Carl Alexander is a PHP developer from MontrÃ©al, Canada. Whenever heâ€™s not targeted by various memes, heâ€™s helping developers improve their skills. He shares a lot of that on his website where he publishes articles on a regular basis. He also published a book to help WordPress developers learn object-oriented programming.
Heâ€™s often confused with his much more popular and attractive cardboard double.
Q1: What is your background and how did you first get involved with WordPress?
I started using WordPress in 2009 (I donâ€™t remember the exact version that was out at the time). An agency had hired me to create a proof-of-concept site for a large Canadian publishing company. The company had specifically asked us to use WordPress for it.
The project was a huge success and we built a close relationship with that company. So successful was the project that, within a year, I had 4 programmers working under me. It was during that time that I also found the WordPress community.
Q2: What should readers know about all the stuff youâ€™re doing in WordPress these days?
The WordPress community is really what keeps me engaged with the WordPress platform. Iâ€™ve been a WordCamp MontrÃ©al organizer since 2010. And for many years I also organized a lot of the monthly meetups.
Iâ€™m slowly retiring and I donâ€™t organize the meetups anymore. That said, I continue to write WordPress articles and speak at WordCamps. Just last year, I spoke at 6 WordCamps.
These days I mainly consult for Laravel projects or as sysadmin. I still have some WordPress products like the book that I mentioned earlier.
Q3: What challenges did you face in getting to where you are now professionally?
Thatâ€™s a tough question! The truth is Iâ€™ve been trying to answer it since 2012. The short answer is Iâ€™m trying to start a business that lets me work on projects that Iâ€™m passionate about.
Q4: Has anything surprised you while coming up in the WordPress world?
The community. Itâ€™s why I keep donating so much of my time. Thereâ€™s really no other tech community thatâ€™s as welcoming and diverse.
Q5: What does the future look like for you in the WordPress world?
Honestly, Iâ€™m not sure. Iâ€™m hoping to keep giving talks at WordCamp. (Iâ€™ve applied to a few already this year!) Professionally, Iâ€™m less implicated with WordPress as I mentioned earlier.
That said, I still want to keep working on WordPress projects. I have a small security plugin that I maintain. My next product will also be for WordPress.
Q6: What do you look for in a WordPress host?
Because Iâ€™m an advanced developer as well as a sysadmin, Iâ€™m looking for specific things from my WordPress host. Most high-end hosting companies (like Kinsta) have a top-notch infrastructure. Thereâ€™s always a question of price, but a good host is priceless. (I even wrote about it!)
So, with that in mind, Iâ€™m usually more interested in a WordPress hostâ€™s advanced features. I work a lot with continuous integration and continuous delivery. I need a WordPress host that supports that type of workflow.
Q7: What do you enjoy doing when youâ€™re away from your laptop?
I love to travel. Iâ€™m often out of town. When Iâ€™m traveling, I love walking around everywhere for hours on end. I also spend a lot of time meeting people. I often stay in hostels for that reason.
When Iâ€™m home in Montreal, itâ€™s video games. I spend too much time watching twitch.tv! Iâ€™ve also been playing World of Warcraft on and off for the last 15 years.
I also love weight lifting. I train 2 hours a day 5 days a week. I even train when Iâ€™m traveling!
Q8: Whom should we interview next & why?
Without a doubt, you should talk to Raquel Landefeld. Sheâ€™s one of the WordCamp Phoenix organizers. Sheâ€™s been involved with WordPress for years and her passion and commitment to the project is contagious.