about betahaus
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Christoph Fahle
October 28, 2013

Member of the week: Sebastian Michel

Sebastian Michel is a passionate web consultant and developer and has been working with WordPress for over six years now. Since 2007, he has been creating professional and personal websites, blogs and portfolios. He started his teaching career by launching an online education platform wonderpress together with a friend. But since few months Sebastian is a teacher in offline reality as well - the course holder of the 'HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN WEBSITE' course.

What was it that brought you to WordPress and how did you start working with it?

I learned to work with HTML/CSS as a kid – but always found it hard to create something professional with it. So when I started to get interested in websites and blogs years later, I found out about WordPress. It gave me the opportunity to create beautiful websites without remembering the whole HTML/CSS markup, which made it easy to start and see results. So I got into it more and more, creating fun stuff online and experimenting with all kinds of possibilities. It is crazy what you can do with little time and a vision.

From what I hear around betahaus, everyone needs a developer. How do you feel about being an essential part of anyone's business?

Honestly, I would not really call myself a “real” developer. I got to know people who can do outstanding things that I am just starting to grasp. Personally, I see myself more as a “WordPress guy” and a teacher. I love to help people convey their story and personality online, setting up blogs, websites, shops and whatnot to connect to different people all over the world. It is always exciting to be part of the whole “starting-process”, where things just begin to form and happen. It is messy – but beautiful and fresh in its own way. I love to work that way.

Do you take the projects you are working on personally or do you prefer to make a healthy segregation between your technical part and their content? Does it matter for you what the project is about?

It matters quite a lot. If somebody wants my help on a project that goes against my beliefs and values, I politely decline. But besides that, there is not a topic I do not like to work on – if there is somebody with a vision, motivation behind it.

For me, it all comes down to working with people. Sure, I create or teach people about websites but behind each website, there is a person (or a group of people) with an idea. Being part of that idea, working on it and hopefully helping present it to the biggest audience possible – that is what I work for. So, as long as that is the case, I am in.

What is the coolest and the lamest part of being a WordPress developer?

The coolest part has to be helping to start something great – assisting people in realzing what they envisioned, that is a great feeling.

On the other hand, helping others with some great ideas can make you feel pretty bummed about your own. However, it is also an inspiration to get your own ideas to a whole new level. ;--)

On the basis of what you teach in the 'HOW TO BUILD YOUR WEBSITE' course, what could people expect to be able to launch afterwards?

They can expect to be able to launch their own website.

The course is split up into three main parts: Basic understanding of WordPress, basic understanding of websites in general – and putting these two together to create a website from scratch in a step-by-step process.

I show people what I do based on what worked for former participants in my courses, my clients or myself. We had people in our course who had no idea how to build a website before the course – and “graduated” with a finished website. It does not matter if it is a portfolio, blog, shop or whatever you might want to create.

We cover all the important topics to get people to where they want to go online.

What's your favourite colour?

Blue – like a ripe apple.


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