Let me just assure you that the Pirate Interviews series is going to continue into 2017 with many more great WordPress people on board. I’m not going to spoil the surprise, but if you’d like us to invite someone in particular, please mention him/her in the comments.
Plus, apart from what you’d call work, Jean is also living many people’s digital nomadic dream, being a WordPress entrepreneur and traveling the world at the same time.
Here’s our Jean Galea interview:
Jean Galea interview
In short, what is your history with WordPress?
What are the benefits and challenges of remote work?
Honestly, I had a few short stints working in offices while on summer break when I was a student, and I hated the office politics and time wasted due to constant interruptions. I am also very much into tech and love being able to make my own choices with regards to my desk, chair and other hardware and software. This is usually not possible in an office environment. Another big downside was the lost time in commuting and being stuck in traffic jams.
With that in mind, you will understand that I’m all for remote work and find myself very comfortable in such a setup. It is a bit tougher to recruit people who are able to work remotely, as you need to have a high sense of autonomy and be able to organize your day and motivate yourself. So that’s one of the challenges for sure, although nowadays it is getting easier to find people who already have experience with remote work as it is becoming more and more popular around the world.
Perhaps the one thing that office-bound teams have that I miss is the camaraderie and cohesion that is built by a united team pursuing a particular goal. It can still be present in a remote team but it’s not as tangible. That’s why yearly retreats can be a great tool for remote teams.
You and your wife are living and working as digital nomads. What were the biggest drawbacks, if any, of this lifestyle?
On the other hand, a digital nomad lifestyle will reward you with incredible experiences (and challenges) that will remain with you for the rest of your life. The experience of immersing oneself in totally different cultures will give you the chance to appreciate things on a deeper level so that they can become part of your personality.
What are your favorite development tools and why?
So far, you’ve had several successful WordPress projects. Do you have certain criteria to determine whether a project might be successful?
You may also be interested in these articles:
- ANDREY “RARST” SAVCHENKO INTERVIEW
- TONY PEREZ INTERVIEW – CEO AND CO-FOUNDER OF SUCURI
- AHMAD AWAIS INTERVIEW – WORDPRESS CORE CONTRIBUTOR
How did you decide to create the WP RSS Aggregator plugin? RSS is not that popular nowadays.
What happened next will answer the second part of your question. Feature requests started pouring in via the plugin’s support forum on .org and that led to me creating premium addons for the original core plugin. That core plugin has of course also come a long way from where it started in 2012, mostly thanks to the excellent developers on our team.
It’s been almost two years since you’ve started Mastermind.fm. How has this experience been for you?
The research is the same across blogging and podcasting, but podcasting is harder as you’re recording everything live and need to keep things flowing at all times. Sitting down to record a podcast is a much more intense experience for me compared to writing a blog post. Recording a podcast takes 30 minutes to one hour while writing a blog post can take several hours or even spread across a few days.
Talking about Mastermind.fm specifically, it’s been an awesome journey so far. I’ve been blessed to have an excellent co-host in James, who has a lot of experience in the domain of public speaking. Doing the podcast with him helps me improve much quicker than if I had to do it on my own.
Moreover, the whole point of Mastermind.fm was to open our private mastermind session to the public as we both felt that we were sharing and discussing topics that would be useful for many other WordPress entrepreneurs. I consider this project as a good way of giving back to the WordPress community, which has given me so much in the past ten years.
We have now started inviting guests on the show and this will give us the opportunity to have discussions about even more topics and have more viewpoints on things. Lastly, we have also been lucky to find sponsors early on and this helps us keep the show self-sustainable and viable in the long term.
To be successful, you said one should never stop learning. Do you have someone you currently look up to or follow? What do you read during your spare time?
With several priorities to juggle and the excitement of living abroad, what does your typical workday look like? How would you describe your workflow?
If you had one advice to give to an aspiring developer, what would it be?
The more you get involved and make connections, the faster you’ll achieve success. The community is by far the best thing about WordPress, I’ve met many incredibly awesome people in my journey that have become friends beyond work and I can’t be thankful enough for this experience.
This concludes our Jean Galea interview. If you happen to have any questions, please feel free to submit them below. We’ll try getting Jean back to answer them.