Member Spotlight: James Lau

James is traditional graphic designer (print) by trade turned developer over the past decade. The Kool-Aide design and tech drink was the preferred consumption of choice early in his career. Diving into any hot piece of technology that helped build the web. Everything from WordPress, Drupal, Squarespace, React.js, Angular.js, Vue.js, etc. was the norm.

Throughout his journey, he’s worked at various companies from small scale start-ups to large enterprise level corporations. Learning the ropes of how organizations function and discovering what’s needed in order to drive a project from kick-off to completion. Lately, with a bit of grey wisdom to share, we fast forward to more recent times, James has come full circle by choosing WordPress as the goto development platform of choice for any client who is in need of a good web presence. A late bloomer in interacting with the WordPress community, but a longtime user of WordPress in general.

Primary clients of focus are mainly in the education, health, government, and non-profit space. The old days of creating websites to sell a pair of shoes during a new campaign season is in the past. What drives James’s passion these days, is by assisting client’s needs in elevating their business who’s mission is to help out a community or society as whole. Building for a cause.

When not being a robot by day, James spends his time being a human during nights and weekends with his son and wife: watching movies, playing boardgames, video games, cooking random food recipes from oldie cookbooks dug up from yard sales.

What do you enjoy most about working in WordPress?

From a graphic designer perspective, the initial ease of use with the user-interface was what drew me in. Knowing where to create posts, pages, check the status of the site, and adding plugins, these were all laid out in an organized fashion and was easy to teach clients how to use the platform.

From a developers perspective, cracking open the PHP files (now React files), CSS, and JavaScript files, and understanding how to build out a site has always been manageable. Granted, the technology structure has changed over the last 20 years, especially with the advent of Gutenberg, but this does not detract from the its outreach capabilities by one bit.

Lastly, as everyone has mentioned before, the community is what drove me in further. Although late to the game in interacting with the community, I was pleasantly surprised to see how open everyone was. Whether it’s during a WordCamp or WordPress Meetup, both physically and virtual. Knowing that you can connect with someone and have a relatable conversation about the highs and lows for any given project, is truly a joy and testament of WordPress.

What do you love most about your Post Status membership?

Having joined only recently, I found the immediate responses from the community, whenever I have a business or technical question, immensely satisfying. There are other avenues where one can ask questions, such as Stack Overflow, Discord, Reddit, public WordPress Slack channels. However, the Post Status community is strictly for WordPress folks who have an active business history with the platform, people who are involved with the platform from all aspects of the web development experience, and who’s livelihood revolves around the successful evolution of WordPress itself. This is something you cannot find elsewhere.

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

Be an active advocate for the tools you truly love working with everyday. To do this, contribute back to the community whenever possible. Either by blogging, speaking at an event, teaching those who are not so tech savvy, design contributions, and code contributions. Be an advocate for change in the open-source community.

Also, be humble and share your personal or business journey with others. Regardless if they are highs or lows, shedding some insight allows those who aspire to be a leader, are given the opportunity to ride on the shoulder of a giants.

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This article, Member Spotlight: James Lau, was published at Post Status — the community for WordPress professionals.

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