Why collaborate with others? It is simple really, other developers and designers are not the competition they are partners or colleagues. They have different strengths and weaknesses, different workflows and tools, and not every client is a good fit for anyone of us.
By working with others more skilled or less skilled than yourself you are able to gain insights, provide a fresh set of eyes, discover new tools or workflows, lend a hand or get some help. In short, it is beneficial to both parties. Maybe more importantly, it is really beneficial to our clients. As Business Consultants we need to be growing and changing with the technology and expanding our skillset’s to stay relevant. If you are unable to keep up, then you are done.
We all could use a little help, we run into challenges that we have not seen before, maybe one of your colleagues have been through it, maybe they have a great idea to solve it, perhaps you are the one that has been there done that. Either way, it is important to view other developer, designers, and firms as friends rather than the enemy. I am always excited to work with new people, I can learn from them and/or I can share what I know. I was talking with Phil Hoyt the developer of “the Generic Framework” for WordPress. One of the things he said has stuck with me for many years now. he said “You should learn all that you can and share what you know. That is what WordPress is all about.”
Phil is more advanced at programming than I but is about half my age and experience, yet I was able to gain insight that I did not have before, and we have been friends since. I am a speaker at a few WordCamp’s across the country, I do this to share my knowledge with others and though I have 17 + years of experience I too am always open to learning and I do learn quite a bit from the WordPress Community.
You can gain some valuable resources when you work with other within your community, and giving back is a big part of how the WordPress Community works. I have met some great friends at WordPress Meetups & WordCamps. There are also some great WordPress Communities out there here are a few I am or have been part of in the past;
WPStudio – Benjamin Bradley is a brilliant programmer and a great instructor, his wacky humor along with his wonderful wit allows him to bring things down to a level that even the less computer comfortable are able to understand. There is a lot of knowledge in his group called the “Founding Fifty” and they are always willing to help out. This community has not been around for very long, but the people in it have been in the industry for many decades. This group just recently opened up to the public, with several plugins already finished and several more being worked on to be released in the near future along with it’s knowledgeable and helpful community is more than worth the price of admission. I feel I need to mention my son Dominic who is a budding developer has informed me that Benjamin Bradley is “The Shit!” Just thought I should add that 🙂
Ithemes – Cory Miller, Nathan Ingram AKA “Nathan The Wise” and the team over at Ithemes have always put out a good product and are genuinely a good group of people. With Ithemes Sync, Backup Buddy, and Ithemes Security Pro, you pretty much have your security taken care of, but they do not stop there, they have a wonderful community of helpful and knowledgeable folk in the community who are willing to lend a hand when you get stuck on something. They have countless hours of video training and more live video training scheduled. As a toolkit member, you get everything they have the whole lot of plugins, training and the community to back it all up. The value you get here is well worth every penny you spend to ride this train.
WordCamp – WordPress Sponsors “WordCamp” in tons of cities around the world. They are tech conferences designed around WordPress. You will meet a bunch of great and smart people. Most of the “Big Names” in WordPress travel around and speak at these conferences. You can build some great relationships and network with others in the WordPress Community. These are valuable opportunities to meet people who are very passionate about the same stuff you are. If you have never been to a WordCamp, then you need to click on the link and find one you want to go to and buy your ticket now. You can learn a lot from the speakers and other volunteers or better yet give back to the WordPress community and volunteer yourself, it is a great experience and you will thank me before it is all said and done. These camps are sponsored by WordPress and many other sponsors who help out to make them happen with money, but it is the Volunteer Organizers & Volunteer’s that really make it happen, so you should always take a minute to thank them for putting on such a great event. All of the Speakers who are doing the sessions you attend throughout the day are volunteering their time to impart you with some knowledge as well, no one gets paid they all do it to help you.
WP Elevation – WP Elevation is another great resource for your WordPress consulting business. Troy is extremely sharp and he and his team do a great job helping WordPress consultants take their business to the next level or Elevate if you will 🙂 he has coaching calls, Documented processes that you can put to work in your business right away. Troy and his team work daily to change the lives of the people in his group. The success rate of his clients is amazing! for less than the price of you designing one web project, Troy and his Team can help you take your business to the next level. If you sign up for WP Elevation and don’t grow your business, I will personally call Troy, Wicked late or really early in the morning (cause there is 10-hour time difference 🙂 and tell him to refund your money.
I hope you have found this useful, these are not the only communities out there, these are just ones I have personal knowledge of and know them to be great communities and i know they are worth the time money and effort to be a part of. Let this article be the begininning of you journey, go check out and search out other great communities to join and become a part of, who knows we might even meet up at one of them. 🙂