It was my pleasure to get the email from Saikeo, one of the translation validator of Lao version of WordPress saying that he and the university he’d graduated would invite me to Vientiane, Laos to have a WordPress meetup.
I am very happy that I could meet all of you and that we shared my experiences.
After I got the invitation, I began thinking what I should share with you in the first WordPress meetup in Laos.
From what I heard from Saikeo,
- there are no experienced WordPress developer at least at the meetup
- students mainly belong to the faculty of engineering in the national university of Laos
- you are learning programing languages such as java, VB .net and a little php
- no WordPress courses
The wants I guessed you might have were,
- How to install WordPress
- How to use WordPress
- How to create websites
- How to make a original themes
and it turned out to be right when I asked you in the meetup.
But I did not talk anything around how-to’s or tech topics.
Instead, I decided to share the experience of mine and other WordPress people.
WordPress has changed my and my family’s life, and I know that it did so to other people’s lives. I know WordPress can do so to your lives, too.
I summarized what happened to my life after I found WordPress and brought the words by interviewing WordPress people from Asian countries who run global businesses.
I thought The most helpful thing I could pass you was the hope, passion and enthusiasm to learn WordPress and build your future by yourselves.
I shared the words by my WordPress friends in Asian countries. One example was by Sakin from catchthemes.com.
Today, 25% of the world’s websites are in WordPress, and anyone can contribute to the ecosystem, from anywhere in the world.
This sentence was of course a surprise to the students.
You don’t have to be a hard-core programmer to be successful.
You don’t need an academic degree.
The barrier to entry is very low.
This is very true, because I’m not at all a talented programmer, I have no academic degree, and WordPress community welcomed me when I was a early stage learner.
All you need is lots of passion, and the willingness to learn.
I want to thank Sakin, Menn (WP companies owner in Thailand), Perth (a blogger, coder/programmer and my job partner from Thailand), and Hiromichi (CEO at digitalcube from Japan) for sending me your words.
After sharing the experiences of mine and others, I addressed 3 things I think are important for the you to learn if you want to follow the WP people.
- learning how to learn. finding the right resources.
I remember the reactions you made when I said the most important thing was English. You were both surprised and a little bit disappointed. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable in learning it.
From my experience, English is a really big key to open the door. And it is much more important for you, students in Laos to be able to read and speak English if we look at the amount of resources, activeness of community, and the size of market.
Here, I want to suggest you again what will make your WordPress life happier. Have a meetup group and run meetups regularly. The topics can be anything. Maybe you don’t even need a topic. You don’t need to have a teacher at the meetup. No one need to stand on stage and speak. You can just gather and learn together, share your knowledge, google things and install WordPress.