Meet Christopher Cochran, WordPress Expert

Christopher Cochran Chris will be joining us for WPSession #4: WordPress Theme Bootcamp on September 18th, 2013.

Where can we find you on the internet?

When and how did you get started with WordPress?

I first got started with WordPress while on an college internship with WebDevStudios in 2008. My studies were more in print, illustration and logo design, but the web has always been an interest of mine. Taking on the internship, I quickly learned and adapted to the world of the web. At WDS I’ve worked with many different technologies, even touched Drupal, but ultimately over the years the focus became more and more WordPress centric. Back then, my starter theme of choice was sandbox, oh how I loved thee, and owe much to it, since I came into the web scene knowing very little, sandbox was my guide to WordPress theme-ing.

What resources do you turn to when you want to learn something new?

I’m really a hands on learner, and learn best from just diving in. With WordPress, I normally dive directly into the source, to figure out some new feature in a new release, or see how they may go about something PHP related. Even outside of the WordPress I turn to other’s code, searching through github repos. Open source for the win!

What is your favorite WordPress feature/aspect?

The community, I honestly can’t say I would be where I am today without WordPress and all the people I have met through the years.

What is one thing you wish you knew about WordPress themes when you were getting started?

More PHP. After a few months with WordPress, I took a beginner PHP course at a local college, and it opened my mind to so much. I think just knowing some the basics of PHP could help out any person out there looking to build awesome themes on top of WordPress. Also, that Flash was on its way out. I spent a lot of time learning actionscript to do Flash sliders (by client requests), which could have been spent on learning js.

What advice do you have for others looking to become WordPress experts?

Don’t avoid challenges. Take them head on and come out knowing more, even if you find yourself not able to take it on yourself, reach out to the great community for help, and learn from them. I also really encourage creating patches for core, or submitting a theme to the theme repository. You are getting a free code review, and giving back to the community, it’s a win win.

Bonus Question: What is one interesting non-WordPress-related fact about yourself?

I collect license plates, and street signs, the older the better. Rust just adds to its character (or shotgun holes). My goal is to have a plate from every state. Only missing 10; Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oregon, Alaska, Washington, Hawaii, and New Mexico.