With a passion for web development and a keen interest in WordPress, Pooja Derashi embarked on a journey that led her to co-found WPVibes, where her team have developed a range of successful plugins. Throughout her career, she has honed her skills in WordPress development, actively contributed to the WordPress community, and served as a member of the WordPress 6.3 release squad.
Pooja shares her experiences, challenges, and achievements, highlighting the features that captivate her in WordPress 6.2 and providing a sneak peek into the upcoming improvements in WordPress 6.3. She also offers valuable advice on selecting managed WordPress hosting platforms, becoming a trainer, and navigating the WordPress ecosystem as a beginner.
Read along as we explore Pooja’s remarkable journey and gain valuable insights from her experiences as a prominent figure in the global WordPress community.
Devrims: Pooja, share some information about your background and what sparked your interest in WordPress.
Pooja: I’m Pooja Derashri, co-founder of WPVibes from India. I started my career in 2013 as a Web developer. I have been passionate about web development and explored various content management systems (CMS) like Joomla, Magento, ExpressionEngine, and WordPress. However, WordPress’s impressive features, extensive knowledge base, and user-friendly interface sparked my interest and motivated me to delve deeper into its possibilities.
Devrims: When you started your journey with WPVibes, what were your initial objectives?
Pooja: When I embarked on the journey with WPVibes, our initial objectives were to provide top-notch web development services and cater to our client’s needs. However, as we progressed, we saw an opportunity in plugin development and decided to explore this avenue. Our objectives shifted towards creating custom plugins to enhance the functionality of WordPress and provide even more value to our clients and the wider WordPress community.
Today, we are proud to have developed 10+ plugins, which are a mix of free and paid. With 250K+ collective active installs of our plugins, we have successfully made a significant impact in the WordPress ecosystem.
Devrims: Can you provide some insights into your experience in WordPress development?
Pooja: With my experience in WordPress development spanning several years, I have gained a deep understanding of its nuances and complexities and have sharpened my skills in managing WordPress websites, working with plugins, and exploring themes.
Apart from development, I actively contribute to Make WordPress in various ways. I was honored with the Kim Parsell Scholarship in 2022 to attend WCUS. I am a WordPress Training Team Representative. I was a co-organizer for WordCamp Asia 2023, the first flagship WordCamp event in Asia.
Devrims: Have you encountered any challenging situations during your journey that pushed you to your limits? Please share how you managed to overcome them.
Pooja: Throughout my journey, I’ve definitely faced some tough situations that really tested my limits. One memorable challenge was when we had a super tight deadline for a really complex web development project. It was a real nail-biter!
As a team, we didn’t let the pressure get to us. We took a step back, made a plan, and rallied the team together. We communicated openly with the client, worked closely with them, and tackled each hurdle one-by-one. And, guess what? We delivered the project on time. It was a real confidence booster, and it taught me the power of perseverance, teamwork, and problem solving.
Devrims: What features in WordPress 6.2 do you find the most appealing?
Pooja: In WordPress 6.2, the features that I find most appealing are the Style Book feature and the Copy-Paste Styles option. Style Book allows me to create consistent and cohesive styles across my website effortlessly. With the Copy-Paste Styles option, I can easily replicate styles from one element to another. This option saves me a lot of time and effort. These additions make designing and maintaining my WordPress site a breeze!
Devrims: Let’s talk about WordPress 6.3. As you are a member of the WordPress 6.3 release squad, how is it going? Any specific improvements that we will see in this version of WordPress in August?
Pooja: Being a member of the WordPress 6.3 release squad has been a fantastic experience. I’ve had the opportunity to learn new skills and collaborate with a talented team. One specific improvement that I’m excited about is the introduction of a new “Library” admin section.
This feature will make it much easier to manage Patterns, Styles, and Fonts on WordPress websites. It’s a personal favorite of mine, but I must say there are many other exciting features in WordPress 6.3 that are definitely worth waiting for. WordPress 6.3 RC 1 is scheduled for release on July 18*, and you check the updates once it’s out. You’ll see a range of enhancements that will elevate your WordPress experience.
Devrims: When creating a website, the quality of hosting services plays a crucial role. Please share your tips on how to pick a managed WordPress hosting platform.
Pooja: When selecting a managed WordPress hosting platform, consider factors such as performance, security, scalability, and ease of use.
The most important factor for me is the quality of customer support. It’s essential to have a reliable team that can assist me promptly with any technical issues or concerns that may arise.
Devrims: You are a contributor to the WordPress training team. Do you have any tips for someone who is aspiring to become a trainer?
Pooja: As a contributor to the WordPress training team as a Team Rep., I have a few tips for aspiring trainers:
- First, immerse yourself in the WordPress community and familiarize yourself with the platform’s latest updates and features. Attend WordCamps, join relevant forums, and engage with other trainers to expand your knowledge.
- Next, be patient and open to feedback as you refine your training techniques. Remember, sharing your expertise and helping others succeed is a rewarding experience within the WordPress community.
Devrims: What is your preferred way to unwind and relax after a hectic day? Can you share your typical routine after work?
Pooja: After a hectic day, my preferred way to calm down and relax is by listening to music, watching comedy TV shows, and spending quality time with my loved ones. These activities recharge and rejuvenate me, preparing me for the next day.
Devrims: We would love to see your workspace. Could you share some pictures?
Devrims: What tips would you offer to beginners in WordPress who are just embarking on their journey?
Pooja: Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek help when needed. WordPress enthusiasts are usually happy to assist and support fellow beginners along their journey.
Devrims: Finally, please mention someone who has significantly impacted your journey. We would love to interview them.
Pooja: Anand Upadhyay and Courtney Roberston. I personally admire them. They always motivate and guide me to do more.
[* The interview was edited to provide the latest information about WordPress 6.3 development cycle. The public release for WordPress 6.3 is scheduled for August 8, 2023.]