Roshan Bhattarai is the co-founder of Proshore Nepal, co-owner of Styled Themes, ExportFeed and Mighty Themes. He also co-authored a book, PHP Ajax Cookbook from Packt Publishing. He is also a co-organizer of WordCamp Nepal 2015 and loves Chelsea FC. We got a chance have a little chat with him at WordCamp Nepal 2015.
How did you start using WordPress?
Well, I first started out as a blogger. I had been using WordPress for my blog as a user. Also, being a coder, I used my knowledge to make tweaks and customizations to the themes to fit my use. Then I started my own company (Proshore). The company first started out as a client-based one, i.e. the client specified the requirements and we made themes accordingly. We had our own operating procedures, but catering to clients threw our process off, especially as the clients were not always sure of what they wanted, and changed their requirements very often. This was very challenging. Because of that, we decided to go from a client-based company to a product-based company. We then acquired some WordPress products and started getting more involved with WordPress and the community.
Your most proud achievement around WordPress?
It is like asking “You have 3 sons. Who do you love the most?” A moral dilemma. As of now, I can’t say anything precisely but hope someday I will. But I love all of my ‘children’.
Anything about you that is not related to WordPress?
I am mostly working because I love my work. So it does not feel like ‘work’. However, if I’m not working, I either travel because I am an avid traveler OR I watch or play football, especially in the weekends. I am a huge fan of football and Chelsea FC is one of my favorite teams.
Your favorite thing about WordCamps?
Networking, definitely. WordCamp is that kind of event where you get to meet like-minded people. There is also the learning part. I, myself, learned a lot by attending and being involved in WordPress-related events. I don’t think I would have had the audacity to spend a fortune on my web development company without the things that I learned in WordCamps. I was inspired by the various speakers and the people of the community who were making leaps in the field of WordPress and IT as a whole. I knew I had the caliber but seeing them gave me the courage to dream and make it a reality. The opportunity to meet people of the same mind and hearing/sharing success stories motivates you a lot. I’m sure this (WordCamp) will motivate others to some extent too.
It’s good to know that the community is big and growing. On the other hands, what do you think are the biggest challenges facing WordPress’ growth?
Lack of positive attitude. The WordPress Nepal community is quite big. So people of all sorts are here. Sometimes what I have seen happening is when a small obstacle arises, some people suggest overlooking that problem and moving on would be the best solution. People lack the can-do attitude to at least try to tackle the problem.
Is there any advice you’d like to share with people who are just starting out?
Begin from whatever opportunity that you get to get involved with WordPress. You should never leave the community out. Learn to give back to the community because it will give you so much. You should keep yourself updated with anything and everything WordPress and the ever-changing community. I strongly suggest them to participate in events like WordCamps because you meet unexpectedly talented and inspiring people. First, I only had a slight idea of who Chandra Maharzan was. But after I met him personally at an event, I was awestruck. Nepal has awesomely capable people. You will definitely be moved in new ways.
This year was quite hard not only for the WordPress community but for the entire country. Still the on-going blockade and shortage is causing widespread disruption. We had big plans for this year’s WordCamp but due to the unforeseen issues, we were not able to do as much as we could. There WERE some minor technical issues and I would sincerely like to apologize, on behalf of everyone involved in organizing WordCamp Nepal 2015. But we do have a sense of pride because we organized WordCamp despite those issues. We gave it our best shot and, I can say, successfully conducted a big event like this when other ventures were not able to, we can definitely pat ourselves on the back. We will go through the feedback forms and will definitely work on the shortcomings that we had this year, and make the next WordCamp Nepal bigger and better.