by Japh Thomson, WordPress developer, occasional core contributor & professional hand-holder.
I recently came home to Australia after a 3 week trip that saw me visit multiple countries, attend two large industry events (WordCamp Europe & PressNomics) and meet hundreds of people from around the world. All in a days work as Envato's WordPress Evangelist. There are always a couple of common questions when I meet people for the first time. They go a little something like this:
"What does an evangelist actually do?" Followed up with "how can I have your job?"
As a WordPress geek, I'll admit that I do have a dream job. I immerse myself in the WordPress community every day, in fact, it's a big part of my job.
So, to make life easier and so everyone knows what I actually do, here it is.
Firstly, how it all started...
My work at Envato started when I applied for a role as a Support Officer at Envato back in 2010. Back then, my job was providing support to a growing Envato community. Before working at Envato I had worked as a developer in corporate businesses, at agencies, and as a freelancer, specialising in WordPress, which was a great foundation for the type of support I was doing.
Collis, our CEO, noticed my extreme interest (read: obsession) with WordPress and when I approached him about becoming Envato's WordPress Evangelist, he embraced the idea. As well as this, I also began spending 50% of my time editing Wptuts+, which was a good compliment for my evangelical work.
Being an Evangelist...
As an evangelist I represent a number of different groups: I represent WordPress Developers, WordPress Users, Envato WordPress Authors within the company, and Envato's efforts within the WordPress community.
You probably see me on Twitter occasionally...
Part of my job is keeping on top of everything that is happening in and around the WordPress community. Twitter is a great way to engage with other WordPress users and developers, and quickly gauge what a lot of people think about a certain topic. I can see what blog posts people are sharing, what's annoying them, what they are loving, and I can easily immerse myself in the general chatter within the WordPress community. All of these interactions help me build context on what the community — both developers and users — want.
Tool Tip: I use a combination of Twitter lists, the Readability service (to save articles), and IFTTT.com (a really neat automation tool).
I have made many friends in the WordPress community through Twitter, so obviously, I love it.
I'm a user...
As the Editor for Wptuts+, I got to use WordPress everyday! I'm a general user, and as such, I experience WordPress like everyone else around the world. I face the same questions, the same bugs, the same "oh, awesome!" moments.
Having recently handed over the Wptuts+ Editor role to the amazing WordPress educational force, Tom McFarlin, I have a renewed focus on problem solving in the Envato and WordPress communities.
I'm a connector...
Like connector pens at school, I click perfectly into place between the WordPress community and Envato. Although a lot of my efforts are online — the quickest way to get a global perspective — I also spend a lot of time chatting with people one-on-one about WordPress. I go along to and speak at meet ups, organise the local meet up in my area, and travel to WordCamps around the world.
So, now that you know who I am, and more importantly, what I do. Come and say "hi"! Tweet me @Japh or even send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org - I would love to hear from you.