Ratko Šolaja will reveal misconceptions and secrets about plugin creation

Ratko Šolaja giving a talk at WordCamp Belgrade

Ratko Šolaja is CEO of a little company called VueLabs, Senior WordPress Developer at Toptal, regular WordPress / WordCamp Speaker, husband and much more.

Ratko Šolaja – your name certainly rings a bell, but we’d like to hear few words from you. Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your professional life?

My name is Ratko Šolaja and it certainly does ring a bell. Currently, I’m CEO of a little company called VueLabs, Senior WordPress Developer at Toptal, regular WordPress / WordCamp Speaker and a husband. I’ve started programming about 6 years ago, 4 of those years are with WordPress. I’ve created probably more than 100 WordPress themes and dozens of WordPress plugins – 3 of my plugins are published on WP Repo. Beyond working with WordPress, I also do Front-End as well as backend using Laravel.

My work day usually starts at 9 AM and finishes late at night – during that time I work on different projects, be it for my own company or for Toptal, answer bunch of emails, drink way too much coffee and smoke way more than I probably should. To help me with my work, I use a 15” Retina MacBook Pro with the following software: iTerm (with OhMyZsh) (substitution for Terminal), PhpStorm (IDE), ST3 (editor – only for simple edits), Sequel Pro (for managing databases), Dashlane (to keep all of my passwords), Sketch (for all of the designs) and Photoshop (as a necessary evil). I don’t use any elaborate configuration, so here it goes: PHP 7.1.6, MariaDB 10.2.6, composer, Homebrew (package manager for macOS), WP-CLI and Laravel Valet (development environment for macOS).

I think there are just a few people in our industry who haven’t heard about Toptal – an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, and finance experts in the world. Can you describe exactly how Toptal works? For how long do you work for Toptal? Are you satisfied with the clients and projects you’ve done so far?

Toptal is an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, and finance experts in the world. Therefore, top companies rely on Toptal freelancers for their most important projects. Our community extends all over the world (more than 100 countries) and we have some innovative community initiatives to keep things exciting like our Road Trips in Eastern Europe and South America, Toptal Snow Trips as well as Toptal Fitness and Toptal Speakers Network (which I’m a member of).

For clients, Toptal provides access to global talent in a fast and flexible way, meaning we have the digital infrastructure and personalized services to deliver the expertise that clients needs as well as delivering one expert or even whole teams, depending on the scale required. For developers, designers, and finance experts, Toptal provides a certain lifestyle which includes access to jobs with premier companies without having to leave home, the ability to work from anywhere in the world when you want and for whom you want, work-life balance with a flexible schedule, and the opportunity to focus on work without wasting hours commuting or negotiating. However, there’s a little caveat – you need to pass a rigorous screening process – and that’s why only 3% of freelance talent is with Toptal. I’ve been a Toptal member for a while now (July 17, 2015) and, to be honest, I’m more than satisfied with clients, projects, community as well as some nice things we get to have – fun swag included! I invite you to join Toptal.

Ratko Šolaja transfering knowledge at WordPress meetup Niš

How satisfied are you with WordPress community in Novi Sad, Serbia? What do you think which benefits exactly a WordCamp Europe organization would bring to Serbia?

WordPress community in Novi Sad has been amazing, we have dozens of people coming to our meetups and personally I would love for Novi Sad to host one of the regional WordCamps. Next year, WordCamp Europe is happening in Belgrade, Serbia – which I’m very much excited for. Even though our WP community in Serbia is growing, this event will definitely give it an even bigger boost. Such a huge event can’t go unnoticed and maybe because of that it will plant some seeds in people’s heads to join WP community and start meetups in their own cities, maybe even start working with WordPress if they haven’t worked with it before.

Your talk is: “In’s and out’s of plugin creation”? Can you give us a small introduction?

In’s and Out’s of Plugin Creation EXTENDED will help out beginners or even advanced users about plugin creation. I’ll talk about how to start with plugin creation, what are best practices and show it all on a plugin that I’ve created. This will definitely be a technical talk and in 30 minutes it’s quite hard to cover it all, but, I’ll do my best for you WC Zagreb! 🙂


Did you get your ticket?

If you haven’t already, get your ticket for WordCamp Zagreb today. Tickets are priced at 20€ (around 150 HRK) which will give you entrance to the conference, (first) access to workshops on Friday and to Contributor day on Sunday. You will also get the drinks, lunch, incredible t-shirt and other cool swag from our sponsors.

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