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Devrims #TechTalk 058: Meher Bala Talks About Code and Community

Rimsha Victor Gill

Devrims #TechTalk 058: Meher Bala Talks About Code and Community

Table of Contents

Meher Bala is a seasoned web developer and WordPress enthusiast with over two decades of experience in the tech industry. She has been deeply involved in the WordPress community, contributing significantly as a co-organizer of WordCamp events and as an expert at Codeable.

Her journey began during her college days when she was inspired by the potential of the internet and encouraged by her mother to delve into technology.

Meher’s commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion within the tech community is evident in her leadership roles, especially in promoting female participation in technology.

She is known for her ability to blend technical skills with strategic marketing needs, utilizing her expertise in PHP, HTML, and CSS to enhance digital marketing efforts.

As a passionate advocate for the WordPress platform, Meher Bala values its flexibility, ease of use, and the strong global community surrounding it, which she believes are key to its widespread adoption and success.

Devrims: Hi Meher, how are things going these days? Can you tell us about your journey into the world of web development and what inspired you to pursue this field?

Meher: Hi there, and thank you for inviting me to this Tech Talk Series.

I am full of memories from my recent trip to Taipei for WordCamp Asia 2024, where I was a co-organizer. It is always fun meeting friends and new folks from the WordPress field around the globe once a year.

My journey in web development started in my college days. I was fascinated by the internet and how much information and knowledge is freely available to people who have access to the internet. My mom recognized my liking for the internet and computers in general and encouraged me to dive deeper into the technology field.

Devrims: With more than 20 years of experience, what would you consider your most significant achievements or notable projects?

Meher: There are many significant achievements I am proud of.

I do have 3 extra special ones:

  • 2019 – My first time being a lead Organiser for WordCamp Mumbai.
  • 2020 – My first time participating in a WordPress release cycle.
  • 2022 – My HeroPress story was picked to be shared in the People of WordPress series to inspire others from my journey.

Devrims: As a co-organizer of WordPress Mumbai, what motivated you to take on this leadership role in the local WordPress community?

Meher: Leadership roles provide opportunities to initiate positive change and make a meaningful impact. The main reason I agreed to take up a leadership role in WordCamp Mumbai 2019 was to promote diversity and inclusion within WordPress in Mumbai and help motivate other women to be a part of both the local Meetup community and WordCamp.

It gives me great pride and hope to see women take on leadership roles and participate more in the community’s growth and success. Having greater diversity in technology and web development is better for the industry as a whole.

I also had great support and encouragement from the community members and co-organizers who had faith in my abilities to lead WordCamp Mumbai 2019.

Devrims: Can you explain your approach to integrating PHP, HTML, and CSS to support digital marketing strategies effectively?

Meher: From my perspective any developer who integrates PHP, HTML, and CSS to support marketing strategies needs to have a clear understanding of the marketing objectives, whether it is generating leads, increasing conversions, or improving brand awareness.

Knowing the goals for the marketing strategy helps developers to design and create necessary functionality, ensure the web is accessible to everyone, and provide a consistent user experience.

We, developers, need to optimize PHP code and server configuration to ensure a fast page load and smooth performance to make the marketing strategy effective.

Devrims: What do you find most rewarding about working with the WordPress platform, and what are its key advantages for website development?

Meher: Using WordPress as a platform for website development one can create different kinds of websites from simple blogs to portfolio websites to more complex eCommerce websites.

WordPress software is free and easy to set up and configure. As it is open source, there are a lot of companies and individuals developing different plugins and themes that can be used for building a website.

WordPress takes care of the nuts and bolts of publishing content so one can focus on what they want to convey on their website without having to worry about how to display their material.

One biggest advantages is that WordPress has it big community across the globe. If anyone finds any issues or bugs, they can always report it and ask other people for options and help to fix it. New features can be requested for and it does get discussed openly.

Devrims: As a Codeable Expert, can you share some insights into the vetting process and the standards required to become part of their expert community?

Meher: The vetting process at Codeable has 5 steps:

  1. Fill in the Expert Application form with cover letter
  2. Short Video about Codeable with quiz
  3. Preliminary code quiz
  4. Full code project either front end or backend
  5. Final Interview

At this time, Codeable’s application for new Experts is closed. The standards are pretty high. I always believe anyone entering Codeable is a skilled and talented WordPress expert.

Devrims: How does your involvement with Codeable contribute to your professional growth and expertise in web development?

Meher: As a Codeable Expert, I get to work on diverse projects from different industries, technologies, and challenges, and with different clients across the globe. This has broadened my skill set and experience.

Interacting with clients on Codeable has helped me learn to have a better understanding of client requirements and needs, set clear and timely expectations, and deliver high-quality work within deadlines which is crucial for building successful client relationships and growing.

Codeable has an amazing and vibrant community of 800 experts who are very helpful with providing constructive feedback, helping find a solution for a website problem, and sharing their knowledge, and skill set with others in the community.

Devrims: Let’s do a quick rapid-fire.

Devrims Meher
WordCamp USA or WordCamp Asia One day I definitely would like to visit WordCamp USA and WordCamp Europe, but until then WordCamp Asia is always a great opportunity.
Coffee or Tea Coffee
Day or Night Night Owl

Devrims: Our readers would love to have a glimpse at your workspace.

Meher: I work from a co-working place so my workspace is nothing fancy, but I like the environment and people around me.

Devrims: Many businesses are concerned about scalability when it comes to their websites. How does managed WordPress hosting address scalability needs, especially for growing businesses?

Meher: Managed WordPress hosting server infrastructure is designed to handle the demands of WordPress websites efficiently.

They offer scalable resources such as CPU, RAM, and storage, allowing businesses to easily upgrade as their website traffic increase or decreases. This scalability ensures that the website can handle spikes in traffic without the website experiencing downtime or performance issues.

Many managed WordPress hosting providers offer automatic scaling that dynamically adjusts server resources based on traffic fluctuations.

Some of the Managed WordPress hosting plans also include integration with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to improve website performance and scalability.

Devrims: As a co-organizer of WordCamp Asia, what has been the most rewarding aspect of contributing to these events?

Meher: Being a co-organiser for WordCamp Mumbai I did have some experience and ideas on what goes into running a WordCamp.

The opportunity to be selected as a member of the organizing team for WordCamp Asia was not only an honor but also a highly rewarding experience for me. As a flagship event in the WordPress community, WordCamp Asia attracts thousands of attendees from around the world.

Being part of the Program team for such a prominent event provided me with invaluable insights into the dedication and collaboration required to bring the event to life. The team worked tirelessly for nine months, driven by a shared love for the WordPress software. Each member contributed unique suggestions and ideas, creating a dynamic and creative environment where we explored various avenues to ensure the event’s success.

Throughout the planning process, I witnessed the diverse ways in which people from around the world use WordPress and what they expect from WordCamp.

Attending and contributing to these events helps me travel and explore different cultures in the world.

Devrims: How has your involvement in the WordPress community influenced your approach to web development and client work?

Meher: The WordPress community has helped me to understand what works in one sector of clients does not necessarily have to work with another sector of clients. However different each project is there are some points in web development that we developers need to handle with care.

It also has helped me understand how different components of WordPress work together to get the best results for your clients.

As technology is growing faster it is hard to stay on top of everything and being a part of the WordPress community has helped me get the latest news from different sectors like SEO or new features in Full Site Editing (FSE) and accessibility.

Devrims: As we wrap up, recommend any three industry experts we should interview next.

Meher: I would recommend Blake Cheng, Yuli Yang, Regan Khadgi, and Oneal Rosero.

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