Jeremy Andrews and the team of wordpress interns
What got you into Web Development?
When I first took over operations for an international fashion company, I knew very little about software or web development. At the time I knew how to use systems like Sales force, WordPress, and Magento, but didn’t have a solid grasp on how those systems worked internally. My biggest strengths and expertise came from the finance and operations world. When I took over the fashion company I had already been an entrepreneur and owned a few businesses, and was excited about jumping into a new venture. The most difficult part of this take over was dealing with our new international ecommerce. Up until then, the company had a small web presence, but needed to expand by creating a US/Japanese based website with Inventory Management, and shipping integration, connecting three warehouses across the globe. The good thing was that I was fluent in Japanese.
As you may have imagined, it was nearly impossible to find any affordable developers in the US or remotely that spoke Japanese and had a solid reputation for building complex ecommerce sites. That’s when I started to dive in and learn about web development. The funny thing is that coming from a finance background, where everything is numbers based provided a good training ground for web development, which is also numbers and logic based. So the transition was not that difficult. Of course it took me a few years to get to the skill level I am at today, but ultimately, it was my desire to learn, combined with the right opportunity that really got me into the field.
Tell us about your most successful website you’ve grown.
Having personally built over 50 websites and been a part of nearly 200 team projects, it’s very difficult to say what the most successful project was. I actually build platforms and websites, which are two totally different types of projects. Sometimes platforms like Smart Money Entrepreneurs are too early to market and are abandoned, while other websites like WordPress Interns and Alpha Beta Commerce actually do pretty well.
For me and the team I work with, WordPress Interns has been extremely successful. The price point seems to be right for the majority of customers and they like knowing that they can always get help on their WordPress Website without having to resort to posting an ad if they need something fixed. One of the interesting things we found out before we launched WordPressInterns, was that many people just needed a question answered and really didn’t need intense development support. Many times we are on Quora answering questions, and realized this service could be of great value. Overall, we expect WordPress Interns to continue to grow in 2015.
What skills and technologies are you most interested in improving upon or learning?
I think PHP has matured greatly over the last 3 years. While the language itself has always been relatively popular, it’s only recently that a common standard and protocols for PHP have really come into their own. While there are still many different methods to program for the language, coming from a finance background, where everything is highly organized into markets, segments, and pathways, I find it exciting that recommendation standards like PEAR and Zend are here to stay. Assuming a developer or programming team follows the recommendations, itis then much easier for a developer like myself to take over a project.I have to also admit that I am a huge fan of Twitter’s bootstrap. As you can imagine when I started in web development, I was not a good front end developer. Although I am pretty solid now, but much of that was due to learning Bootstrap, which really helped accelerate my abilities.
As an entrepreneur, one thing that is always on the forefront of my mind is my time. Time is the most valuable asset you have, and when you can use technology to shorten the amount of the time it takes to perform a task, you can focus your energy on growing your business, or learning other skills that can ultimately prove valuable to you in the future.
Where do you see the future of your business going in 2015, and how will you adapt to the changes?
In 2015, Ecommerce continues to grow, especially globally. Because we have offices in Serbia and Spain in addition to New York, we are finding clients are starting to really get into bi-directional Ecommerce. When we talk about bi-directional ecommerce, we are referring to a company that has multiple locations around the world, and both exports and imports goods in multiple countries.Being able to use a single system that is truly multi-lingual and can handle international shipping and inventory logistics is why we built Alpha Beta Commerce and WordPress Interns.
Because we have partnered with many shipping carriers around the world to streamline their processes into our system, merchants have one point of access for their ecommerce needs.
If you could leave our readers with one last piece of business advice, what would it be?
As the most interesting man in the world says, “Find out what it is in life you don’t do well…..then don’t do that thing!” I find that sticking to what you do well work s best, or if you want to learn something new, ensure you are really excited and passionate about it. Otherwise you are not really maximizing you time.