Brad Touesnard interview

Hey WordPress friends, welcome to another edition of the Pirate Interviews series! Let’s jump head first into the fall season by interviewing Brad Touesnard, the founder of Delicious Brains, where he leads a team of intelligent developers contributing greatly to the WordPress community.

But before we talk to Brad, in case you missed our previous interview, here’s Bob Dunn telling us more about his blog and podcast.

Brad Touesnard Interview
Brad Touesnard has been running Delicious Brains, the creators of the popular WP Migrate DB Pro and WP Offload S3 plugins, for four years now. But besides Delicious Brains’ commercial products, his team (ten people now) also likes to build creative and useful things just for fun.

Before becoming Delicious Brains’ CEO, Brad used to work as an independent web developer. Now, he’s very proud of his achievements and believes that working together with a group of people will get you farther than working alone.

But it’s not only entrepreneurship that keeps Brad Touesnard busy; he also runs a podcast titled Apply Filters and a blog where he shares his insights as a professional WordPress-er.

When he’s not doing any development or other WordPress-related work, he loves to travel from city to city and explore the beautiful world we live in.

Let’s hear the rest from the man himself in this Brad Touesnard interview:

Brad Touesnard interview – the founder of Delicious Brains

When and how did you start working with WordPress? Is there an interesting story here?

Brad Touesnard:
I actually built a custom blogging engine for an online magazine in 2000 and it was only in 2004 when a coworker remarked how great WordPress was and that I should check it out. I started my own blog then and have used WordPress for publishing ever since. I worked with WordPress at agencies and as a freelance developer. I currently run Delicious Brains where we build awesome plugins for WordPress developers.

Delicious Brains comes up with ingenious product ideas often (e.g. the latest Facebook Messenger bot). How is your implementation process going on? Is there a schedule or planning for that?

Brad Touesnard:
Thanks! That Facebook Messenger bot is an open-source thing one of our developers (Jeff) came up with for creating a Messenger bot with WordPress as the backend. We don’t have any plans to sell it. You can read all about it in his blog post on it though.

Our for-sale products include WP Migrate DB Pro, WP Offload S3, and Mergebot. The rest of what you see from our team (like PHP Serialized Editor and WP Image Processing Queue) is out of their own personal interest or interest in contributing to the larger WordPress community.

Brad Touesnard speaking

What’s your technique for staying productive throughout the day?

Brad Touesnard:
I’m constantly experimenting with systems that work best for me. Last month, I experimented with completely turning off Slack notifications. Doing so really increased my own personal productivity at first but turned out it was hurting the team’s ability to reach me when needed, so notifications went back on. Still fine-tuning that one.

I think I can credit most of my productivity to just observing what works though. What’s working for me right now is daily yoga practice + a simple list of what needs doing for the day.

How do you define “being successful”?

Brad Touesnard:
Interesting question.

For me personally, I’ve been able to create interesting work for myself with the plugins we build at Delicious Brains while still getting to have dinner with the family every night. It’s also given me the freedom to work from anywhere and travel while still being intellectually challenged.

So I’d call that successful for me – that definition probably changes depending on what’s important to you though.

In the past, you worked as a freelancer. What do you find more efficient: working in a team or on your own?

Brad Touesnard:
There’s a good quote I’ve heard that captures this well, something like: “If you want to go fast, go solo. If you want to go far, go together.”

I think with the right team, you’re certainly more productive. I think what can sometimes feel like “wasted time” and lack of efficiency for a team can ultimately be better for productivity – things like catching up and team building/socializing can mean a better-bonded team. And a more bonded team can often get things done more efficiently.

From all the things you are currently doing (you’re doing so many things actually) which one is the most fun and/or challenging? Why?

Brad Touesnard:
Trying to master the press-to-handstand 🙂

What do you wish more people knew about WordPress?

Brad Touesnard:
That it needs to be kept updated. Security releases come out all the time and when they do WordPress should be updated immediately so that any vulnerabilities are patched. Same goes for plugin and theme updates as well.

Who’s doing things that are just cutting-edge and incredible in the WordPress space right now?

Brad Touesnard:
I think the work that the WP Ninjas have done on Ninja Forms 3 is outstanding. They’ve essentially broken out of the mold of WordPress and built a spectacular form builder UI that rivals any form solution let alone any WordPress form plugin.

Describe the WordPress community in one word.

Brad Touesnard:

Open 🙂

What’s the one thing you’d like to change about WordPress?

Brad Touesnard:
You mean besides which JavaScript framework Core decides to use? 🙂

Maybe the documentation. I often hear from newer WordPress developers that the documentation for various plugins and other pieces aren’t as clear as they could be.

What’s the main threat to WordPress these days?

Brad Touesnard:
WordPress has competitors. Wix, Squarespace, etc. I think I’m actually most concerned about the side effects of reacting to pressures from those competitors. Reacting to a competitor might not actually align with what’s best for the WordPress community.

What are your recommendations for a WordPress novice?

Brad Touesnard:
Be patient. Ask for help. Attend a local WordCamp. There are a lot of people who have been where you’re at and are happy to help you learn your way. If you’re more intermediate, our blog (deliciousbrains.com) is a good resource.

That sums up our Brad Touesnard interview. If you have any questions for him, please leave them in the comments section. Also, if you have any suggestions for who we should talk to next, feel free to give us some names in the comments as well!