Carl Alexander is a PHP developer from Montréal, Canada. Whenever he’s not targeted by various memes, he’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.
He’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 don’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 you’re doing in WordPress these days?
The WordPress community is really what keeps me engaged with the WordPress platform. I’ve been a WordCamp Montréal organizer since 2010. And for many years I also organized a lot of the monthly meetups.
I’m slowly retiring and I don’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?
That’s a tough question! The truth is I’ve been trying to answer it since 2012. The short answer is I’m trying to start a business that lets me work on projects that I’m passionate about.
Q4: Has anything surprised you while coming up in the WordPress world?
The community. It’s why I keep donating so much of my time. There’s really no other tech community that’s as welcoming and diverse.
Q5: What does the future look like for you in the WordPress world?
Honestly, I’m not sure. I’m hoping to keep giving talks at WordCamp. (I’ve applied to a few already this year!) Professionally, I’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 I’m an advanced developer as well as a sysadmin, I’m looking for specific things from my WordPress host. Most high-end hosting companies (like Kinsta) have a top-notch infrastructure. There’s always a question of price, but a good host is priceless. (I even wrote about it!)
So, with that in mind, I’m usually more interested in a WordPress host’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 you’re away from your laptop?
I love to travel. I’m often out of town. When I’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 I’m home in Montreal, it’s video games. I spend too much time watching twitch.tv! I’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 I’m traveling!
Q8: Whom should we interview next & why?
Without a doubt, you should talk to Raquel Landefeld. She’s one of the WordCamp Phoenix organizers. She’s been involved with WordPress for years and her passion and commitment to the project is contagious.