We like celebrating people and the good work that they do. So today, we’re celebrating Andy Fragen, a big time helper in our support forum and a friend. Andy has been active on our support forums for quite some time now, so this thank you is well overdue. If Andy has helped you out on the forums, which is likely, we’d love for you to take a few minutes and get to know Andy just a little bit better!
Your Twitter bio says “Just a geek trauma surgeon”, which might be one of the best Twitter bio’s I’ve seen, can you let us know just exactly what that means?
I guess it means that IRL I’m a trauma surgeon. I’ve actually been doing Trauma/Acute Care Surgery for the past 7 years. Needless to say, it leaves me with little free time. Currently, I’m on call about every third day/night. And yes I do work on the days I’m not on call, but not all of them.
The geek part is mostly self-taught. I run my own server, a Mac mini currently running OS X 10.8.5, and have learned an incredible amount just doing this. I host mail, CalDAV, and websites; mostly for my family.
I still catch grief from my wife for sitting at the computer too much. 😉
I gave up my laptop a few years ago and primarily my main devices are an iPad mini (which fits great in a lab coat pocket) and my iPhone. Consequently, my coding only happens at home, usually at night. 😉
You’re super involved in the Modern Tribe support forums. How did you get started helping out?
I’ve been using The Events Calendar since version 2.x. I started out just trying to fix my own problems or add my own features. That’s where most of my plugins evolved. Along the way I learned a lot about how The Events Calendar and Events Calendar PRO work. The forum has been a great source of help for me and helping out with answering questions has been my way of paying it forward.
Some time ago Jonah West (Modern Tribe alum) wrote a tutorial on colorizing category classes. There was lots of interest and I wrote a plugin, The Events Calendar Category Colors, that did this for anyone without having to hand code CSS. Along the way I’ve gotten a tremendous amount of help from Barry Hughes (one of the current Events Calendar Pro developers). Currently Category Colors has over 15K downloads. I can still remember checking the stats and showing my wife when it passed 100 downloads.
The WP.org forum is a whole different animal and helping out there a is bit more like being a deputy in the wild west. Sometimes you’re just as likely to get shot at as thanked. I think users use the search function less over there and many of the questions are very similar.
I’ve learned a tremendous amount from just seeing how Rob La Gatta answers questions. Rob is truly gifted in his ability to focus on the question while maintaining respect for the forum participants. He has the patience of Job and I don’t know how he keeps from flipping out at times. 😉
What do you enjoy most about helping in the support forums?
Solving puzzles is a lot of fun and the appreciation that some users give for fixing their problems is sometimes more than I get in my day job for saving someone’s life. Strange huh?