot of hard work to get just to that point.
I would have loved to rebrand in public even more. I’d say we did okay at it and it was fun. But the real fun for me was developing the new brand, building the new UIs, creating new features. I mean, if you try Solid Security now and compare it to Item Security, so Item Security 8.0, we just released Solid Security 9.0. You just compare the two. It’s amazing the difference. We developed a partnership with Patch Stack. So now if you have Patch Stack enabled on Solid Security, you can rest easy at night because you’re going to be delivered virtual patches to any vulnerabilities you have. That was a major deal. Item Security for the longest time could not get a firewall solution at all. They even came out here and chatted and talked about how are we going to build one, how we’re going to pay an agency to build one, how we’re going to build an internally, what’s the investment? It’s going to take two years. We had to figure this out and the solution was partnering with the best in the business. And Patch Stack is way better than a lot of the competitors. Now they’ve gone leaps and bounds in the last two years compared to some of the competitors out there. I will not name them, but Patch Stack and Oliver and the whole team over there, I can’t be more impressed with them. They’re more than fair on our partnership. I want to promote them as much as we can and we will promote them as well, or they’ll promote us as well. So that was all very fun, but now to go on vacation.
[00:20:37] Speaker A: The other component that I want to throw out there about Solid WP is the Solid Academy. So Nathan Ingram is going to continue to be he on this podcast.
When I ask the question, which I’ll be asking you later, so be thinking about it is who do you admire most in the WordPress community? Or the question of who have you seen as a mentor? His name has come up more than anybody else’s, even more than Matt Mullenweig on this podcast. And so to know that Nathan gets to he was on the podcast a couple of weeks ago, but to know that he’s going to continue to bring that training and those office hours and everything on behalf of Solid WP, I think is amazing.
[00:21:15] Speaker B: Not only is he continuing on sorry, I need to stop shaking this pen.
He’s I got an opportunity to sit down with him and really chat with him, not as long as I’d like during WordCamp us, but finally some FaceTime with him that I really wanted this year. And what a great guy that he is. Not only is he going to continue on Solid Academy, he built that whole site with his agency himself.
[00:21:40] Speaker A: Oh, very cool.
[00:21:41] Speaker B: And so we want to do everything we can to empower him and keep him around for the long run because he’s a trusted source and a very admired source in this space. And the way that he’s created the videos, I don’t know if you’ve seen some of our promotion videos, but if you just go to our Wp.org plugin listing for Solid Security, you can see him right there.
His presence and everything there is a real value add to our business and our brand.
[00:22:09] Speaker A: Absolutely. What a sweet guy he is. 100%.
[00:22:12] Speaker B: Absolutely.
[00:22:15] Speaker A: What are you most excited about as we look at the next year for Stellar WP and Stellar WP overall?
[00:22:21] Speaker B: So with Stellar, I mean, one of the reasons I’m out here right now is to plan for the future and all the exciting things that we have happening right. There’s a lot of different pathways that we can go down. There’s a lot of big bets that are going to be made. And so, of course, we have our core set of brands. LearnDash events, calendar, cadence, solid. Now give Iconic These are all very great brands. We’re going to continue investing in them, but we’re also going to look in what else we can do with WooCommerce. What can we do with hosting, potentially, what can we do with our SaaS side of the business with Cloud offerings? Right. I don’t know if you’ve seen LearnDash Cloud, for instance, we do have a big hosting arm here and how can we leverage that more? How can hosting leverage us more as well? So bringing into some of our software more into the managed hosting environments and creating a value add there. So I think what you’re going to see is not only a reinforced effort on bringing more features, improving the current features we have, bringing on more support and all that good stuff, but you’re going to see more acquisitions by us. We’re always looking for, and I just got the green light, like, hey, go find stuff that we want to buy. Go find compelling brands that want to come over, bring their team, join a winning team and get a great valuation out of it. We’re not going to lowball anybody.
And I think from my perspective, I was on the outside looking in and here I am sitting in Atlanta for the third or fourth time this year, being part of this larger the, and this is almost three years later from our acquisition. So this is a big deal for anybody looking to come aboard or exit their brands, right? So I’d say a lot of exciting stuff coming down the line.
All the above.
[00:24:27] Speaker A: Yeah. And it’s fun to be part of it and to be on the team, watching it all happen and being part of making it happen as part of the marketing team. So very exciting.
[00:24:36] Speaker B: Absolutely.
[00:24:37] Speaker A: All right, let me move into our rapid fire questions. They’re not really rapid, but I will ask them. You take the time you need to answer them. But let’s get started with those. What are two or three must have plugins that you would recommend to somebody building their own website?
[00:24:53] Speaker B: I would say solid security, making sure that you’re secure.
[00:24:57] Speaker A: I had a feeling that one might come up.
[00:24:59] Speaker B: And then Yoast SEO.
[00:25:01] Speaker A: Yeah, definitely.
I can get behind both of those as well.
At any point in your WordPress journey, have you had a mentor, whether it was official mentor or somebody that kind of took you under their wing, and who was it?
[00:25:14] Speaker B: Absolutely. So my stepdad was all three of our mentors, mine specifically for a long time. But Cromwell, Jason, and I, we’d sit down in the beginning pretty regularly, at least twice a quarter, and then pre acquisition, more so, but in between, maybe once a quarter with him. And he’s not a WordPress guy. He’s just a big tech guy, and he’s been in the space for a long time, so he brought a different perspective to our business, and he’s really the one that brought in that focus that I was talking about earlier.
My stepdad nice.
[00:25:53] Speaker A: I like that. Who is somebody that you admire in the WordPress community and why you can’t say Cromwell because you already said him a couple of times.
[00:26:02] Speaker B: Yeah, well, there’s a couple different folks I admire.
I mean, I got to go with Chris Lemma. He’s a good friend of mine, and I’ve been to Cabo Press. He was at Liquid Web for a long time before as well.
And we’re not, like, chummy buddy buddies, which is fine, which is the way it should be, but he treats me like an equal. We have mutual respect, and he always gives me great advice, and I don’t think we’d be here today without Chris Lemma. And so I’ve always admired him, and I knew Chris before he was blowing up in WordPress, like at Advanced WordPress at our meetup back in 2011, 2012, we were sitting in the hottest conference room you would ever imagine, and Chris is there with the ten of us just shooting the WordPress, the stuff.
[00:27:07] Speaker A: You can swear on this podcast. It’s okay.
[00:27:12] Speaker B: I was just a 25 year old dude, and he really took it under his wing. And then also dre all these Southern California guys. Dre founded Sakuri just recently left GoDaddy during the pandemic. We really got a chance to connect and play some video games together while everybody was in lockdown. So he’s a good friend too. Steve Zangett. Like Scott Bollinger. Justin Fairman. Like, we have a great crew. And Strebel, I like him too. He’s been a good guy. Syed. All these guys.
[00:27:50] Speaker A: Very good.
What is something that you would still like to learn in WordPress but that you haven’t tackled yet?
[00:28:00] Speaker B: Wow.
How about to be successful on the SaaS side of WordPress? So we have items sync that we just rebranded to solid central. I wouldn’t call that a far out success just yet, but we’re going to put all our effort into making that a success. It’s layerville backend with a react front end using Gutenberg WordPress component packages, which is very unique.
But we also tried for a long time to build a SaaS with giveio that never saw the light of day.
That wasn’t going to be WordPress specific, but there potentially could be some talks about that. I’ve got some really good ideas that could be similar, like hybrid solutions with SaaS. But I love the idea of doing a SaaS based WordPress solution where you can really pivot faster, you can push updates a lot faster, you have more control.
And that’s something I really want to do. And I think more people are doing that now, and that’s going to be more what you’re going to see in the future.
[00:29:04] Speaker A: Nice.
What’s the biggest mistake that you’ve made in WordPress and what did you learn from it?
[00:29:11] Speaker B: The biggest mistake I made in WordPress besides, like, deleting live production databases and that fun. Stuff like that.
[00:29:20] Speaker A: We’ve all been there.
[00:29:25] Speaker B: I’m going to be sounding like a broken record, but it’s just like spending six months and building a Maps plugin that didn’t go anywhere. Right.
I love giving back to the community. We did WP rollback. It’s still free to this day. One of the most highly or highest rated plugins. One of the highest rated plugins I’ve ever built. And so I like doing that stuff, but that’s not full time. Six months of work. So I would say just not focusing on the core mission. So not to sound like redundant or anything.
[00:29:56] Speaker A: No, it’s all right. If you have a story, you could tell it. It’s all good.
But what’s the opposite of that? What’s your proudest WordPress? Moment.
[00:30:05] Speaker B: Oh, gosh.
I think it was definitely selling the business.
Of course, building and growing give and hiring everybody was awesome. But we got to a point where it was just time and I wanted to make sure our entire team was well taken care of. They could get benefits, they could get higher pay, 401, continue growing and not hit a growth ceiling, in a way. And I think it was not only good for us as partners, it was the right time, but everybody on the team stuck together and came over.
And what that showed me is we built one of the best teams. Right. You look at stellar now. Like, where you’re at? Where I mean, look at just pick somebody. Amanda Jeff.
That’s what I really wanted for everyone is to grow that. Not only that, aside from the team, this. Year alone, through Give alone, over $500 million is going to be processed for fundraising.
[00:31:20] Speaker A: That’s amazing.
[00:31:21] Speaker B: That really makes me proud.
But knowing that the team has been taking well, good care of is also.
[00:31:30] Speaker A: Really important to me as a manager at Give. WP when I got the phone call from I think it was Matt. I know it was Matt that called me, and he said, first, he never DMs you the right way. It’s always like, do you have a minute to talk? And you’re like, oh, man, what’s coming down? What did I do wrong? Right? So I’m like, yeah, okay. He’s like, Are you alone? I’m like yes, I’m home. And he calls me, and he’s like, just want you to know you can’t tell anybody till Tuesday. And here I am working in an office full of people. Right?
But I think it was a Tuesday. Anyway, he was just like, we’re selling Give, and my stomach sank. Like, what does that mean right away? But this is what we’re going to do, and this is how we’re going to do it, and you’re going to get a signing bonus and all of these other things that you all did to keep us protected and happy and all of those things through this transition. And I have seen other acquisitions happen in the WordPress space, and I have seen other people not get treated well. I have seen so many more often.
[00:32:34] Speaker B: Than not, it seems sometimes, yeah.
[00:32:36] Speaker A: So much so that I actually wrote an article on post status. I don’t know if you ever saw it, about how to remember that you have employees when you do, when you sell your company in an acquisition and referenced how Liquid Web and Give did such a great job at keeping us in the loop and keeping us at the forefront and making sure that we were all, I say, protected. Maybe that’s not the right word, but I felt protected throughout that process. So yes, thank you. That was a wonderful thing.
[00:33:01] Speaker B: My pleasure.
[00:33:02] Speaker A: Yeah, it was really good. Okay.
If you weren’t working in tech at all, web, tech, any of it, what’s a career that you might like to attempt.
[00:33:12] Speaker B: So no tech at all?
[00:33:13] Speaker A: No tech at all.
[00:33:15] Speaker B: Okay. Well, I was a journalism major, and I thought for a long time to be a journalist.
We’re talking 50 years ago that I would have been no Tech. I would have been paper, and, I.
[00:33:25] Speaker A: Mean, obviously we’re going to use a computer at any job, but no development, no website, stuff like that.
[00:33:31] Speaker B: Yeah. I really wanted to be a journalist. Not only that, I wanted to be, like, a wartime correspondent.
I went to college when the Iraq war was going on. My brother in law went, had a lot of friends go, and I went to college instead. I thought about joining the Marines, but I never did.
But I want to report to the world the truth about what I see on the ground. And I see that with the conflicts going on today, I’m always keeping up on the news. And so if I were to go back and do one thing, it would be journalism.
[00:34:12] Speaker A: I love that.
Qu'y a-t-il sur votre liste de choses à faire avant de mourir ?
[00:34:18] Speaker B: Have kids and get married.
[00:34:19] Speaker A: Well, there you go. You got the get married part coming up pretty soon.
[00:34:23] Speaker B: Well, we’re still on the same page for kids, too.
We’ll get there soon.
[00:34:29] Speaker A: But you’re doing the one in front of the other, probably, which is probably the easier way to do that.
[00:34:34] Speaker B: That’s a recommended pathway.
[00:34:36] Speaker A: I hear all of us did it that way, but.
[00:34:41] Speaker B: Just recommended. Right.
[00:34:43] Speaker A: You know how that’s not required? That’s right.
Okay, here’s the interesting one. I’ve had people get out of their chair and dance for me. I’ve had people pull out a saxophone. You don’t have to do any of those things, but show us or tell us about one of your hidden talents that the WordPress community might not be aware of.
[00:35:02] Speaker B: If I was at home right now, I’d bust out my guitars and start playing because I don’t think a lot of people know that I play guitar.
[00:35:09] Speaker A: I don’t play I don’t think I knew that. And I’ve known you for a long time.
[00:35:12] Speaker B: Yeah, I’m just kind of like a bedroom player. But I’ve been playing for a long, long time since all my friends in high school were in bands. And I have several electric guitars and several acoustic, several classical, and I even have a banjo, but I don’t really play it publicly.
[00:35:37] Speaker A: If I was in my other office, my home office, you’d see I had pointing at them the four guitars behind me.
[00:35:44] Speaker B: Are those ukuleles, too?
[00:35:47] Speaker A: No, I have just four guitars. One’s a smaller guitar. It’s a child’s guitar, and then a couple of trumpets and a flute on the wall. But I always joke that when I hung those guitars on the wall, then I knew that someday I could be a developer if I wanted to. Because every time you talk to a developer, there’s a musical instruments in the background.
[00:36:04] Speaker B: There seems to be right.
[00:36:06] Speaker A: There’s a big connection between music and science. So it’s not surprising to me that happens that way. So very cool.
How do we find you online if people want to follow you or get in touch with you? What’s the best way to do that?
[00:36:20] Speaker B: Yeah. So I’m on X, formerly known as Twitter at Interwebs. innerwebs. And then you can check out my website, devin.org, where I’ve been trying to post more regularly. I think I have maybe five or six posts this year, and then I need to do some more updates. But I think it’s still looking pretty nice. So check out either of those.
[00:36:45] Speaker A: Very good. Is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you wanted to add today?
[00:36:49] Speaker B: I don’t think so. I think that was great. I really enjoyed being on the show and love Coffee Talk.
[00:36:57] Speaker A: Yeah. Thank you. So if anybody’s listening and not watching on the website and you want to find any of those links, we’ll have them all on Wpcoffee Talk. Look for Devin’s episode and all the links will be there in the show notes along with the transcript of today’s episode. Devin, thank you so much for being here. It’s nice to connect with you. I know we work together, but due to both of our schedules, we don’t get a lot of FaceTime, so this has been really nice. Thank you for joining me.
[00:37:22] Speaker B: Thank you, Michelle.
[00:37:23] Speaker A: My pleasure.