Episode 5: Allie Nimmons episode cover

Episode 5: Allie Nimmons

Allie Nimmons is a Tech Support Team Member at Give WP and a GoDaddy Pro Speaker Ambassador. She owns Pixel Glow Maintenance where she provides WordPress maintenance services to growing businesses.

Transcript

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Christina: Me too.

Christina: Okay, so I’m gonna do my five seconds of silence again.

Christina: Hello and thanks for listening to WP_contribute. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Allie Nimmons. Allie is a Tech Support Team Member at Give WP and a GoDaddy Pro Speaker Ambassador. She owns Pixel Glow Maintenance where she provides WordPress maintenance services to growing businesses. Welcome, Allie!

Allie: Hi, Christina. Thank you for having me.

Christina: Thanks for being here. So is there anything else you wanted to touch on in that introduction, other than what we’ve already said?

Allie: No, I think I think you really touched on all the things that take up most of my time in any given day. So that’s a good representation of who I am and what I do, particularly in the WordPress space.

Christina: Excellent. I’m curious if you can tell us more about what it means to be a Speaker Ambassador.

Allie: So I like to joke that I am a I’m a GoDaddy employee, but they pay me in plane tickets to WordCamps. Because basically, I am an advocate for the GoDaddy Pro product, not necessarily GoDaddy as a company or any of their other you know domain or hosting products, but specifically for GoDaddy Pro, which I use to maintain my sites and my client sites as well. And yeah, they, they send me to Camps, that they are, some camps that they are sponsoring, not all of them. But they sponsor a Camp, they send me they usually send a couple of other people as well. And I get to be there as an ambassador for the product. And a lot of times my talks are kind of geared so that they are appealing or helpful for people who might also be interested in the GoDaddy Pro system. So people who are managing multiple websites and need to backup multiple websites and you know, those sorts of people and so I get to have a lot of really, really cool conversations with people who either use GoDaddy Pro or are interested in GoDaddy Pro and I get to connect them with this really, really neat tool that I really love. And I get to travel, like this past year I’ve traveled. I’ve never been to Boston before I got to go to Boston. I’ve never been to Seattle before and I got to go to Seattle. Next weekend, I’m going to Phoenix for the first time I never been to Phoenix. I never been to St. Louis. I get to go to WordCamp US last year thanks to GoDaddy. And so it’s really a pretty sweet gig. I don’t know how I how I lucked into what I did, but it’s kind of my dream because I really really like speaking and I really really like traveling. And I’ve met like people like yourself through those experiences and so it’s really opened up the, the world of WordPress as far as the people to me, which is pretty fantastic.

Christina: That’s amazing. That sounds really great. I wouldn’t mind doing something like that at some point down the road. I’m not as a big speaker yet though. This this podcasting is sort of that’s my limit right now.

Allie: Well, if you ever if you ever want some some advice or help or anything like that I’ve been speaking in some way shape or form in front of people since I was five.

Christina: Wow.

Allie: So being up on stage and having people pay attention to me is like nothing.

Christina: That’s impressive

Allie: Yeah, I find it really fun.

Christina: Yeah, I’ve spoken at our local Camps and, and, and at our meetups, but that’s sort of the extent of it and certainly not confident in that area. At this point. Yeah. So anyways, um, so how long have you been contributing to WordPress?

Allie: um, I guess, I guess it depends on what, what we define as contributing, right. Um, I’ve not yet contributed to WordPress in kind of the way that people think about immediately, like contributing code or participating in, like a contributed contributor day or any documentation or any of those kind of really direct things that you can like, look at and be like, I wrote that or like I did that, you know, I think I’m more of a community contributor, which I think is still pretty great and pretty awesome and really fun and helpful.

Christina: Very important.

Allie: Thank you. Um, I do my best. I feel like since I’ve since I’ve become more active in the community, meaning since March of last year, which is really when I met like everyone that I know now, I met for the first time starting in March of last year. I’ve had just a lot of conversations with people. And I’ve tried to have a lot of conversations with people about the nature of community and what it means to be a community member and what it means to be a helpful community member and impactful community member. I talk a lot about diversity in this space. That was the the talk that I gave at WordCamp US with Jill Binder and Aurooba Ahmed and David Wolfpaw. We all did a workshop on making more diverse and inclusive spaces. And that really began from conversations that I’ve had with lots of other people about how do we make our WordPress space more diverse and inclusive. So if I can, if I can leave this planet, having contributed something to WordPress, hopefully it will be making it a more diverse and inclusive space. And so that’s the way that I try to contribute it is one of my goals for this year to contribute in a more physical sense, like contributing code or contributing documentation or something, something along those lines. I do really want to do that and you’ll get that little badge thingy, right? Yeah, as of right now, it’s a lot of community stuff, which I find to be really really rewarding. And it’s it’s like easy for me to have these conversations. It doen’st feel like like work or an inconvenience or anything like that, to have these conversations and that’s one of the things I like the most about going to WordCamps and going to meetups is talking to other people, which I never thought I would say because I’m very much an introvert and like I’ve said a bazillion times like I do not like people I don’t like talking to people and hanging out with people in social situations, but WordCamps are just different for me.

Christina: I agree

Allie: There’s so like, if you talk to any anybody else that knows me outside of the WordPress space, they’re like, yeah, Allie doesn’t, Allie doesn’t go to like parties or networking events or you know, I’d much rather stay at home in my pajamas and drink tea and read a book. But when it comes to WordCamp it’s like, ya! I’ll spend three solid days talking to people.

Christina: There aren’t enough hours in the day. Right?

Allie: There are not! Yeah, like, WordCamp US was fantastic. I got to talk to an inordinate amount of people that I never would have gotten to meet before. And it was so unbelievably gratifying and interesting and fun. And yeah, that’s, that’s what I really like doing right now. And I hope that every camp I go to I can have more, more of these talks with different people as well. So yeah, I think I think that’s the that’s the main way that I feel like I contribute to WordPress.

Christina: Right. Awesome. And if I remember correctly, you are an organizer for WordCamp Miami?

Allie: Um, I started to organize WordCamp Miami. And it wasn’t really the right fit for me, which I think was really interesting because WordCamp Miami is my home Camp. I live in Miami and it was the first Camp that I ever attended. I went to 2017. I’m sorry, 2015 and 2017 2019. And then I started to go to lots of other Camps. So with that is the Camp that got me into the WordPress community. It’s the Camp that got me into WordPress in the first place. And so I was really, really, really eager to join the organizing team. And this is this is something that like, I have to just make sense, like, I have to do this. And I realized that I didn’t really like organizing. And that’s not anything against organizing or against that team or against anything. It just wasn’t the right fit for me. And that was a really interesting lesson that I had to learn, was that just because I love this space, and I love this event. And I like these people and I want to spend time with them, it doesn’t mean that I have to do everything, right, it doesn’t mean that I have to take on every single responsibility that that’s put out there to me. And I can expend my energy.

Christina: And you can’t.

Allie: Yeah, exactly. And I could spend my time and my energy and my focus, doing something that I would rather do and as a result can do better. Like, I think that when we like something that we’re doing and when we feel passionate about it, and we feel confident, we do a better job than if we’re kind of struggling through it, you know, and I realized at a certain point, like I’m a volunteer, and if I’m struggling here, I don’t have to do this. I can give this position to somebody who would probably be much better at it than I and so I made that decision. And it was a weird decision to make because it kind of it was that moment where it was like am I failing at this, is this a bad thing? Like, did I fail? Am I giving up? You know, like, everyone always says like, don’t give up when things get hard, but, you know, sometimes it’s not the right decision. And so

Christina: Yeah, it’s not giving up.

Allie: it is kind of a weird thing. Yeah. And I eventually got around to that way of thinking and it is a weird thing because I was super super gung ho about it and like told everyone like, I’m going to be an organizer, or Miami, this is so great. And so I still to this day, people will like DM me with a question and I’m like, I’m actually not doing that anymore. But I can tell you who is and they definitely help you.

Christina: Yeah, which is still helpful.

Allie: Yeah, it was. It was a interesting experience. I did learn a lot about not only myself but about the process of organizing the WordCamp, which is not a small feat in any way, shape or form. It is a lot of work.

Christina: And Miami is one of the bigger ones right as far as the local ones go

Allie: if not the biggest, I think it’s the second largest in terms of attendance.

Christina: Yeah.

Allie: And, you know, for people who are doing this as volunteers in their free time, you know, in between work, family, kids, self care, all of that stuff, like, hug your organizers everybody. If you go to a WordCamp find every organizer you can and just give them a hug and say thank you because it is it is a gift. What, what, what people do, and I don’t

Christina: Yeah,

Allie: I don’t take that for I didn’t want to, you know, knowing that I wasn’t really a right fit for it. I kind of felt weird at a certain point continuing to try to power through because I was like, um, I’m not kind of like living up to what in my head a WordCamp organizer does, like the amount of work that they put into it and how much they love doing it. Like I’m sure there are so many organizers who are like, yeah, it’s a lot of work, but I really really, really love So it’s worth it. I never really felt that way. And so, it just didn’t work out.

Christina: That’s all right. That’s, and that’s something like you said it took you a little while to sort of come to terms with it. That was okay. And a lot of people still struggle with that. Right. And it’s not giving up. It’s not quitting. It’s making a smart decision and prioritizing. Cuz, like you said, you can’t do everything.

Allie: And I’ll still be there. If If I don’t, I’m not sure when this is coming out. But if this comes up before, February 28, I will,

Christina: It might,

Allie: okay,

Christina: close to, or close to it?

Allie: Got it. I will definitely see people there. If this goes out after I will have seen you there. I actually bought my ticket, which is the first time I’ve ever bought a ticket to WordCamp, I realized because all of my other tickets were either I was speaking so my ticket was comped or the very first time I went I went, um, because my boss at the time was speaking and so he brought me with him. So he paid for my ticket.

Christina: Right

Allie: Um, so it felt it felt kind of cool. Like, this is the first time I’ve ever actually financially supporting WordCamp and I was like this is, this is nice, this is good. This is what should happen. But I’ll still be there. I’ll actually be there. Give my actual job not my GoDaddy job but my actual paycheck job. They are going to be sponsors. So I’m going to be at their booth probably for a lot of the time helping out and being a Give ambassador too.

Christina: awesome. Can you tell us a bit about what WordCamp Miami is like? Like, how many days is it? How many tracks? what kind of stuff goes on to the best of your experience?

Allie: Yeah, so the best of my experience in the best of my knowledge as far as this year goes. Typically it’s three days, a Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Saturday and Sunday are full track days. So as far as I know, we don’t do Contributor Day at WordCamp Miami. The Friday is typically workshops.

Christina: Okay,

Allie: um, like, for example, last year, we had a freelancers workshop, I believe we had, excuse me, beginners workshop. I don’t remember what the third one was, but primarily the workshops on the Fridays. And then there’s usually a kind of advanced developer workshop on the Sunday. And so in previous years, we’ve done JavaScript, I think in this this year. Last I heard so this is not a promise this is what this going to happen. But last I heard when we were chatting about it was we were going to move a little bit away from JavaScript and more specifically into like, blocks and Gutenberg and, you know, all of these things that are very, very topical right now as far as the WordPress community goes, because for a long time, that was JavaScript when people were really really everyone wants to learn JavaScript, which you should. But Gutenberg is the new thing. And so I believe a lot of those talks are going to be on blocks and Gutenberg and and the advanced levels of like how to build all of that stuff. And that’s going to be really cool. That’s all I know for sure about this year versus like previous years. In previous years we also do a game show, which

Christina: I’ve heard.

Allie: Yeah, the game show’s awesome. I’m pretty sure that WordCamp Miami is the only Camp that’s done the game show. At least it’s the first Camp to have done it.

Christina: They ran it at WordCamp US

Allie: They did. Yeah, it was really fun

Christina: And I was doing a workshop for contri-, for contributors, for Contributor Day and contributing at the same time so I couldn’t go,

Allie: it is pretty fun. We use an app called I think it’s called Kahoot something like that. And you can preset the questions and then everyone’s on their phone and you have a certain amount of time and you pick the answers. And it’s incredibly, incredibly fun. Especially because, at least in Miami, David Biseet writes all the questions. And if you spend five minutes with David Bisset, like, you know, these questions are going to be funny and they’re going to be silly, and they’re going to be clever. And he’s going to trick you. And it’s, it’s incredibly fun and like, I love it because it’s so indicative of the like, essence to me of a WordCamp. It’s like, yeah, it’s a conference. Yeah, we’re talking about like, work related stuff and professional stuff where people are networking, and you have job boards and sponsors, but it’s fun. Like, that’s always the primary goal is like, how can we make this fun and enjoyable and make sure that people have a good time? And yeah, it just, it makes me really, really happy that things like this exist, you know?

Christina: Yeah. I love that. That that exists. Like you said, Yeah, and hopefully, more Camps will start to do it. I think we should try to do it.

Allie: I hope so or else finding other ways like finding other finding other other things other ideas, other concepts to, you know, bring some fun and some levity, especially when you have a KidsCamp. I know WordCamp Miami, at least last year. We did it like right before closing remarks and so all the kids from the Kids Camp came over. They also participated in it and it just it brought everyone who had been separated and into all these tracks all day long, it brought everybody together to play this big game and laugh together And yeah, it’s incredibly fun.

Christina: Yeah, we started a selfie scavenger hunt last year

Allie: that’s cute

Christina: to try to get people to interact with different people a bit more you know, things like Like you said, hug an organizer or high five a speaker or, you know, talk to somebody that that has never been to a WordCamp before to try to help get some of that going and still have some fun and we had things like dress up as a Mountie or something like that, because fo the location where we were, that was something you could do or lock yourself self in the jail, things like that. So yeah, like have a little bit of fun. Right.

Allie: Yeah.

Christina: Cool. So I think you mentioned you started contributing kind of last year ish. Is that what you said?

Allie: Yeah, I think so. That’s about right.

Christina: Cool. And did you say exactly how you started? Isn’t this hard? Like it was five minutes ago? I’m sorry. So

Allie: yeah, I think. Yeah, as far as like my community contributing. It definitely did start last year at WordCamp Miami last year, because that was when I met Adam Warner. Who I give him complete credit of just changing my life entirely. He works at GoDaddy and he was the one that offered the GoDaddy Pro Speaker Ambassador gig to me,

Christina: right.

Allie: And so it was through him that I’ve been able to go to multiple Camps and talk to multiple people and he’s always been super duper supportive of like me, using me and my personality and my interests and the things that I’m passionate about as a way to connect with other people and, you know, make GoDaddy look good and all that fun stuff and so that really kind of sprouted my ability to contribute and the way that I contribute sprouted out of his support and his encouragement, his friendship.

Christina: Nice.

Allie: Yeah.

Christina: Pretty good guy. Yeah.

Allie: Great.

Christina: And what makes you want to contribute? Like, why? What is the deeper meaning of contributing to you? That’s my deep question

Allie: Oh, man, that is a deep question. Um, there’s a lot. There’s a lot to that. I think that the I’m in a fairly unique position, being a female person of color, who is queer in the tech industry. I’m a little bit of a unicorn. And there are definitely other people out there who I’ve met. They definitely exist. They’re fantastic people. But by and large, the community is pretty homogenous as far as you know, what people look like and what their backgrounds are, and, and sometimes even the way that they look at the world. And so, it’s been interesting to be part of a community like WordPress, because we’re very privileged in that this community is a lot more welcoming, and a lot more open minded than a lot of other tech communities can be.

Christina: Yeah,

Allie: and so even though this, this community can be homogenous, most of those people are very, very susceptible to the idea of, you know, you’re different from me and that’s valuable rather than You’re different from me and that’s an inconvenience or that makes me uncomfortable or, you know, whatever the case may be and so the the reason I think I really like having these conversations is because they’re easy because people want to listen to me and they encourage me rather than saying like, well, you shouldn’t talk about race, this is WordCamp. We don’t need to have these kinds of conversations, we need to talk about JavaScript like,

Allie: I’ve had so many conversations about race at WordCamps, it’s insane. But I think that the way, the way that we treat each other and the way that we see the world and all of these larger issues like race, they affect us, they affect everybody, especially in the country we live in the in the kind of time period that we’re going through right now, where things are very tenuous and stressful. If I can, if I can make somebody think about those sorts of things a little bit differently or open their mind to a concept that they never really thought of, or, you know, convince them that hey, you should try not to say guys, you should try and say everyone or friends or folks because it is a nice thing to do like that makes me feel good. That makes me feel like I’m putting positivity and kindness and and, you know, good vibes out into the universe in an actionable way, you know, not just singing Kumbaya, but actually saying like, hey, they’re actionable things that you can literally do every day to make your immediate space better and healthier for yourself and for other people. Like, what a privilege to be able to do that. And people are asking me to do that.

Christina: right,

Christina: I think a lot of people, I mean, myself included, because I am I mean, obviously, nobody can see us, although if you check us out online, you would, but being a straight white female, the only box I took is female, which is not as big of an issue. I mean, it’s still we have some, some gains to make, but you know, it’s sort of the I’m as close to a white male as you can get without the male. Right?

Allie: Right.

Christina: And, and so I know from, from my experience, there’s things that as much as I don’t want to be walking around acting all privileged or anything, there’s just things that I’m not aware of, because I haven’t thought of because I haven’t experienced it, right? So being able to talk to somebody like you and or other, you know, I’ve had conversations with other people where it’s really interesting and helpful to understand situations that you wouldn’t have otherwise experienced.

Allie: Yeah. And I, I tried to be very mindful of the fact that, you know, it’s not, it’s not a bad thing. If I meet somebody who is in the best way to use the word ignorant of

Christina: right,

Allie: you know, a situation or, you know, maybe saying this is not the most sensitive thing to say, you didn’t know. And if you can say, I didn’t know, thank you for telling me I’ll try to do better. Like, I can’t get mad at you about that. You know, I don’t fault people for not knowing I fault people for not being flexible and not being willing to learn or even acknowledge that, you know, there’s room to learn. You know, I mean, I don’t mind having disagreements I like having disagreements with people, I want to understand where other people are coming from and why they think the way that they think. And I’ve definitely had those conversations where it’s kind of like, we’re not going to agree on on this particular topic. And so I’m going to walk away because I’m just not really here to get into arguments. All right, there’s some people who can who can handle that, I can’t really do that. Um, but I remember kind of getting back to like the deeper meaning I remember being in the first grade. And for some reason, my teacher looked up all of the like, kind of Latin meanings to our names, like I guess the origin for our names, and my full name was Alexandra and she told me that Alexandra is derived from Alexander because obviously it is, and but Alexander means helper of man or helper of people,

Christina: right?

Allie: And I remember being like six years old thinking like, wow, like, that’s thank you for telling me my purpose in life, like my purpose on this earth is to help people, cool. And I’ve always carried that with me. And so I’ve always derived a lot of joy and satisfaction from helping other people and being able to contribute to WordPress in this way of feeling like I could help somebody even just to get a more clarified idea of how to how to move about their their immediate space is very gratifying to me.

Christina: Yeah. And I think I hope that just as you know, you’re, you’re sharing all this information and helping to, what’s the right word, de-homogenize the WordPress space

Allie: I’ll take that.

Christina: That just like it starts with one person. If we as we have that happening more and more in the WordPress space, then the WordPress space being a small part of the tech space, the more it happens with WordPress, the more it will start to become the norm elsewhere hopefully right like it kind of hopefully will continue to that whole thing.

Allie: I hope so too. I hope that there is definitely a ripple effect. I mean, WordPress is 35% of the internet and so if if I can make 35% of the internet more diverse like that is that is definitely a that’s definitely great. And and what’s what’s even better is that I know that there are other people in the space who are actively doing the same thing. Like I I’ve never had to feel like oh, well I’m the only black girl in the room and so this is entirely my job. Like there are tons of other people who in in their own ways, are also doing this kind of contributing. I mean, Jill and Aurooba and David, we all did that presentation at WordCamp US together, because those are the kinds of conversations we like to have. And so knowing that I have a little kind of support system of other de-homogenizers is really, really nice.

Christina: Yeah. And just for anybody who’s interested and wishes that they were at that workshop, I do believe it is on WordPress.TV.

Allie: It is.

Christina: So I’ll try to make sure to include that in the show notes.

Allie: It’s split in half,

Christina: Right. Yes, because it was a longer workshop. Awesome. We talked you mentioned that Miami, you don’t think had a contributor day but have you been to a contributor day with all the WordCamps that you’ve gone to?

Allie: So I’ve been to one and that it’s also another one of my goals this year is to go to more contributor days, but I went to contributor day at WordCamp US. And um, that was an interesting day because I remember starting the day thinking like, I’m going to go to contributor day, and I’m actually going to contribute and I’m going to do stuff that’s going to be great. And so I went, and I ended up in a tiny, like mini workshop with Cami Kaos and a bunch of other people. And Cami was talking to us about organizing because at that point, in my mind, I was like, Oh, I’m going to be a WordCamp Miami organizer, I should go to that. And so she gave us like, this immensely efficient crash course on being an organizer, all of the things that you need to know, all of the things you need to be aware of. It was amazing like she had, everything came out so smooth and so quick and like this, this, this, this and this, everybody get it. Cool. Let’s move on to the next this. You’ve done this before. So that was really, really handy and really, really useful information. A cool view on how the these events are actually put together and how they’re built. And I remember every time I tried to sit down in front of the computer and like try to start working on something, I would find like somebody wanted to talk to me or I want to talk to somebody else. And there were all these conversations going on. And there were there were kind of things happening at that point for me, like professionally that I was like, Oh, I wanted to talk to this person about this opportunity. And I remember getting pulled away to talk to the guys from WP and Up because I was doing a raffle where I was raising money for themselves. I gotta go talk to you guys. And so I kept jumping up to go talk to people. And then before I knew it, it was time to go. And so I felt like I had done everything under the sun and talked to so many people and I hadn’t actually gotten any like contributing done. But that was, I guess, me doing my community contributing.

Christina: I was going to say I would challenge anybody who thinks that that means you didn’t contribute to re-examine what it means because all of those conversations I’m sure that you had, in even in small ways have helped move things forward. Right?

Allie: I hope so. Yeah.

Christina: Yeah, you contributed.

Allie: Well, next time I want to contribute digitally.

Christina: Okay. That’s a good way to put it. One of the things. One of my goals with this whole podcast is to sort of dispel that myth that some people have that contributing is only doing something with core, doing the code, contributing with developing and that kind of stuff. There’s so many different ways that people contribute. I mean, like you said, 35% of the internet, that’s huge, which means this whole project, this whole community, everything about this is huge. And there’s so many different moving parts to it. So there’s a lot of ways.

Allie: Thank you for doing this because I’ve definitely always had that mentality that contributing is a very like the definition of contributing to WordPress, WordPress is very strict and very specific. And you’re totally right. It’s not. And I think we will all be better off thinking about it that way and realizing that we can contribute in all sorts of different ways. And we probably already are and not even realizing it.

Christina: Yeah. Right. I mean, like taking the example of you talked to WP and Up they’re helping with people with, like, the whole idea around mental health, right. And so, if you just think about that, if if the people in our community who are doing the core contributions, if they’re struggling with their mental health, then they can’t contribute the way that they would like to, as well as they can, or maybe at all, and so then that starts to fall off, right. So like, going back to your ripple effect before, it’s a whole ripple effect. And so every little piece helps and it’s there’s so many, so many different ways that people can contribute,

Allie: you’re totally right.

Christina: Cool. So with that being said, Do you have a proudest contribution?

Allie: Oh boys

Christina: that you’ve made so far?

Allie: I have a lot. There’s a lot of things I’ve done in the past year that I’m really proud of.

Christina: Pick a couple. Nothing is strict on this show. Nothing has to be just one.

Allie: I Okay, last year, some point last year, I don’t remember when exactly. um kind of jumping off of it was kind of when I first started contributing and started going to Camps and meeting people. And I was really kind of taken aback by all these conversations that I started having, because it wasn’t ever really a conscious decision that I was like, I need to have these conversations. They would just sort of happen. They would just kind of come up like I felt like people for some reason were just really comfortable to ask me tough questions about what it’s like, for somebody like me to occupy a space like this? And so I kind of felt like okay, if this is what the universe is putting on me. I need to I need to kind of figure out a way to to organize this. And so I wrote a blog post. And I still have a, it’s right here up on the wall. From WordCamp, Jacksonville. Me and Christie Chirinos were sitting and we were having ramen. And we outlined this blog post together she helped me plan it. And it’s about how to be an ally in the WordPress space and why it’s necessary and what it means and why having privilege is a good thing and you should use it to help other people and the actionable things that you can do to help other people. So I wrote this post and it was it was a like within our you know, little community like on Twitter kind of went viral and

Christina: right

Allie: tons of people read it and I got tons of great feedback from it and it’s kind of like my Magnus Opus like, it’s it’s this little, like, what do you call it like a like a thesis that I wrote on what it means to be an ally. So yeah, that’s something that I’m really proud of, because people have told me that it really helped them and that it helped them to see in a objective but kind way what they were doing wrong or where they could improve and where they could find improvement and all of that sort of stuff. And so that made me feel really good to know that I could kind of condense a lot of these conversations that I had into this, you know, shareable piece of media that people could refer back to and things like that. Um, that was pretty that was pretty excellent. Um really anytime somebody reaches out to me which has happened a good handful of times and half a dozen times. When people reach out to me like on Twitter and in Twitter DM and say, I’m struggling with this issue that has to do with diversity. Um, can you please help me? Because I don’t, I don’t, I’m afraid to ask for help. Because I don’t want to come off as ignorant or racist or something like that. And that always makes me feel so good because I’m like, wow, I’m, I’m the person that somebody can trust to be a safe ear. And they trust what I have to say. And like, that makes me feel like I’m really doing something right. Um, so yeah, there’s a lot of little moments that of course, I’m blanking on right now. But I’d say like, that post is something I’m really really proud of and those conversations that I’ve had in private with those people where I can tell them you know, yeah, what you what you said was insensitive, or this this mentality that you have is tainted by XYZ reasons dating back to you know, 1965 whatever. But here’s how you can move forward and take it or leave it. And, yeah, that’s a very gratifying thing for me to be able to, to experience.

Christina: That sounds like something to be very proud of. Absolutely. So one of my questions is usually about any advice that you have for new contributors, but I’d like to modify that today and sort of put the slant on it of what advice do you have for people wanting to get into contributing, who do fall into that minority, some sort of a minority that maybe you’re feeling afraid or held back somehow?

Allie: It’s a good question. I guess my advice is, don’t necessarily think of it as contributing Think of it as I feel passionately about something. And how can I how can I use that for good? How can I turn that into something good, that will affect other people? And I mean it that that at the core is contributing, but I feel like thinking about it that way, it takes the pressure off. And I feel like you know, if last year somebody had said to me, Hey, we need community contributors who are going to go to WorkCamps and talk to people about diversity, I would have been like, that sounds intense and a lot. And that’s scary. And I don’t want to do that. But the fact that it happened for me so naturally, and I could pick and choose what I wanted to have those conversations and I could pick and choose who I wanted to talk to. And, you know, it’s it’s, it’s mine, it comes from me, it’s not anything that anybody asks me to do or told me to do or anything like that. And if tomorrow I decided I don’t want to have these conversations anymore then you know, The world’s not going to fall down.

Christina: right.

Allie: So yeah, that’s, that’s what I’m saying is focus on how you can kind of make something good inside yourself that you can give to other people. Because a lot of these conversations that I have, and a lot of the community contributing that I do, came from me doing research, like lots and lots of research about. So for example, a while back, somebody asked me, you know, why is racism still such an issue in this country when we are so far away from slavery?

Christina: Right.

Allie: And I knew a little bit about post slavery America, but after having that conversation, I was like, I don’t I can’t speak on this as well as I feel like I should. And so I ended up doing a lot of research about why is race still such an issue in this country after we’ve abolish slavery?

Christina: It’s a huge question

Allie: It’s a huge question. There’s tons of answers. And so for me to grow that piece of my internal knowledge so that I can use it to help others is way more. Not to say easy, but it there’s not as much pressure involved as if you think about it like, Well, I have to contribute, if I’m going to be a part of this community, like how am I going to do that? Blah, blah, blah, find what find the thing that you want to go off and research or the thing that you want to make better about yourself and then give it to other people. That’s what I would say.

Christina: That sounds good. And I’d say that kind of answers a bit of my question on how people can get involved with whatever they want to contribute to. Look at that. Two questions. One answer. Awesome. Is there anything else you want to talk about in regards to contributing to WordPress that I haven’t asked you yet?

Allie: I don’t think so. I feel like we touched on a lot of stuff. I really like I’m getting used to thinking about what I talk about being contributing. It’s, So I’m still kind of getting used to shining that kind of a light on it.

Christina: Right? If you ever need a reminder, you know where to find me.

Allie: Absolutely, definitely. And I’m really glad that the, the community that we have is so receptive to it. And like, every podcast that I’ve been on, or every interview that I’ve ever done is talk about this and so I’m just kind of like, right this is, this is my, my lot in life. This is my place in the community. I’m very, very happy with that. So, yeah, play to your strengths, play to the things that you’re passionate about, and people will people will see that, you know, people, like I feel like even though I do want to contribute digitally, so at some point this year, that’s, that’s something that I want to do. Like, that’s a goal for me,

Christina: right?

Allie: Um, whereas people have sought nobody’s asking me Hey, you You’re a great developer, we need you to contribute. I’m not a great developer. But people are actively asking me to have these conversations. And so I’d say a large part of like, if you’re nervous or or you’re not sure how to contribute, what are people already asking of you? Like, what have other people recognized as your strengths and follow that. Like, I tried to be one of the people who are like, I don’t care what everyone else thinks about me. But I think there is value in understanding the way that other people see you. Because a lot of times other people see your strengths before you do.

Christina: That’s true.

Allie: And that’s a that’s a good way to kind of get out of your head and get out of your ego and be like, yeah, I’m, I’m good at this. And so I can do XYZ with this skill or this passion that I have, you know,

Christina: Nice. All right. Now, my favourite question of the episode, I’ve stopped trying to pretend it’s not my favourite question. But it is, which is your favourite Wapuu?

Allie: Alright, so I have, it’s a tie.

Christina: Yeah, nobody ever has just one.

Allie: Yeah, it’s a tie because one of these Wapuus doesn’t technically exist. I made him up, but he’s still one of my favorites.

Christina: Okay.

Allie: My first favorite is the giant life size Wapuu that we had at WordCamp US this past year.

Christina: Yes!

Allie: Because that was one of the highlights for me of that weekend. It’s like, I think we were having dinner and all of a sudden, everyone starts yelling and I look to my left and there’s this giant 6 foot tall yellow thing that’s ambling down the hallway. And I just remember absolutely losing my mind like I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever seen. I’m

Christina: complete with tail

Allie: complete with tail and just seeing all these grown adults acting like elementary school kids at Disneyland seeing their favorite like cartoons character in real life like, yeah, it was, it was again, it was just one of those things that make WordCamp so special and fun and silly. And so I think I think real life Wapuu is is is my favorite. But tied for my favorite is headless Wapuu because.

Christina: Oh, ah yeah yeah.

Allie: Yeah, get it.

Christina: Yeah,

Allie: get it.

Christina: But in case anybody doesn’t

Allie: Yeah, so

Christina: Carry, on.

Allie: I don’t actually fully understand what headless WordPress even means, but it’s a it’s a thing that I’ve been hearing a lot about in the last few months is is headless CMS are headless WordPress, and it’s a it’s a technical development term. That’s

Christina: Yeah, I think it’s when WordPress powers the backend, but what people actually see isn’t is generated from something else. Okay, something like that. I know I’ve got I’ve got like that little idea about it as well but not 100% I couldn’t lecture on it by any means.

Allie: Yeah, but I just remember hearing that a lot and kind of being mildly curious about like, oh, that kind of sounds, it sounds creepy, right? It sounds like somebody walk around without a head. And so it just kind of I don’t remember when I first thought about it, but I was like, wouldn’t it be really funny if there was like a Halloween headless Wapuu that didn’t have a head and so I have a sketch of it. It’s also hanging up on my wall behind my desk. I sketched out this little headless Wapuu which is disgusting looking. It’s horrifying! And I think I sent it to, to James who, who’s kind of the resident Wapuu fairy, and I don’t think he ever like even acknowledged it. It’s just horrible. But it just makes me laugh, and I’m really proud of him. So yeah, those are those are my two favorite weapons. I think.

Christina: I like it. Those I have to say are the most unique Wapuu answers that I’ve had so far.

Allie: I win

Christina: all right, so as we wrap up, why don’t you let people know how they can find you online especially since it sounds like people do like to reach out to you. And so if people have questions and want to know more

Allie: Absolytely. So you can find me. You can find all the stuff that I’ve written in the lot of the talks that I’ve done at allienimmons.com, all one word no spaces. And my, my how to be a WordPress ally post is up there as well for you to read. And if you want to reach out to me and have a conversation or ask me a question, I am on twitter 24 hours a day, seven days a week at allie_nimmons. And, yeah, I believe my inbox is set to like open so you can just send me a DM if you want,

Christina: even if you’re not both following each other. And those will be in the show notes so people can just click and Yeah. Well, thank you so much for chatting with me today about all this, all this great stuff. I love it.

Allie: Thank you. Thank you for having me. It was really fun.

Christina: Yeah. And hopefully we’ll talk again soon.

Allie: Oh, definitely.

Christina: And you need to come to Calgary’s WordCamp. I think you were already.

Allie: Yes. I need that’s you and Aurooba work on that WordCamp. Oh, of course. I have to get up there.

Christina: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You’ve got to, I think

Allie: Count me in.

Christina: Definitely. All right. Well, then hopefully we’ll see you at the end of May. And if anybody is or was depending on when this comes out, and when they’re listening at WordCamp Miami, hopefully they look for you or did look for you.

Allie: Oh, please do

Christina: and then maybe if not this year, maybe next year at some other WordCamps cuz you get around to a couple of them. So awesome. Well, thanks a lot. Have a great night.

Allie: You too.

Christina: Great, thanks.

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