Translated from Marathi: Topher is coming to Pune
His full name is Christopher DeRosia; Topher comes from the second half of Christopher. Topher started building web sites with plain html on a VAX VMS system in 1994, and then when PHP/FI came out he started working with that. He built web sites using plain PHP/MySQL until 2010 when WordPress 3.0 came out with Custom Post Types. That changed everything and he hasn’t really built with anything since.He’s been a freelancer, the CTO of a Startup, a super hero with X-Team, and now works documenting Easy Digital Downloads.
He’s married, has 2 teen daughters and two cute little dogs. He lives in the small city of Grand Rapids MI, where it rarely gets above 30C, but occasionally gets below -30C. It’s a very snowy world in the winter.
Here’s an old but interesting list of 25 random things about him.
The Indian WordPress community has had a long relationship with Topher via the HeroPress project with a couple of members like Ramya Pandyan, Aditya Kane having contributed to it. We spoke with Topher to find out more about his WordCamp Pune 2015 plans and this is what he had to say.
Why WordCamp Pune?
I’ve always wanted to visit India. In my youth my imagination was captured by books, and as I grew older and met people FROM India my interest only grew. When HeroPress started I wanted VERY much to go to WordCamp Mumbai, but it didn’t work out. Now having WordCamp Pune so soon after seems like a gift.
What do you plan to do at WordCamp Pune once you get there?
Shake hands with every single person I can. I want to talk to everyone, do everything, and take part in everything.
Anything about India that excites you?
Being in a really different culture. Aside from Canada (which doesn’t really count as different from America) I haven’t traveled internationally before. So it’s all exciting.
We know you’re raising funds to come down to Pune. Anything you’d like to say to potential sponsors?
I couldn’t do this without you. Again, the opportunity to be able to travel to visit people I’ve worked with seems like a gift. I never imagined I could do this.
How optimistic are you? And why?
Quite actually. Since starting HeroPress I haven’t gotten a single bit of negative pushback, and LOTS of positive reinforcement. Many many people have privately said to me “I love what you’re doing, you need to keep it going”.
Also, before I started fund raising I asked around in some Slack chat rooms if people thought it was a good idea, and got an overwhelming YES.
Do you have a message for our community?
You are special and unique, and have an enormous amount of experience and wisdom to teach the rest of the world. Please communicate with us as much as you can, via blog posts, visiting and speaking at WordCamps, podcasts, etc. “The periphery” of the WordPress community is a social construct, one that can be changed by anyone who wishes to change it.
Topher’s funding campaign on GoFundMe.com has been a great success.
and is very close to becoming successful. Chances is it’d have succeeded by the time you read this. He’s received the backing of some prominent personalities from the ecosystem including our own Umesh Singla, Alexander Gounder, Harshad Mane, rtCamp and even the Matt Mullenweg, himself!
You can still donate to Topher so he can pass it on to another deserving WordCamp, or you could help another guest of ours who needs your support to come all the way from Canada.