Team lead, product manager, and business executive living and working from Tucson, Arizona. See lance.blog for my latest photos and things.
I blog about leadership, WordPress, productivity, mindfulness, web technology, and more at The Sensible Leader, and lead product quality and engagement teams at Automattic. I love WordPress themes, and contributed to Twenty Twelve, Twenty Thirteen, Twenty Fourteen, and Twenty Fifteen in core.
|WordPress Origin Story||
My journey to WordPress started with a personal need and a passion for web standards; I wanted blogging software for my personal site that was easy to install and use — and would produce clean, semantic markup. The other options at the time just didn’t feel right. I don’t remember where I first heard about WordPress, it could have been a mention on Eric Meyer’s site or Zeldman.com.
My first WordPress site — an update to my (previously hard-coded HTML) personal site at fautrever.com — went live in summer of 2004, running on version 1.2. It was amazing to be able to publish quickly and easily and not hand-code each page! Besides ease of use I also loved how it championed using correct typography. Other than a brief flirtation with Textpattern I’ve used WP for my personal sites ever since.
In 2005 I went full-time with my web design/development business and through the years WP was a big part of my work — and part of my fun “hobby” time as well. You could say it’s in my DNA as a web professional.
In projects that weren’t specifically built with WordPress I usually found a way to tie it in somehow. For example, when I was on the engineering team at DigitalFusion we used the P2 theme for an internal team communication tool. In other client projects I’d drop in a WP-powered blog to sites running on other software.
I’d been watching things at Automattic from the outside for several years, attending one WordCamp and following several Automatticians on Twitter. I was really happy with my freelance career, but had always kept a list of 3-4 companies that I’d drop everything to work for.
So I set up a notification on ChangeDetection.com for the Automattic jobs page, which at that time only had a few listings, none of which fit me perfectly. Then in May 2009 I got an email from ChangeDetection showing that the Theme Czar position had been added. I said to myself, “This is it! That’s me!” I immediately sent in my application, and was hired full-time in 2010.