What’s up. I’m Russell Aaron. Father of two. One Boy and one Girl! I have a wonderful girlfriend (soon to be wife) and we’re true soulmates. I never wanted to have kids. In fact, I have a section called DONT HAVE KIDS. Now I’m telling you that kids are the best thing in life. Every day my son does something that makes me regret saying no to kids.
I was born in Northern Nevada. I call it Reno. You might call it Reno 911. Yes, the show is a pretty accurate depiction of the city. At least when I was there. My first job was working at a Go-Kart track. I was promoted to work on the other side of the business. The Ultimate Rush. I loved working with thrill rides. It was a unique job and suited my style. In three years, I became the lead flight controller, supervisor, and eventually manager. Then one day the owner bought a new ride. The only one of it’s kind. It’s called the slingshot. It was a mobile ride we traveled across the country. Each week we traveled to a new city. We took it to places like the San Diego County fair and The Minnesota State Fair. The experience was better than any senior trip I could ever imagine.
In 2007, I moved from Reno, NV to Portland OR. It was the first time I lived on my own in a state other than Nevada. Nothing was open twenty four hours, you buy your alcohol at a separate store from your groceries. What? Really? Yes! I learned how to be an adult in Oregon. I moved with an ex-girlfriend. There were no go-karts or thrill rides. I obtained a seasonal job at Target. Unloading trucks and stocking the store. I had a lot of fun being in a retail store so early in the morning. It was like having early access to Disneyland. Target is basically adult Disneyland.
From Portland Oregon, I moved to Las Vegas. I worked many odd jobs and met many wonderful people. One of my favorite jobs was affiliate marketing on Craigslist. I sat in an office all day watching clips from GlenGary Glen Ross and Boiler Room, eating nacho’s, and posting links to various adult websites. Hey, it’s Vegas baby. Adult lifestyle is a real thing and embraced in this town of Gambling, Drinking, and Strip clubs. I spent three years learning the ins and outs. No pun intended. What I learned from affiliate marketing is no matter what you’re selling there’s always someone willing to buy. You have to be in the right place at the right time.
That’s what brought me to Web Design.
While posting link after link, I was pimping out my Myspace profile. Learning how HTML tables and CSS worked. I turned my personal profile into a band profile. Then I started getting more creative with my designs. I spent a year designing layouts for bands in Nevada. Building a name and reputation online. While working on MySpace layouts, I was blogging on Myspace at the same time. Mostly short status updates about how I couldn’t figure out how to do something with code or Photoshop.
That’s when a dear friend of mine introduced me to WordPress. A free online blogging software made just for people wanting to have an online voice. I was free. I started blogging fulltime. About anything and everything. I read a book called WordPress for Dummies. Once I realized I could run my own website on WordPress and design it any way I wanted, I was hooked. I spent many nights on my back porch staying up all night. Watching Youtube videos. I should seriously have a WordPress degree from Youtube. I built my first site and I’ve never looked back. WordPress is a critical part of my life.
In 2011, I joined the Las Vegas WordPress Meetup Group. I met other people, like me, doing awesome stuff with WordPress. Had I not found the group, who know what I would be doing today. I started off attending the meetup as a user. Then John Hawkins asked if other people were interested in presenting something about WordPress to the group. I was hooked. I bought John a beer each time I spoke. In 2012 I spoke at my first WordCamp. Right here in fabulous Las Vegas. It went ok.
In 2012, I started one of the first WordPress support shops online. GeekStreetWP. I offered free support to all the meetup members and still do to this day. I sold the business, but kept the name. I spent the next five years working for a Las Vegas Mortgage company. Every day I learned five new things about WordPress. One tutorial at a time. After 6 months, I graduated from WordPress beginner to intermediate, power user, super user, and advanced user. The next step was writing code. Working at the Mortgage company was a tough time. But it was basically like I had a rich guy paying my way through college to learn WordPress. So I thank him for that.
After writing my first plugin, I won second place in the Orange County Plugin-a-palooza contest. That was the first time I realized there’s a real career in WordPress.
That’s when I joined WebDevStudios. In May of 2016, I became the newest support tech for WebDevStudios and Maintainn. I did many great things while working for WDS and Maintainn. I spent two and a half years working with an amazing team on many WordPress sites.
Now, I’m moving on. It’s time to write a new chapter. Until next time….