There are heros and there are … other heros. The ones behind the stage if you will. The guys who pull the curtain, shove props, set the lights and make sure in a bazillion ways that e-ve-ry-thing works out smoothly for the actor. (Btw, if you’re very young: that’s a theatre.)
Those kind of people usually are not being applauded. The attention they get is close to zero, and they donnot ask for more. Ironically, without them there wouldn’t be as little of a show as without the actor on stage.
Have you ever seen the movie Standing in the shadows of Motown? That’s the type of person we’re talking about: the Funk Brothers. After a life full of number one records and devoid of any credit whatsoever, they finally get their share of recognition in a movie.
Although the comparison may seem far fetched, to me Mike Little is something like a Funk Brother of WordPress.
From the Blogging Software Dilemma…
Mike helped Matt starting WordPress ten years ago with his meanwhile often-cited comment on a post titled The Blogging Software Dilemma. He then worked in the snake-pit together with other early core developers for years coding the piece of open-source software into existence that powers 20% of the web today.
Whether WordPress would exist without Mike’s comment, no-one can tell. Yet, when you look at the date of the next comment on the post which is more than a year later, it seems the idea of forking b2 wasn’t exactly what one would call going viral.
So to me, it is very imaginable WordPress as we know it today would never have come to be if it hadn’t been for Mike seconding Matt’s idea by proposing a first concrete step.
…up to 20% of the web!
Ten years later, both Matt and Mike are still around and still working on and with WordPress. While one of them has become somewhat like “the face” of WordPress and an admirably successful entrepreneur in open-source software, the other one has managed to contribute from behind the scenes and stay out the head-lines of business magazines.
— Electric Studio (@ElectricStudio) November 23, 2013
Until November 23rd of this year, at least. That’s the day Mike Little went on stage at WordCamp London (#wcldn) to speak on the topic everyone in the room was so keen to learn about: Mike Little! And his unique view on WordPress from a founder’s perspective, of course.
Speaking from what I heard from others as well as from my own impression, Mike had mesmerised the crowd immediately sharing personal bits from his life as a software developer (starting out in the 1970s!) as well as his experiences with and views on WordPress through the years.
— Jonny Vaughan (@jonnyvaughan) November 23, 2013
There’s no use in trying to give a summary of his talk here as it has been filmed and will be available on WordPress.tv soon.
So I’m going to close this introduction before it gets out of hand with a huge thank you to Mike who’s been kind enough to devote almost an hour of his WordCamp time joining us in a personal conversation. Thanks, Mike! And everyone else: have fun watching the interview!
Featured image photo credit: JC (@ommunist)