Tammie Lister is a web designer at XWP and a WordPress core contributor.
Tammie’s Blog: https://tammielister.com/
Twitter | @karmatosed
Topher: Hey everyone! My name is Topher.
Cate: And I’m Cate.
Topher: And this is Hallway Chats. Before we get going, we want to thank our sponsors at Nexcess, a Liquid Web brand. They have some new tools for eCommerce that really make them stand out from other options. WooCommerce automated testing, Sales Performance Monitor, and Plugin Performance Monitor give you data you need to stay powerful and profitable. And they’re free with every Nexcess plan, which is really cool.
All right, our guest today is Tammie Lister. Welcome.
Cate: Hi Tammie.
Topher: Thanks for being here.
Tammie: Thank you for inviting me.
Topher: We know who you are because you’re a cool friend. But we can’t assume that everybody else does. Tell us a little about yourself. Where do you live?
Tammie: So if you are trying to come in the middle of England, you’ll probably find me. I currently live in a village that has no road names. That’s where I live. So I live super rural, but I really enjoy doing that. So that is where I live.
Cate: That’s really wonderful.
Topher: I know you moved recently. Were you super rural before as well? Have you been there very long?
Tammie: I was. I’ve been pretty rural for a number of years now. Before that, I was living down south, but I have lived kind of in Midlands, pretty rural, for a number of years now.
Topher: Do you have things like chickens, etc.?
Tammie: I do not. But I have a new puppy. So I have a-
Cate: Not so many eggs but lots of snuggles.
Tammie: Lots of snuggles, lots of nips because it’s a working colleague, the puppy. So he is just 19, 20 weeks now.
Cate: Wow. Nice.
Topher: Is he going to be big?
Tammie: I don’t know. He’s got big paws. Everyone keeps telling me yes, but I’m hoping no. So that’s always a bad sign if you don’t want him to grow.
Topher: Yeah. Well, you can’t stop it.
Tammie: You can’t. You just gotta go with it. He’s very strong and very bouncy.
Cate: Well, that’s good for exercise.
Tammie: Yeah, he likes to bounce.
Cate: So I hear he’s part Tigger. This is what you’re saying?
Tammie: He is basically part Tigger. He really is. He does the backflips and bounces. He keeps me on my toes. But you have to live in the countryside with a dog like that.
Cate: Oh, yeah. Topher and I grew up in the middle of nowhere too. So we have a good understanding of what that’s like.
Topher: My sister used to say it’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from there.
Tammie: I think the end of the world might be a couple of fields from where I live now.
Topher: So what do you do with WordPress?
Tammie: So I’m a designer with WordPress. I’ve had a bit of a journey, but I’m currently working at XWP as a senior product designer.
Cate: Oh, that’s really cool. So tell us a little bit about your journey, or as much as you want to.
Tammie: Thank you. I do think it’s been quite long. I started out basically torturing my own CMS back in the day. Back in the day it was like this thing of like everybody has to know their own CMS. It was like a badge of honor. And it was back in the day when you thought you had to know programming. And there was thing I’ve been able to do on the web design. I was just hurting the CMS, like I said. But if someone said, “Have you seen this new thing called WordPress?” Which probably dates me a little bit.
Even back then, it was a bit clumsy, but how easy I could be in it struck me. And I was like, “Oh, okay.” Back then it was like the CSS reboot challenges and those like changing your theme all the time. One of those kinds of things. Like change your theme like new t-shirt. That was kind of like… it was such a… you know, theme switches and all those kinds of things. There was a big change in blogging networks.
So I moved because it’s just easier to put the effort into that, and then my writing than it was into torturing code because it was so insecure. At some point, someone was going to have a laugh. It was just going to be… because, I was… yeah, it wasn’t going to be good.
I didn’t really look back from then. I started contributing pretty early on because I already had a bit of a background in open source. And then it just kind of went from there. I kind of found my way around lots of different teams, which I think is everybody’s story in open source or in kind of WordPress specifically.
I went finally went to themes for quite a while, and then BuddyPress. And then my journey took me kind of through the past few years into Automattic. And I was quite a long time in the community before I kind of went into Automattic. And then my journey in Automattic took me through the theme team, kind of through Gutenberg. That was an amazing experience.
And I’ve come out through that back into now creating with Gutenberg and the editing experience, which is just a full cycle. So yeah, my journey feels like it’s been on this road that is never planned, but always seems to follow on. I feel very lucky. I think it’s part of being an open source. Sometimes your path just close because you work on one project that leads into another project that leads into another project that leads into another one. I don’t think I’m uncommon doing that. So yeah, I’m really, really great like that. I’m very lucky.
Cate: I used to think that the path to success was a straight line.
Cate: It’s more like the Flight of the Bumblebee. You know, eventually you’ll get there and it might be right next to where you started. But it’s going to be this big circular loop de loop kind of thing that takes you all over where you’d never thought you’d go.
Tammie: And sometimes it’s empowered… no, no, I’m saying the translating Sometimes you drop out of the path and you need to get up again. So I’ve done things like design up some different things and it felt like, “Okay, now I’m pausing that.” But then I come back to it, right? Or, oh, no, I’m pausing this bit of coding, but then I come back to it with like theme.json or…
You know, it always feels that anything that I know and I know quite intensely is never a waste. I’ll come back to it. The same as people. Lots of interactions I’ve had, I can probably tie down to like a moment I had that conversation, a moment I had that moment or that thing. So yeah.
Cate: I couldn’t agree with that more. Like the knowledge is never wasted, even if you’re not using it right now. And the people you meet, I like to think of them like books in the library. You don’t read them all the time, but you’re always glad you have them there. You can take them off the shelf and spend time with them if you need to. But it’s just so important to build those even micro relationships.
Everybody knows so many cool things that I would never touch on. You know, I just wouldn’t think about it. And so to get to learn those from each other is just so huge.
Tammie: And with openness, I think that’s the thing. Like let someone tell the story, his story. And I think the mistake is if you’re like, “Okay, what can I learn? I’m going to like try and…” It’s not going to work that way. You’ve just got to go into it open-hearted, see what may. And then out of that potential so many good things could grow.
There’s so much potential if you let the potential happen. If you search a potential… It kind of kills potential if you look too closely. It’s kind of like that thing: don’t look too close. Within the WordPress community, different people are very good at accelerating if you give them space to do that, both in their own personality, so giving someone the right space to do that, and also allowing someone to do that to you.
When I’ve opened myself enough to be accelerated, that’s a good way. But like to allow that to happen to me, you have to be very particular to allow that to happen to you, it’s gone really well.
Cate: Yeah, that’s really cool.
Topher: I have a question about designing. You mentioned you’re a designer in WordPress. Is there something unique about that to design? Somebody else who’s any other kind of designer, are they going to go, “Oh, I’ve never heard of that thing you’re doing because it’s only WordPress.”
Tammie: Historically, it was different. Because just honestly, the way things were done were pretty out of sync at one point the way things were done in the outside world. The outside world of design was getting pretty structured, design systems are getting structured.. Now less so. Because we’re starting to have a design system… starting… we have. And we’re having a lot more of that.
I would say design within WordPress it depends where you are. I’m quite a technical designer. I’m designing more on the UX and technical. So that is a particular. And because of my knowledge of the system, that kind of is a companion to it. Just like sort of maybe say I’m a copy, right? I love some copy and design.
There’s always this kind of thing. A full stack developer. I think designers are kind of like that. There’s a spectrum of design as well, which I think sometimes designers just say design and they kind of say… I also used to be this thing of like not being proud of being a designer that designed on CMS. It’s like, “Gosh, do that design.”
And honestly, I think open source design is something to be very embracing. To be able to create across in that space and in that platform I think is really powerful for designers to be able to function there. I’m seeing more and more designers embrace that and more designers work in that space as well. It’s novelty anyway.
Cate: I would think that it would have its own unique challenges. I never really thought through it before but it’s a platform that’s always changing. So, as a designer, part of what you can do, and I live with two artists, is you get good at something and you continue to build your skills in that area.
So if your platform was always shaky, like having your tables shake under while you’re trying to draw, it’s hard to get good at something if it’s always shifting. But at the same time, new tools, and new options are always being created for you to continually explore-
Tammie: That’s the difference between art and design. So I pointed on that as well. So art does change because it depends or whatever. But whatever sounds super. But yeah, it changes. It’s ever-present and never changing.
But design is very changeable. And both on the platform and both on the… You know, a painter probably the paints you use. If you are traditional painter, probably you’re using some traditional paints that have been used for a number of years, give or take or whatever.
But with design, your platform is ever-changing, because the digital systems you use and particularly product designer, which is like kind of specifically focus on the products you work, the business mode. That includes business models, that includes user experience which we learn new things about the way the human brain works, we learn new things about the way that we interact online, we have new technology. Like React has opened up so much that we could do and only dream of that we could do on web.
We couldn’t do these things. Like we couldn’t do what we do with the new editor before we could do it with the new editor because the technology didn’t exist. It wasn’t that we didn’t have to do it as a project because we didn’t do it as a project. We didn’t do it because technology wasn’t there for us to do it as a project. Which is the really interesting thing. Like the technology has finally caught up with where we really wanted to be and experience it like that. We can do it.
Topher: I’m really happy to hear you say there are more artists getting into open source because I’ve been an open source software user for about 30 years now and the majority of the interfaces I’ve ever used were designed by engineers, and it was set.
Tammie: I think it’s about meeting on the middle. And I think this is the thing about recognizing that not everyone is just one or the other. That’s something I’m incredibly… I think there was this weird kind of sorting thing that we had back in the day. It’s like, “You can do. You can do.”
It’s particularly prevalent in women. It was like, “You got to do.” But across all genders it was, right? And all people. And it definitely was like if you are technological, you cannot do art. If you’re artistic, you cannot do…”
Tammie: And turns out that a lot of what we need for engineering now, you need to be very aware of experience and very aware the way that implements accessibility through to an experience. A lot of design, depending on the space you’re in, you potentially if you want to, and some designers don’t have to, and it’s up to you what you want to be specialist in. And I think that that’s the amazing thing, you get to determine what you’re specialist in there. You could specialize in that.
And I think that’s where everyone kind of meets and becomes the right team for the right creating of the product, which I think is different from, you know, we need four engineers and two designers and a senior in the mid-level. Before it felt like somebody had a clipboard every time you did a project.
Cate: Yeah, that’s a great point. Because we’ve been around for so long, I remember when like a developer had to do everything. And now it’s really easy… or not easy. Easy is a bad word. But it’s much more possible to get a job in something that you really enjoy that you can do really good.
Tammie: You can specialize now.!
Cate: Right. Exactly.
Tammie: Which is really hard for the people who are older. Even for me, “hang on, I could be a specialist?”. I made a career about being a generalist! It’s also relieving to think that you don’t have to do everything. The thing the next generation we can say you can go slow with your career and be very refined and precise about what you want to do. I find that amazing.
But I just said to someone, “No, you don’t have to learn how to code as a designer. You can do this.” Or no, as a developer, you can learn experience, and you can be this incredibly experienced developer.” That fills me with… You know, if someone started a career as a junior, you can say, “Okay, what are you interested in? No, this is your path that you are on as an engineer or this is your path as a designer, and thou shalt not to tread from this path. This is your role.” That’s not going to get us to have people… that got us to have burn out people that left careers and had to go farm, which is fine.
I like living in the countryside. But you know, we want longevity, and we want people to really embrace what people have and not have, people just getting burned out by the industry or doing different things. I think it’s really, really important.
Cate: The entire project flourishes when you have the right people in the right positions. Like when you’ve got the right skills, making the right decisions, or just be… because then we’re all that much more effective and creative and enjoy what we’re doing.
Tammie: Yeah. And create better products.
Tammie: Which I think is an interesting thing. And we in WordPress kind of like gives packages and things. Its products. We see like acquisitions and these conversations in business, and we’re making products and we use words rather than using the word “product” sometimes or rather than using word “experience” because we focus on other words, because they’re maybe easier or more comfortable. But that’s what we’re creating. And it’s really, really important for us to start thinking about this kind of like collaborative creation of something and embracing that. It’s a healthy thing. It really is for the ecosystem to shift to that product mindset.
Cate: Yeah. I couldn’t agree more.
Topher: So I have another question about your contribution to WordPress. You have been a contributor to the project for a long, long time, and have been both as an employee of Automattic and as not an employee of Automattic. Have you seen a substantial difference?
Tammie: Well, my journey kind of started out, not in Automattic, went to Automattic and there was no Automattic. So for me not really, because it’s kind of the same journey. I think my journey has more reflected the changing nature of WordPress rather than my own personal journey, if that makes sense.
I think WordPress has changed whilst I’ve been in it rather than I’ve changed in it. Like my role doesn’t particularly change. What I love about it particularly is I’ve been able to be involved in projects and see other people lead in projects. Which I think is one of the amazing things I’ve got to do. I’ve got to do things that are like creative and then I get to see other people do creative. And that’s the incredible thing about open source, that different people get to do different things like that.
For me, I think contribution, again, to focus on that was great. But now being able to create with that thing that I worked o is teaching me an awful lot as well and giving me so many ideas to be able to implement and build on. I consider that full cycle that I’ve got to do. Like I learned all the problems, then I got to kind of create things to fix problems I guess. And now I’m building this thing to find more problems to maybe fix later. I don’t know, I haven’t got the time machine.
But that is often the way that I work. Like try and learn the problems… Or at least my design learning process is find the problems, fix the problems, if I can. Hopefully fix the problems even better. So that feels very attuned with the way that I worked before WordPress and the way that I worked within WordPress anyway.
And it’s just so much bigger now. When I first started, it was tiny. I’m late 40s now. I’m a different person to when I started out in WordPress. We all have grown up with WordPress and have grown into a different career. I see people now with families who didn’t have families, I see people now who’ve got partners who didn’t. You know, the whole lifecycle has happened within WordPress. I think that is really powerful. I’ve got to see past the world I wouldn’t have seen.
Topher: People who weren’t born when WordPress came out are now contributing.
Tammie: Yeah. And that’s the future. Me and next in my field I’m not the future of WordPress. And that I am so okay with. I have planted some seeds that I’m slowly nurturing a little bit, but I want to pass this on. I wonder like what the next generation of WordPress are going to do with it because they are going to do so much better than I did with them in a way that they understand what their next generations and the generations after need. Because I’m okay, but I’m getting a bit older.
My connection is more to support that. And it’s absolutely what you should do. I’ve got some time in it yet. But you know, that should happen in those projects. I’ve seen sometimes that doesn’t happen so much that we should be very aware of how can we keep that going and be aware of that in design?
Design we need a culture and engineering, we need a culture of how do we get this constant flow of people or roles we needed so that we can support this and learn from those who aren’t going out there and get that kind of knowledge flowing? It’s an evergreen problem but it’s a really interesting problem as a project become so old… old as WordPress… It is, right?
Cate: It really is. For open source to have grown the way that it has. I mean, I remember when Topher was looking at whether he was going to go with Drupal, Joomla, or WordPress. And to look at it now, to look at the numbers of usage and that sort of thing, it would be a no-brainer. But at that time, they were all kind of equal. I mean, this was 2010-ish.
WordPress has grown in a way that the other open source projects just couldn’t. And I think the community is a huge part of that. Like Automattic itself reinvested in the community in ways that people don’t necessarily think about. And without that, like you said, it’s nurturing that next generation of people to come in to continue what was started because we won’t be around forever. I don’t want to be around forever. I shouldn’t be around forever. It’s not how it’s supposed to work.
Topher: The goat farm calls.
Tammie: Goat farm hackers!
Cate: Let’s have both, you know.
Tammie: I think that that’s completely right. It’s also this community is so different than the community I started. It wasn’t as welcoming. The community that I joined initially, I was like, “Oh.” I was a lot shy as well. And I’ve learned myself. I think when you’re like, early 30s you’re very different from late 40s. Like, as a human being you are, and you learn a lot about yourself in those years.
And honestly, the people that I’ve seen has helped me to do that. And it provides a community space that allows everybody to kind of be stronger in themselves and stronger in who they can be. And I don’t want that to stop. I’m very excited where could that go. Because I do still see that that’s difficult in some areas. I think it’s changing, the world is changing, thank goodness, from back when… I remember back in the day being not able to use…
It’s a strong point, but not being able to use a female name online. That’s like most women’s experience at a certain age online. But that is changing slowly. And I still say slowly, because that’s the narrow end of how we should change this. There’s so much will change. And if that is still slow. So yeah, we are getting there.
In our community having space and growing I think it’s a generational thing is where it starts. And I just think having this option where you can change roles. A good thing is being able to change different teams, being able to come and learn a role, and come and develop your business.
Seeing that, that is such an interesting aspect of WordPress for me at the moment, you know, to come and have an idea, get the support, slowly learn the skills you need. Even in contributing, go to marketing team, learns that, go to design team, go to plugin team, learn how a theme was used, maybe put your theme in.
All these skills, maybe you can set up your own business and then maybe start going part-time. And maybe then you work a little bit somewhere, or maybe you meet someone at the WordCamp virtually or in the after times, maybe you get to know… You know, all these kind of things.
That has so much potential for the where can that go mixed in with where technology’s going. And the fact that so many of us now have worked longer remote than we’ve worked not remote. That’s my case That’s not uncommon in this community now. That’s something to pass down to people as well. Yeah, it’s really healthy and powerful kind of growth.
Cate: Yeah, it really lets you have the decisions about your life. You know, you aren’t stuck with the jobs that just happened to be near enough for you to travel to. You can actually use your own creative self in a way that works best for you. And then generally is better for everybody.
Tammie: You can find yourself, whatever that is, or you can be given the space to explore to find yourself. And I think everyone has to go on that new journey. You do, right? And it can take a long time. I’m still online. But I think that that is an important thing. You know, it would be very different for me if I’d had to still go to an office and do that. It wasn’t going to be something that would have worked for me.
And I’m very lucky that this career kind of happened for me, that has allowed me to do the work that I could do in companion with what I wanted to do. So yeah. But that’s not an uncommon story in our community, which I think I’d love. So I’m taking care of like anyone in your family to take care of yourself, the whole kind your family.
Cate: Yeah. And I think it’s still valuable to highlight though because we get isolated. Like I forget that people don’t work from home, the people don’t just live this life.
Tammie: Some people don’t understand it. “Do you work?”
Topher: “When are you getting a job?”
Tammie: We don’t have to grow up. It’s great.
Cate: We certainly don’t have to wear pants.
Tammie: I’m wearing dungarees though. The pants is a completely different meaning for me being English.
Cate: Oh, that’s fantastic.
Topher: All right. I had one more thing on here. No, I didn’t.
Tammie: Now I need you to do one more thing. I want one more thing now.
Cate: I do kind of have a thing. So Topher and I are both kind of at the beginning of embracing Gutenberg. And it’s actually been kind of funny. We both kind of found the cadence theme at the same time, and love that we could use it differently. Like he can strip it down to nothing and rebuild it from whatever he wants it to be. And I love that I can go in as a writer who’s a non-designer and make things pretty without having to code or even be a particularly good designer. But that really all falls into Gutenberg and what Gutenberg can do.
And before Gutenberg, you were there doing the Gutenberg projects, you know, you are a designer. And I’m just curious to see if you’ve… and I don’t want to put you on the spot. Because there’s a lot of things around Gutenberg. And if this is a question you don’t want to answer, that’s perfectly fine. But I’m curious to see how you feel about Gutenberg and how it’s evolved.
Tammie: I am more than happy to answer this. So I’m really happy about the way it’s evolved because I actually use the word Gutenberg for the plugin because I thinkGutenberg now is the plugin and the editor itself is WordPress. That’s kind of where my brain goes. But that’s probably someone that’s very close to the project. And that’s where I go.
Because I also think when we call it something else it becomes over. And I think that that’s the othering of it in that sense doesn’t maybe help it. I’m really happy but it’s not reached its potential yet. And I think sometimes it’s very easy to judge. Like it’s like, to use a pretty weird image, would go, “Hold in tight, we’re going on a journey.”
If you’re baking a cake and it’s going to rise, and if you would open too soon, it could flop, it could go horribly wrong because you’re judging it too soon. It’s not going to go really well. But if you are trying to do too much full site editing now and you want to do it, it’s not even in decent here to maybe do that. Kind of where I’m going.
It has so much potential. It can do so much. But if you were going to use it on a production site and you’re going to do that, judge it for what it is. If it’s like five minutes into its baking, it’s not. It’s more than five minutes. But it is not fully baked yet, it is not ready to put the icing on.
If you were in a baking competition, you would be missing the deadline. You wouldn’t be able to put the icing on if you were going to try and take it. I’m going to stop that there. But you couldn’t complete that.
Cate: That’s a great analogy. And I would say that I’ve kind of seen the same thing as a complete outsider where when it first came out they needed people to be using it to kind of figure out I’m guessing what they needed to do differently.
Tammie: It’s because it’s so big. The editor itself, first of all, was a bit like an iceberg. I can never give a straight answer apparently. Because it was a lot of entrepreneurial work, it was a lot of infrastructure, it was changing the structure, changing the language, all of that had to be changed. And you didn’t see that.
So all of these things that took so long, why did they take so long? Why? What is going on? The best is being formed and like getting weird inside out. You know it seem to be made, you know, all of that, like, as it was going to to pieces and all that kind of stuff, right? All of that is happening. So of course it was going to take a really long time to get to you. And now that’s there. That’s here, and that’s here.
But now full site editing there’s so much you can do. There’s so many possibilities that someone’s going to use for it. And to understand every single one of those and create a product that works for every single one and then works for all the plugins, and then works for all the parameters, because you have made it consistent, and then doesn’t upset any of those parameters, it needs a lot of testing, and it needs input, and it needs all of those.
So that’s why it takes so long to bake. And that’s why it needs open conversations and open feedback. And honestly, that could be more, should be more, will be more. So it’s actually really good it’s having all of that. But it’s really hard when someone does call for testing to not like, Well, it must be ready.” If I’m doing a call for testing that means it’s ready for me. Call for testing doesn’t mean-
I think it’s changing in the community. For a long time in WordPress, the concept, it kind of came in during the first phase of Gutenberg, this idea of testing things when it’s not ready. But it was still such a new concept. It was really hard to kind of get around this testing thing when it’s not ready. So to try and move that mental model, try and keep that a little bit I think it’s happening. I see it a lot. But it can be used so much.
I am so excited at the potential. But I’m also excited at not having to use all of that potential. Which I think is really, really important for this. The thing you use will decide that potential for you. You will be able to determine that. But you’ll be able to change that thing without, I can use imagery, you can’t change a thing like clothing currently. And you should be able to.
At the moment, it’s like you’ve got to take your arms off, take your head off to be able to. You can’t. It’s not a better way. It’s like trying to find like one size does fit all in most clothing stores. The ideal will happen in this world where you’ll be able to just change, you’ll be able to go in and it will fit. It will fit everything and it could just change.
And that is what we are getting to and your customizations will pour over magically. But to do all that magic and to do all of this work requires a change in the system and the change in thinking. I am so excited for that. But I’m excited for that because I’ve got to see the vision and because I’ve got to be part of that.
So my perspective I openly know is very different. I am very excited to the phases that I haven’t got to see that live. Like when we move on to the publishing flow and the multi-lingual, I have my own ideas like everybody else that I’m not there, the Genesis those. And I’m so excited to be surprised. I’m so excited to be surprised where full site editing goes from now because it super exciting to me where it’s going.
I’m excited to not agree with something, because that is when plugins are created and that’s where debates happen in open source. And what is released in 5.9 is beta and what’s released in 6.1, I don’t know. It will take time. Tickets can be opened. And that’s the whole point.
It’s not like “it shall never be judged.” There’s things released in 5.0 that are completely different. I mean lots of things that were released in 5.0 that are completely different now. And that’s the way it should be. Open source changes.
WordPress didn’t for a very long time change. And unfortunately, that’s slightly the mindset that’s some things don’t change. And we’ve just got to change a lot. A lot in Gutenberg has changed dramatically from release to release because it should. If it’s not right, change it. As long as it doesn’t cause a fracture to the experience of someone, change it gracefully so it’s reliable still, so you can trust in the experience, and it’s not like, “Surprise!”
Cate: So it is.
Tammie: In short, I’m really excited. But I think it’s easy for me to be excited. But I always want to quantify why I’m excited because I think sometimes, of course, you’re excited. But it’s easy to be scared as well. It’s easy to look at it and go like, “I’ve had a bad experience.” It’s like, “Okay, what did you have a bad experience with? Would you be willing to try it now?” Invariably because people are awesome, yes. And invariably they find something that’s usable for now. Because what they are invariably scared of was something that’s changed now.
Cate: And I think it’s really important to acknowledge that there have been painful moments and that some things have gone wrong. I mean, that’s the nature of creation. And we kind of forget that. And when the livelihood is on the line, it gets even scarier. But you’re right, it’s ever-evolving. Really to judge myself on what I was 20 years ago, please don’t do that. Like who I am now is so different.
Tammie: A I cannot dismiss it. And I think that’s the thing: you cannot dismiss it. If someone has had a bad experience, maybe they lost a client, maybe the client said no. They could have been completely for Gutenberg. They could have lost a pitch because they were for Gutenberg. I don’t know their story. I don’t know what happened to them. But I cannot judge what happened to someone doing that. I’m thankfully not all seeing because my head would explode.
Cate: Oh my gosh, no.
Tammie: I think this is not the superpower you want, like the hero. That is not to me to judge what someone feels. If that is a genuine feeling someone have shared with me, great. You’re sharing a story. Thank you for sharing your story.
I’m not going to dismiss if you tell your story. I’m going to give you grace of listening. And then I’m going to ask, “Can we discuss? Can we talk? Show me. Could you maybe show me on the latest version?” And if we see it still, I’m going to write you a bug report. I’m going to say this is hard for you still. This is why this is hard for you still. This is maybe how we can make it easy for you.” I’m going to say, “Is there a plugin that can do this?”
There’s a discussion, right? Is it a plugin? Is it a bug report? Is it an enhancement? And that’s how, like, is it just for your unique…? No, I always think that the toolbar that ended up like 50 people like it down here, 50 people like it here. It back and forth in the Gutenberg issue. Like Nobody could decide where that damn toolbar was.
Because it was not. Like you’d move it and then people would be like, “I want it here.” Because it’s personal preference. Certain things depends on personal preference. And that’s why we have plugins. It’s going to come down to I think over time recognizing a lot more about that. Maybe we have a lot more of that. Not like I’m not suggesting open the floodgates with too many options.
Some recognizing it for accessibility reasons. We’re just human. For getting older, I have reading glasses, or whatever. Some people just have a preference. You know, some people like this, some people like that. And that’s okay.
Cate: Yeah. And I think that’s such a great point, maybe even to end on is that it’s okay to have different preferences. And that’s why it’s open source is because you then get to create the thing that works better for you, which is going to work better for somebody else too, because there’s other people out there that have the same needs.
Tammie: Yeah, if you have that preference sell enough in that preference. And that is like the thing. Just gracefully have that preference. I think that’s recognizing that everybody is doing it in the fullest of their heart and the fullest of their intention.
I think it’s very hard to do that when you’re passionate. And passion in open source sometimes overrides or it makes it look kicks in a little bit when sometimes when we’re passionate and when it’s like, “Ahhh!” But that’s okay as well. Sometimes we all put boots on and stop. And that’s fine. You might be just having the feels. And if you’re having the feels, have the feels.
Cate: That’s really wonderful.
Topher: All right, I think it’s time to wrap up. That was a fantastic question, Cate.
Cate: I mean, I don’t ever want it to be time to wrap up. We should be able to just keep talking indefinitely. But I think we all have to go do something else at some point.
Topher: I really liked how that last question went. That was really great.
All right, so I’m going to read the outro here. Here we go. This has been an episode of Hallway Chats, a part of the HeroPress Network. Your hosts were Cate and Topher DeRosia. We’d like to thank Sophia DeRosia for the music and Nexcess for hosting our network. If you liked the episode, please subscribe and mention us on social media.
Cate: Thank you so much, Tammie, for joining us today.
Tammie: Thank you for having me.