It was the community around WordPress that eventually convinced Cate DeRosia to start contributing. And we’re very happy that she does because she brings a lot to WordPress. That’s also the reason why Michelle Frechette decided to nominate her for the Yoast Care fund. In this interview, we’ll ask Cate DeRosia all about her contributions to WordPress, her love for the community and what’s in store for the future. But first, we’ll Michelle tell you more about why she nominated Cate.
Nominator Michelle Frechette: “Cate DeRosia steps up every time I ask her to join me in crazy community building – whether that’s being a volunteer for WordCamp US or helping with WordFest and marketing at Big Orange Heart. She gives her time and talents without expecting anything in return. In addition to that, she works alongside Topher in curating the HeroPress community and blog, telling the stories of dozens of WordPress community members around the globe. I appreciate her work and can’t imagine being part of this community without her.”
Let’s get to know Cate DeRosia
Thank you for your convincing nomination, Michelle! Now, let’s get to know Cate DeRosia even better by asking her some questions about her work and passion for WordPress:
Hi, Cate! Could you tell us what you do?
Currently, I’m a community engagement specialist at Automattic. That allows me to be a sponsored member of the Community Team. I’m also one of the Lead Trio of organizers for WordCamp US 2022, cohost of Hallway Chats, and a contributing partner at the HeroPress Network.
Why have you chosen to contribute to WordPress?
I love this question, and often no one asks me. My husband is a veteran developer and was deeply entrenched in WordPress. As I was looking to transition from being a full-time homeschooling parent to my next stage of life, I realized that finding a role in WordPress would make our life less complicated. With a degree in English and solid writing skills, not to mention simply being around the industry since 1996, I was able to try out a variety of jobs, from content creation to business operations.
However, the thing that ultimately brought me into WordPress was its community. I noticed there were a lot of areas to grow communication and inclusion, to help lift others and help them succeed. That ultimately became my primary focus.
Why did you start contributing?
My contributions are all on the people’s side of WordPress. Even before using WordPress, I was volunteering at our local WordCamp. As a family, we have a solid commitment to supporting one another. Often, when one of us is involved, all of us are involved.
Our local WordPress community was no different. When it was time in 2012 to support our new WordCamp, the girls and I were there with our volunteer shirts on.
What contribution or moment are you most proud of?
The moment I’m most proud of is WordCamp Chicago 2014. It was the first WordCamp I attended as an attendee. But more importantly, it was the first WordCamp my daughters (then ages 12 and 14) attended as attendees. To see them embraced by the community and encouraged to flourish in a safe tech environment was tremendous.
They build strong relationships with the adult attendees that are fundamental to their lives today at 20 and 22. Since then, they’ve attended several WordCamps, and their experiences within the community have encouraged them to grow. Both daughters continue to be active supporters of WordPress, and my youngest has gone on to speak several times, including applying for WCEU 2022.
What would you love to do in the future?
I can’t see leaving community engagement anytime soon. It’s a deep-rooted passion of mine. I was doing it long before I was hired at Automattic, and I anticipate doing it long after should I ever leave. There is nothing better for me than knowing that I’m helping other people build lives that meet their needs. With open-source software like WordPress, there are so many different ways that you can use it to enable your vision for your life.
No longer are you tied to the jobs in your area or the educational opportunities you had. A parent home with the kids can run a store from the kitchen table. Rural people can stay where they love to live and work for a thriving company. Or start their own! The possibilities are endless, and I love helping make that happen.
Where may people find you? Online, WordCamps, other meetups?
Even before taking on my new role, we were setting up life to travel to as many WordCamps as was reasonably possible. The in-person interaction is just so significant. So whether we’re flying or driving up in our RV Agnes, you’ll see a lot of me wandering about in the community.
Thank you for this interview, Cate. And for all of your contributions to the WordPress community! Do you know someone like Cate DeRosia who also deserves to be in the spotlight? Go to our Yoast Care page and nominate them right away.