Be Careful What You Ask For…

Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.

TL;DR: I have an opportunity to attend a WordPress course in Omaha that could change my life.

The Opportunity

This is likely the most personal thing you’ll ever see on this blog. On March 7, I woke up to a tweet from @JoshLawler “Don’t forget that @HeyFlywheel + @InterfaceSchool are offering a PHP, MySQL, WordPress course this spring! Join us: https://t.co/Tu4MqVundz

Pretty much everyone knows I’m a big fan of the Flywheel folks. (I like to say I’m their biggest fan, but their smallest customer.) So when I saw their name and “WordPress course” in the same tweet, my eyes popped right open. After reading about the course, I knew it was what I had been looking for these past two or so years. It’s an in-person, spread-out, small-group, project-focused, teacher-led course on WordPress. Not a course on HTML/CSS, then a course on JavaScript, then something more on PHP. No. WordPress. From the beginning. All the way through. Will we learn each of those languages? Of course. But staying focused on WordPress will help tie them all together.

The only part of the course that wasn’t required in my definition of a quality WordPress course was the in-person part. I’m not opposed to it, but I’m also a believer in remote/distance work and learning. Plus, I’ve an elderly mother that doesn’t drive anymore and I take her once a week to appointments and shopping. That’s a little hard to walk away from. So I’ve always looked to online learning for information. There are great courses instructors and courses out there, but I’ve always felt like I was missing something. I used to teach a workshop where we said it took knowledge, skill, and desire to make a habit. For WordPress, I ooze desire and have a fair bit of some knowledge, but it’s the skill piece that has always been lacking. I get that skill comes from practice, but I’ve always said that practice doesn’t make perfect, practice makes permanent – for good or bad. I need some guidance in my practice.

Listening to everyone talk these past couple of years about what you need to know to be called a “developer” and that everyone should raise their rates, my experience has been that the market pays for certain skills; if you want to raise your rates, you have to up your skills. I really believe this course will allow me to do that.

I feel like this course could help me not only gain the skills I need to make it as a WordPress developer, but perhaps even more importantly give me the confidence I need.

The Challenge

Most people know by now that I’m not living the high life at the moment. I walked away from a “comfortable” existence a while back, for so many reasons. But that’s what has led me to WordPress. I wanted to do something I enjoyed and that I believed in. I honestly don’t remember how I found the WordPress community. If you told me they found me, I’d believe you. They have certainly changed my life. It’s one of the reasons I bust my ass to get to as many WordCamps as possible. They’re the best place I know to learn and find others to help and be helped by.

I spent half my revenue last year attending WordCamps. I’ve spoken and I’ve done what I can to help. I’ve participated on several WordPress teams trying to offer what I can. It’s the best way I know how to give back at the moment. I’d love to do more.

The Adventure

The only thing keeping me back from taking advantage of this opportunity is money. I’ve made arrangements to be away from home for three months. Mom, kids, and pets will have to survive – and I’ll have to survive without my Harley :-(. When I’m done I expect to be a kick-ass developer that will be able to take on jobs that I haven’t considered before. Plus I will be able to have a bigger impact on the WordPress project and community.

I’m still trying to figure out all the details, but may I ask for your help? I’ve started a crowd funding campaign over at http://www.gofundme.com/omaha-or-bust and I’m still a bit short of the goal to make this happen. Any support is mindblowingly appreciated.

Stay tuned as I’ll be posting updates on my adventure from this blog.

Have I mentioned that I’ve never been to Omaha?