It’s been a while since I did a geek-centric post. Contrary to my last few posts, I’m still very steeped in all things tech. 😉 So, without further ado…
I came across this post in my Twitter travels the other day and it has since stuck with me. It was a post from a fellow WordPress developer and he was talking about a concept that came from the lips of Matt Mullenweg (co-founder of WordPress, an open-source CMS that runs literally millions of websites on the web including the site you are reading right now.) and, though simple, it completely encompasses why I am so into WordPress as a platform and continue to support it in my own small way.
The quote came after an attendee stood up and spoke to Mr. Mullenweg stating that he found WP’s baked in image uploader to be cumbersome at best (paraphrased the hell out of this, but it’s a notorious nitpick. I feel exactly the same way. I back this guy’s complaint 100%). Most creators of software would first correct you on your assertion and sling some response that was akin to “I hear you, but first, you need to realize that you are doing it wrong…”.
Mullenweg said this:
“The software is wrong, not the people.”
Go ahead, read that again.
The creator of the most popular web platform on the planet, when presented with the opportunity, sided with the users of his software before even considering the situation might be otherwise.
I can’t even begin to talk about how completely against the grain this logic goes in web development. There are a TON of egos in this field, especially amongst the heavy hitters out there. Mullenweg could’ve easily, and publicly it sounds like, made this guy out to be a dunce stating that “other users accomplish things every day with images in WordPress, why can’t you?” and at face value, he’d be right.
But at the core of the issue he’d have been dead wrong. Software in the last few years has evolved into complete UI/UX (user interface/user experience) packages. Gone are the days where software is heralded for what it can simply do. Nope. The lens is now focused on whether or not the software can accomplish it’s task simply and, furthermore, intuitively. The latter has always been the view and goal of Mullenweg’s WordPress project ever since I’ve followed him and his progress years ago. It’s the reason I push WordPress on potential clients and even at my day job today.
You wouldn’t believe how easy it is to stand by an open source project that stands by you.
I encourage you to read the original article by Joe Flood, that this post spawned from. It’s really well written and deserves credit for bringing this small moment at a WordCamp in DC to the forefront.