WordPress Qualifications

Russell Aaron WordPress Career in Video

Beginning with WordPress

I was sitting in freshman orientation. The head of the English department walks in and says “If you’re going to be a journalist, you need to do three things. Write a story & tell the truth, tell both sides of the story, and you have to have your own blog or no one is going to publish your writing.” In that moment I asked myself “How do you build a blog”? That’s how I got started in WordPress. Below is a video interview on the WP Round Table Podcast in 2016.

This interview sums up who I am, what my beliefs are, what I do with WordPress and my passion to help others by providing the best WordPress support online. The kind I wanted to have when I was first starting out. Enjoy.

WP Round Table Ep. 112: Russell Aaron – WebDevStudios

I’ve done a lot with WordPress since 2010.

Here’s a quick overview of how I’ve progressed from a WordPress enthusiast to WordPress Support Specialist & Consultant. I started with attending/presenting at Meetups. Graduated to Organizing/Sponsoring WordCamp events. Hopped on a popular WordPress podcast in 2014 and made WordPress my career, passion and hobby.

WP Vegas Meetup

  • Lead Organizer (2015-2018)
  • Co-Organizer since 2012
  • 66+ WordPress Presentations
  • Billions of questions answered
  • Meetup Website

WordCamp Events

  • Lead Organizer WordCamp Las Vegas 2015.
  • WC Vegas Speaker/Co-organizer Since 2012
  • Three time WordCamp San Diego & Orange County WordCamp Speaker (2015-2017)
  • WordCamp Orange County 2016 Plugin-a-Palooza runner up.

WordPress Podcasts

WordPress Career

  • Plaza Hotel & Casino
  • WebDevStudios
  • Maintainn WP Support
  • Valley West Mortgage
  • Media One Pro
  • Orion Network Solutions
  • GeekStreetWP

The WPWatercooler Podcast Network

The WPWatercooler Network is a podcasting venture owned and operated by my friend Jason Tucker. He has three weekly podcasts dedicated to WordPress. Every Friday you can catch me on Youtube.

WPWatercooler EP81 is the my first appearance on WPWatercooler. I was fascinated with WP Multisite. I asked Jason Tucker if I could be on the show. He started inviting me back each week. Throughout the years I’ve dedicated 30 minutes a week to voicing my opinion on WordPress.

WPBlab, also known as The WordPress Marketing Show, started when a service called Blab offered a different take on hosting online shows. Jason Tucker started the show with my good friend Bridget WIllard. The show has really grown and provides a lot of new WordPress subjects not talked about in the WordPress space. Compared to the WPWatercooler show where we sometimes start on a subject and get side tracked. My first appearance on WPBlab was episode 11.

Dev Branch is a once a month podcast on the WPWaterCooler network. It’s a show for developer. Sometimes we get way to technical for the WPWaterCooler crowd. So we created a show for the advanced developers. It’s so cool to be on an Episode One.

WPWaterCooler EP 11 – When is it appropriate to use WordPress Multisite

WPBlab – The WordPress Marketing Show EP #011 – Forms, REST APIs & RSS
Dev Branch EP01 – Speed Up Dev Time – Keep Your Own Snippet Library

Valley West Mortgage

Last Held Title: Creative Director

One day I was looking for jobs on Craigslist. I came across a post titled: “Seeking WordPress website administrator”. The post mentioned the company was a small mortgage broker in need of guidance with their WordPress Site. In our meeting the owner mentioned having a previous web developer. They needed to fill the open position. I accepted the job once the offer landed in my inbox. I had my own office and the Best Office Desk Setup. Free range to fully rebuild the company website, marketing and branding. I was my own department.

We turned the website from a landing page/brochure website into a full fledged Loan Officer’s assistant. Mortgage websites are simple in design and embed a number of services to collect and store data, show thier interest rates and start the loan application. We did everything in-house and with WordPress. Everything a Loan officer needed from their clients. We built into a step by step contact form powered by Gravity Forms. By the end of the form, a user would have all the correct information uploaded and selected to start the loan application process. Over time we fine tuned our online mortgage shopping experience to meet the demands of the loan officers and needs of our users.

Working for a small business and appearing on recurring weekly WordPress podcast really helped me transition into WordPress Support. When you work in WordPress Support there are a lot of emails. You have to be able to read, understand and respond. There are also team & client calls. You’re going to be talking on camera frequently. I did all these things while working at the mortgage company and organizing a WordPress Meetup.

Maintainn WordPress Support

Last Held Title: WordPress Support Technician

Maintainn Support was cool company. I was able to work with some of the smartest minds in the WordPress industry/community. Originally hired as a WordPress Support Technician. I performed a lot of tasks during my time as a WordPress Customer Support Technician. Updating content is a big part of support. My job also involved updating our clients Core WordPress files, plugins and themes on a weekly schedule. At one point, we were updating 550+ websites, every Tuesday and Wednesday. Including visiting the website after updates are applied – to check if anything broke. That’s a lot to do in a single day. Some updates were applied by using a service. Some had to be updated using subversion. Which goes to show you every WordPress website is different in every way and requires care and proper attention.

My job duties also involved talking to clients on video calls and live chat. Our project manager would lead the conversation. Once we had a support agreement in place, it was my job to understand how the website works and integrate our support services. Learning the skills needed to specialize in WordPress Website Audits. The company has their own custom built WordPress Support Plugin installed on every site. Helping developers find specific answers about a clients server environment and WordPress install. Once we understand how your website is put together from a server level, we can begin installing subversion, creating a staging site and applying updates. I’m very fortunate to hav my name on a widely used plugin in the WordPress repository.

Bulk hours is another part of the job at Maintainn. The company allows anyone to purchase a bulk number of hours to use towards fixing/installing software. Clients would come in the door needing to have their E-commerce plugins updated. That’s not something you do in under an hour. My schedule was always full between emails, updates and bulk hours projects.

WebDevStudios

Last Held Title: Back End Developer

WebDevStudios and Maintainn are owned an operated by the same parent company. When one side of the business needed help, we would change gears and help where we could. It really helped our Maintainn support techs provide top level WordPress support by being apart of the build process. Clients from WedDevStudios usually became support clients over at Maintainn. Once the building projects were finished, they handed us the keys. Who better to update and manage your website than the team who was part of the build process. Being able to work with those teams and be apart of the culture taught me a lot about the WordPress industry.

WebDevStudios and Maintainn have same intake and onboarding processes for their Enterprise and Support Clients. Our technicians were proficient in auditing a website, integrating our support features and applying updates. When the development teams started each project they had a briefing from our support technicians, logins and credentials readily available and all of the tools needed.

Plaza Hotel & Casino

Last Held Title: Full Stack Developer

I heard about a job at the Plaza from one on my friends in the WordPress meetup. He had worked with the person hiring for the company. We talked about how my services could benefit the company. They made me an offer I could not refuse. I accepted a job within the company as a Full Stack Developer. My job duties include managing the website properties, working with the marketing department during events on property and room sales and meeting with departments heads to report our departments progress. Basically everything I did at Valley West and WDS combined.

Marketing is the main focus of my time currently. Our team is responsible for delivering email offers and news blasts to email subscribers. We track the users engagement and review the data to generate online sales revenue. The marketing efforts are simple in design. Send out an email. Get people to click and buy. The team I work with is one of a kind and their sales strategies are unmatched. I’ve had the privilege to work with this team and enjoy every day.

The casino is a privately owned company and one of the only hotels not owned by a major corporation. It’s also the first Las Vegas hotel to produce a Podcast about the casino industry. It’s called On The Corner of Main Street. I’m a Co-Host with a few team members and the CEO Jonathan Jossel.