Cate DeRosia Twinterview With WPExperts

Today’s Twinterview is going to be a special one. Our guest for today is Cate DeRosia, a WordPress enthusiast who is currently working as Community Engagement Specialist at Automattic. Her extracurricular activities include actively volunteering at HeroPress Network, co-hosting HallWayChats and supporting Big Orange Hearts and its efforts.

Cate works in multi-range roles to uplift the entire WordPress community for better support and connectivity.

We at WPExperts are feeling honoured to have Cate DeRosia as our Twitter guest for a brief twinterview session. We have discussed several things from her like day-to-day responsibilities to WordPress’ future she is visioning at the moment.


Cate DeRosia Twinterview WPExperts With -39

Let’s read what she said in her twinterview!

Q1. How long have you been in the WordPress industry?

Ans: I’ve been a volunteer since 2012 and began using it for blogging in 2014. In 2015 I began doing transcription for WP Sessions which led me into a variety of roles in operations, freelance writing and editing, assisting companies with community engagement, and continued volunteering.

Q2. What are your day-to-day responsibilities at Automattic as a Community Engagement Specialist?

Ans: I’m still fairly new to my position, but the role is designed to allow me to best use my particular skills to support the WordPress community.

I’ll be doing practical work to support WordCamps as well as having a voice in shaping what a return to in-person events looks like.

I’m also part of the Lead Trio for WCUS and plan to begin working with Jill Binder’s Diverse Speaker Training Group (#WPDiversity)

Q3. What’s your top advice to build a better and more effective community? 

Ans: A community is about them, not you. Listen to what they’re saying and verify before you act. Don’t do one without the other.

They will tell you what they need and what they’re struggling with. You simply have to be willing to hear it with as few preconceptions as possible.

Once you verify some level of understanding, you can start to work on solutions. Create a product that fixes it. Write a blog post that answers the question. Find a source to collaborate with.

If people are feeling heard and their needs are being met, your community will thrive, and eventually without you. Which is a beautiful thing.

Q4. How does it feel to have your life partner from the same industry you work in?

Ans: In this case, it was intentional and we enjoy it, but largely because what we do IN the industry is very different. By having different roles in the same ecosystem, we can reasonably travel together and have shared experiences, while still holding jobs that best suit our skills.

It’s also allowed us to have our daughters involved as early as when they were 10 & 12. Now, 10 years later, they’re finding their own place and roles inside the community.

Q5. How was your experience at State Of The Word 2021 in NY?

Ans: State of the Word was a really interesting experience. I mean, it was New York City at Christmas and I love to travel. But beyond that, it really cemented how necessary in-person interactions are.

I’ve always known and advocated for people to attend as many in-person events as is reasonably possible, within your own time and budgetary limitations, of course. It’s been key to how we’ve grown our initiatives and how we’ve seen other businesses thrive.

Technologies come a long way to making virtual communication feel more personal, but there’s something about sitting across from the table and really seeing them around other people that teaches you so much about them.

Q6. What is “HeroPress Network”? What do you do there?

Ans: The HeroPress Network is a set of community resources that strive to consolidate WordPress resources and make them easier to access. Through the initial project, we’ve seen the value that education and resource availability can have. As we’ve seen gaps and opportunities in the community, we’ve worked to fill them.

Access to education is one of the greatest equalizers, and the HeroPress Network strives to not only help new users find what they need, but also veteran users find new, more diverse resources more quickly.

I was the expansion lead for the project, and have now moved into a contributing volunteer.

Q7. What’s your contribution to Hallway Chats & Big Orange Heart? 

Ans: Hallway Chats was the second addition to the HeroPress Network and is a podcast all about getting to know people and events from WordPress. Right now, I’m the co-host.

Big Orange Heart is a mental health charity for remote workers. It began in the WordPress community but has branched out from there. It provides a wide array of resources to meet the needs that can arise when you work in an isolated, stressful environment.

I was very hands-on in 2021 as the marketing lead for both WordFest Live events. With the new job, I choose to step back from that role but continue to be an enthusiastic supporter.

Q8. What’s WordPress openverse? How can we participate in populating it?

Ans: You asked earlier about the State of the Word, and this was one of the very exciting things I took away from the presentation itself.

I look at Openverse and the new WordPress Photos project are such excellent ways for a whole new group of people to get involved with WordPress, while also creating a fun opportunity for veteran users to share a different side of themselves.

The Tavern did a great article explaining it all, and there’s more info here.

Q9. You’re an inspiration to many, but who inspired you in the WordPress community? Mention a few names.

Ans: I legitimately find inspiration in nearly everyone I meet, particularly people who are out there giving of themselves speaking, volunteering, and sharing their stories.

However, I have my core group that supports and encourages me. Without them, I likely would have left the community in 2019. I hit a spot, as happens, where I’d just given a little too much. So, if you’re looking for people who are authentic and solid, this is my list.

@tommcfarlin and @rzen both helped me get my start.

@andrea_r and @Michele_Butcher have had my back from the beginning.

@camikaos, @AngelaSJin, and @JosephaHaden saw my community benefit and nurtured it.

@michelleames and @danmaby took a chance on me.

And of course, my family – @topher1kenobe, @TheSpoonQueen1 @Erin_Go_Blog – has been with me every step of the way.

Q10. What is the future of WordPress in your eyes? Where are you visioning WordPress in the next five years?

Ans: I think WordPress will continue in a headless direction. It will become easier to integrate it with other similar platforms in the industry.

With it will only come more opportunities for people to try it out in a DIY fashion – a staple of open source – while continuing to create jobs for developers once those DIYers are either ready to move to their sites to the next level or discover just how complex development can be. Also a part of the open-source tradition.

With it will only come more opportunities for people to try it out in a DIY fashion while creating jobs for WP professionals once those DIYers are either ready to move to their sites to the next level or discover just how complex development can be.

It’s the same cycle that has made open source so long lasting and effective.


It was an informative and interesting twinterview with Cate DeRosia. Our followers and readers will surely learn about her more while going through her twinterview. It’s time to say goodbye until the next twinterview. Stay connected!

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