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Hi, I am Luis Rull CEO of Mecus, Ask me anything

Mar. 15, 2017

My name is Luis Rull Muñoz. 43 years old. I am Spanish and I live in Sevilla.

I am Luis Rull, from Mecus, EBE, Polyglots #es_ES team, WCEU,.... (and many more things)

I’ve working with WordPress since 2006: All my professional career has been with WP.

I do not code, but I have an enormous respect and admiration for people who does. I love to translate clients words into ideas that coders and designers can efficiently work on. I always try to make all my peers work as easy as possible, taking away annoying tasks like payments, flattery with clients, negotiations with suppliers…

My most fulfilment jobs has always been related with Community: WordCamp Europe in Seville, Polyglots team, es_ES team (where I am GTE),…

I am cofounder of EBE (eventoblog.com), a congress about technology and civil engagement which began as a blogging conference in 2006 with a very special speaker, Matt Mullenweg.

My company, Mecus, has been a WP agency since 2008, first with Rafael Poveda and now with Vicente Herrera (dev) and Abel Sutilo (design). We’ve done more than 60 different projects and I believe the best is yet to come. WP helps you to implement almost any idea. We do crafting, special projects that no one else wants to do at a affordable price and time.

I love making others dreams come true in the digital world, but someday my (our) own side project will take over our full attention.

I am a proud husband and father of two kids who enjoys simple things with them: playing, drawing, maths (¡), reading, travelling and listening to music

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21 vote   Flag
Aca

Hi Luis,

I am really happy to see you here on AMA.

Would you mind telling me how important for you is contributing to WordPress and where do you see WordPress in 5 years?

See ya in Paris :)

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Luis Rull

Contributing to the project means to me that WP is not "a tools i use". It gives me emotional link to it. It's not like Firefox, Apple, One Plus,... It means its not something I consume or utilise, but something I belong to, something i, in a small amount, build and develop. It's also a way of escaping my small world of clients, colleagues, family,... and be a part of a team that's changing the world.

I am part of a team (es_ES Polyglots) that gives te opportunity of using a great tool to millions of people who does not speak english. I may sound childish, but It's amazing to help some many people. I've never imagine to be in such a great position. I am very helpful that my teammates at make.wordpress.org/polyglots/teams/?locale=es_ES let me contribute in such a great role as GTE.

The experience of organizing WCEU in Seville two years ago as "man on the ground" was also great, woking face to face with the people you usually talk in slack and see the result of your work in the analogic world for ones was great See it www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDMebEigOSU

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Luis Rull

In 5 years WP will be a truly CMS, not a great HTML generator. REST API in gaining traction, but most people see WP as a tool for the web. I see it as a container and a place to insert and edit content that will be deliver to any device available: from a screen, to an app, but also to your watch or even you amazon cart.

In the HTML country, the trend is clear: developing great projects without coding at great prices and small amount of time (IMHO).

I also will like the app devs to see WP as a great tool to deal with annoying things for them: databases, security, editing content,... We need to evangelise more to the app developers on this.

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Aca

Thank you, Luis, for such a great replies :) I feel the same for WordPress as well and I totally agree with you

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Mariano Pérez Caro

Hello Luis,

What would your perfect WordPress project look like? What kind of projects do you like the most?

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Luis Rull

The perfect project is the one that solves user problems they did not know they have. One of the most great joys of my career came when a client came to me two years after we finish the job and told me: We've could not be here without you, we cannot conceive our current products without the tools your team built for us.

(The perfect project also loads in less than 2 seconds in my laptop and It's immune to attacks)

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Ibon Azkoitia

Hi Luis :)

As you may know, I have and work in a WordPress agency and I would like to know: how do you search and find the professionals (like Rafa, Vicente and Abel) that will work with you in your projects in Mecus?

Thanks for this AMA!

Ibon.

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Luis Rull

Great question.

The short answer is... going to bars. ;)

The long answer is attending to every meetup around you about the things you like. Exceptional people are not in regular places, they are in spots where experimental and little known things are discuss and tested (... and abandoned)

These three guys you mention are exceptional as professionals and as human beings. It's important to work with good people you can trust. Distrust is a very tiring and time consuming task.

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Juan Hernando

Good morning Luis! Just two questions:

1/ Which are the most common misconceptions you find when talking with clients (or possible clients) about a WordPress site? Which is the best tactic to overcome their fears? (e.g. security, scalability…)

2/ Which are the main benefits of helping in the WP Community? What would you say to someone that thinks that it's just unpaid job with nothing to get in return?

Thanks!

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Luis Rull

1/ It's unsafe.
It does not scale properly.
It cannot do complicated, strange, different things.
It's only for HTML.

I try to show them case studies of their business field or even built a test site that solves a problem they have, but the most important thing is to know your clients interest and needs deeply. It's time consuming and it's risky, since you work before getting paid and without the certainty of accomplish the project, but in the long term, you get good at it and let you get the good gigs.

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Luis Rull

2/ The main benefit it that it feels great. You have fun and you achieve goals.
Side effects are that you get in touch with the best in the business and, at least, you learn the cutting edge technologies. If you are lucky, you can even get more clients, but the most important thing is that you learn a lot.

You cannot underestimate the power of coherence: If you are upon giants shoulders, you must give it back. Karma works both ways.

It's not a job, it's not an obligation. It's a hobby, an advocation. You do it because you like it, not because you have to.

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Damian

Hi Luis. Damian here, global translation editor for the en_GB locale and virtual colleague of yours over at WP-Translations. I'm curious about the conflict(s) that may exist between being a volunteer translator for WordPress and taking on similar work that is paid (premium plugins/themes). What's your view on the challenges that arise. Time pressures? Loyalty to the volunteer role vs the need to put bread on the table?

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Luis Rull

Controversial topic, team mate. ;)

There's two different problems here:

1. The amount of time and responsabilities in a team
2. The role and conflicts of interest in a free software community

1. The amount of time and responsabilities in a team.
When you are part of a team, you commit yourself to certain task. You must accomplish them or ask for help... or step out temporally. It is specially true when it's a community job, a voluntary job because you are not trying to please your client and you may have the temptation of relaxing.

The solution is, in my opinion, to have a solid team where some key task are shared and if you are too busy for a period of time, they'll cover for you. You have to be honest with yourself and ask for help, or step out if you cannot deliver.

Nevertheless, the most important thing is not to block any key process, not to delay important steps that prevent others to do their jobs or tasks. This is not only try for community work, but also for any team work
(I must confess I do not apply this perfectly all the time, like right now with WCEU, but you have to try hard, it can be done)

2. The role and conflicts of interest in a free software community
There's some questions new questions in the translators WP community lately about paid and non paid translations. And all leads either to good faith or avoiding conflicts of interest:

I am GTE of es_ES team and my task are to oversee the glossary and the plugins/themes translations plus been the liaison between the es_ES and General Polyglots teams. What happens if a theme company ask me to translate their premium themes (not in the repository)? Am I ask because I am GTE? If so, should I accept money for it? The answer to both questions is Yes. I do the free work for the people who use the open repository and the paid one for the companies or devs that earn money from my work.

The problem arises when you work for a company which have premium themes or plugins and they ask YOU to help them with their "lite" or free products in .org. It arises a great conflict of interest, where you cannot decided that you translate o approve strings because they really deserve it or because they are your clients. My solution is the same that I apply when there's conflict os interest: I send one of the task to a colleague who decided with equality because he/she does not have that conflict.

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Damian

Luis. Thanks for your thoughtful and detailed reply.

From the en_GB perspective we are a regular team of 3 GTEs, with others contributing as and when they are able. We have a great team, and freely discuss any concerns, issues or unavailability over on the Slack channel. Our workload would seem to be easier since the majority of plugins/themes are written in some variant of English (American, British, Australian, ...); however, many authors/translation contributors push the en_GB locale as a useful strategy to get additional available languages and so improve the status of the plugin/theme from an 'available languages' point of view. So, the volume becomes higher even if the actual work involved is much less than a translation into another language.

Your reply reminded me of a recent experience, where a theme author pushed all the strings of his ~30 WordPress repository themes as en_GB translations without making any changes. My concerns were many. This author has premium versions of all his themes, and in the WP theme reviews users were complaining about major restrictions imposed on the 'lite' versions after a recent update. Also, the original author of the strings had limited English, so there were many language issues in the submitted strings (which we usually repair) that were repeated throughout all of the themes. I consulted with the lead GTE and contacted the theme author through his website to highlight the issue, and ask him to consider the volume of work he was pushing for volunteers to complete, and which would undoubtedly benefit his for-profit theme shop. There was no reply. In the end we reviewed them with the bare minimum of repair, and decided that the WordPress community would vote with their their reviews and downloads on this author. I am happy to continue volunteering for the en_GB locale team, and in my case some paid work has resulted, but the issues that arise are definitely interesting :)

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Damian

Now that's a reply!

I agree about the need for a strong team. We have a great core group over at en_GB and keep in touch via our Slack channel to discuss issues, questions or notify of unavailability. I'm happy to be part of it, and give to something back to the WordPress community.

Your #2 response reminds me of an issue that arose last year where a theme author was submitting 1,000s of poorly written strings for his ~30 themes in the WordPress repository, each of which had a premium version that was being heavily promoted. In fact, there was some pretty negative feedback in the WP theme reviews regrading this author's updates that were shifting basic functionality to the Pro themes. The lead GTE suggested I contact the theme author to explain that we volunteer translators were being swamped with thousands of strings while his PRO theme shop was for-profit. It felt like he was gaming the system, which was probably the case as he never replied. We decided that the WP community would respond to his approach through their reviews of his themes and strategy. Fortunately, that's been the only really dubious case I've come across in the last two years as a GTE.

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Luis Rull

Sure, Mustaasam

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Luis Rull

Thank yo very much. It has been an honor to be here. I hope I've been helpful.

See you around.

L

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