Member Spotlight: Taco Verdonschot

Taco joined Yoast back in 2013, after his first real experience with WordPress about 6 months before. At Yoast, Taco became the first full-time support engineer, later growing the team to its current size of almost 30 support engineers.

In the meantime, he discovered the WordPress community which immediately settled in his heart. Thanks to his amazing colleagues at Yoast, and awesome people in the WordPress community like Petya Raykovska, Jenny Beaumont, Kevin Cristiano, Remkus de Vries, Mike Demopoulos and many others he found his way to various Make WP teams.

Currently, Taco is GTE for Dutch and deputy on the WP community team. He’s also a co-organizer of the WordPress Meetup in Nijmegen (NL) and has been on various WordCamp organizing teams. In his current role, Taco is part of the leadership team at Yoast, overseeing partnerships and community, which includes sponsoring, and the Yoast Diversity Fund and Yoast Care Fund.

These funds, all the work our team is doing in WP core, and the recently launched Inclusive Language Analysis make me so proud to be a Yoaster. Because we really do make a difference for so many people around the globe.

What do you enjoy most about working in WordPress?

Working with people from so many different companies, cultures and backgrounds on something that makes the web a better place for everyone. The fact that WordPress levels the playing field for people who want/need to go online but don’t have huge marketing budgets for closed-source CMSs. The fact that WordPress aims to be inclusive and considerate of everyone. In short, the friendly atmosphere between so many WP contributors.

What do you love most about your Post Status membership?

Post Status feels like a family within a family. Back in the day, it was the best source for news from the WordPress community. Nowadays, the PS Slack is a place for me to have great conversations around the business side of WordPress.

What business/web/WordPress advice do you have for others in our industry?

Not so much advice, but more of a wish. I wish for more people in WordPress to understand the power of open source and the open web. I wish for more people to understand the power of ‘giving back’, understanding the victory of the commons (advice: go watch https://wordpress.tv/2013/12/12/joost-de-valk-the-victory-of-the-commons/). We need people to understand and live by open source if we ever want to stand a chance against closed source CMSs with their huge marketing and development budgets.

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This article was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

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