Josh Pollock Interview

Hi, WordPressers from around the world! It’s that time of the month again when we share an interesting interview with a WordPress professional with our readers. This time, we’re keeping it short with our guest Josh Pollock, who is responding to some of our curiosities.

Before hearing from Josh, make sure you read our last month’s talk with Sunita Rai – content marketer at ThemeGrill. You can also get inspired by other great people from our community by checking out our full collection of interviews on this very blog.

Josh Pollock interview with Themeisle

Josh Pollock is a software engineer and developer educator from Pittsburgh, PA. He is the author of Refactoring WordPress Plugins and two other books about WordPress development.

He is also a contributor to WordPress core and many popular plugins.

In his spare time, Josh enjoys walking his dog, taking photos of flowers, and listening to music.

Let’s hear it from Josh himself:

Josh Pollock interview – “Most People Choose WordPress Because They Are Told It’s Free, and Then They Are Kind of Stuck”

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

Josh Pollock:

When I was in grad school, I started writing a blog, using Blogger, which was super inflexible, so I signed up for WordPress.com.

I got annoyed that every time I googled how to do something with WordPress, the answer was generally “paste this code into functions.php“, this was a while ago, so I started using self-hosted WordPress and trying stuff, FTPing it up and hoping for the best.

Later I got a job doing support and bug fixes at Pods and they started teaching me how you were supposed to do this stuff.

How do you define “being successful”?

Josh Pollock:

Mainly I define success by how much I can control my time. Can I go for a walk whenever I want, etc? I used to have all kinds of big goals, that’s why I got into this. I put myself under so much stress, gave myself a bad back, and didn’t take enough walks with the dog.

Forget all that. If I can take my time to think about stuff when I work, I’m way better at it. Also, I enjoy life more and I’m a nicer person.

What do you think is the most efficient way to market a WordPress product at this moment?

Josh Pollock:

In general, it seems like putting tons of intrusive ads in wp-admin and having misleading “limited-time offers” is the norm.

I want to believe, being kind, sharing knowledge, and explaining who your product is good for, would be a refreshing change.

What do you think makes WordPress the most dominant CMS?

Josh Pollock:

It’s popular, so we keep using it. I know I use it because it’s what I’m familiar with and I know a lot of people who can help me with it. Like, I know we’re supposed to tell ourselves it’s about the free software license or the flexibility, but for most people, they choose it because they are told it’s free, and then they are kind of stuck.

What is driving you to keep doing what you’re doing? What’s your personal mission?

Josh Pollock:

Look, I’ve got so much ADD, and I’ve got a bad back. During the pandemic, I really lost my ability to pretend to care about boring work. I had the best-paying job of my life in 2021, and it was super easy. I got bored and quit.

What keeps me going is doing interesting nerd shit, and fear of not making enough money to keep going.

I used to think I needed to do all kinds of impressive big-brain stuff to make my life worth it or whatever. I’m done with all that, if I can be kind to people around me and help people learn useful information, that’s great.

That sums up our Josh Pollock interview. If you enjoyed it and want to learn more, please leave your comments in the section below. Also, if you have any ideas for who we should talk to next, feel free to share your suggestions with us!

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