Yoast Care fund: An interview with Maciej Swoboda

Maciej Swoboda

Nominated by:
Przemek Rosa

Today we’re interviewing Yoast Care fund recipient Maciej Swoboda, who received a nomination from Przemek Rosa. Przemek nominated him for everything he contributes to the community. Let’s find out what he does exactly! But first, nominator Przemek would love to tell you why he nominated Maciej:

Nominator Przemek Rosa: “Maciej is extremely engaged in the WordPress community by helping on forums and Facebook groups. He spoke at WordCamps all over Europe. His team develops free plugins, sends patches to the WordPress and WooCommerce code, translates WordPress into Polish. Maciej also organized WordUp Warsaw in 2015-2018 and co-organized WordCamp Poland 2016/2017.”

Let’s get to know Maciej Swoboda!

Thank you for those lovely words, Przemek. Now, let’s get to know this Maciej better by asking him some questions:

Hi, Maciej. Could you tell us more about what you do?

I am the founder and CEO of WP Desk, a small (but growing) company creating plugins for WooCommerce (i.e., Flexible Shipping, ShopMagic). Mostly, I care about our people, think about new products and have fun.

After hours I contribute to WordPress doing translations, which I really like. I am the GTE for the Polish language and maintain translations for some of the most recognizable plugins: WooCommerce, Yoast SEO, Elementor, Gravity Forms.

Who is your WordPress hero?

In fact there are a couple of people that I admired through these 15 years with WordPress.

  • Vladimir Prelovac – for creating some outstanding plugins for WP SEO and then for ManageWP.
  • Joost de Valk – (I am listing him, not because of the Yoast Care fund) for being one of the first people I got to know about when I started with WP and for creating WordPress SEO plugin, which was something which I really needed back then in working with WP.
  • Chris Pearson – for creating Thesis, which was a real breath of fresh air when it first appeared on the WP scene.

If I were to pick one person, I think it would be Pippin Williamson for being transparent about running his WP business. But also for creating simple plugins which are not bloated with useless features but can do great things. And lastly, for thinking not only about business and money but staying sane and have fun at the same time.

What contribution or moment are you most proud of?

Being the first WooCommerce Polish translator and able to find time and strength to maintain it for over 9 years (and counting).

I am also very proud of my talk at WordCamp Frankfurt in 2016. Not because it was so good (because I think it wasn’t that good), but because it was my first international experience and I was very, very nervous. I was the last speaker of the day, and I was eating my fingernails for the whole day and thought it would be a disaster. However, I was able to overcome my fear, enter the stage and present my talk.

What would you love to do in the future?

I would love to talk more at international WordCamps and spread good (and sometimes not so good) words about WordPress and how it changed my life and how it could change the lives of other people.

To be honest, I think that WordPress is not the code, not the software itself. It’s the people who create it, use it, and cherish it. I love being around these open and kind people, share what I’ve learned, and hope that I can also help someone do great things or overcome fears that I used to have (and sometimes still have).

Where can people find you?

At this time I am not really active, because there are no offline meetups which I like the most. I tried a couple of online events, but it is just not the same and I am waiting for the world to open. I am definitely going to attend WordCamp Europe 2022 and if some WordCamps will be organized offline in 2021 I will definitely try to be there. Right now you can reach me via Twitter, my handle is @swoboda.

Thank you for this interview, Maciej. And for all of your contributions to the WordPress community! If you’re reading this and know someone like Maciej who deserves a nomination for our Care fund, just go to our Yoast Care page to nominate them.