WordPress is open source software, maintained by a global network of contributors. There are many examples of how WordPress has changed people’s lives for the better. In this monthly series, we share some of the amazing stories that are not as well known.
Creating content with WordPress and blogging helped Fike Komala, from Indonesia, build a career where she can work remotely from different locations in the world.
In 2020, Fike joined a US-based company that specializes in form building to work as a content marketer. Using her experience as a freelancer and later a full time employee, she encourages others, particularly women in Asia, to consider remote work as a career option. She is so impressed by remote working benefits, that she is now considering writing about it for a thesis for her Master’s Degree, which she started this year in Europe.
As a keen blogger, WordPress immediately impressed Fike. Her dad is a programmer, and he helped her create the first of many blogs starting when she was 10 years old. She had private and public blogs, and even an English language one to help her practice and improve her skills.
Earning Through Building With WordPress
Fike’s parents had a business building websites. She was drawn to this work and would help proofread and format the articles. This is how she first encountered WordPress, which was to play a pivotal role in her future career.
“I saw WordPress as something more advanced than other platforms, with more themes and plugins to choose from. The default WordPress websites already looked more professional than others.”Fike Komala
Throughout school, Fike’s experience with WordPress and blogging helped her earn extra money safely online, including translating texts from English to Indonesia, online surveys, and writing articles in English.
Discovering Work You Enjoy
The last year at University required a year-long full-time internship. Fike worked as an intern at a big general insurance company within the IT quality control staff. She enjoyed working with the people she met and learned a lot through this opportunity, but she declined the offer of a full-time position.
Fike is a good student who loves learning and did well in her education. Through her traditional internship experience, she found that programming in an office job did not fulfill her. It strengthened her belief in a finding a career where she could have the freedom and creativity of working remotely.
“I was a good student, I love learning algorithms, but I didn’t love programming. I’m not that person who can stay calm finding errors in their codes, and then finding out that it’s only missing a character,” said Fike. She added: “I don’t really like the fact that I have to wake up at 6 AM and be back home at 7 PM, and do it all over again the next day.”
Adventure Into Remote Work
Fike spent time improving her freelance profile, revising it, and applying to jobs as a virtual assistant. She was willing to do any small website jobs such as formatting WordPress posts, designing social media posts, and processing orders for online shops. Through a freelance job submission site, she was able to work with people from across the globe, including Singapore, Australia, Europe, and America. Through the site, Fike was able to gain experience with remote working tools like Slack, Asana, Trello, and Google Suites, and the work gave her practice writing in English.
It was through this site that Fike saw a job opportunity with a WordPress plugin company. She sent in her profile and blog.
“This was my first time being interviewed via a video call. I was ecstatic but panicked. On the day, I woke up at 4 AM, got dressed, and opened my laptop. Weirdly, my wi-fi died that morning. So I went to the nearest cafe to get the interview done, and it went great!”
She was hired to deliver consistency on the company’s blog.
Through her job, Fike first began to contribute within the WordPress community and was able to attend her first WordCamp, WordCamp Jakarta 2018, sponsored by her firm. Through WordPress, Fike has met many generous, trusting, and helpful people.
She said: “Because I’ve experienced the generosity of the WordPress people, I wanted to give back to the community.”
You Can Inspire Others Through Contributing
Fike has been an inspiration to people in her local community and globally within the WordPress community through her enthusiasm and energy.
She talks about her joy in contributing during a live interview as part of WordPress Translation Day in 2020.
So determined to encourage others to become translators of WordPress, she joined the Global Translation Day event with the Indonesian Community last year and took part in wider marketing of the event. She is pictured below with some of the Indonesian polyglots team.
She continues to support the polyglots and is a General Translation Editor for the Indonesian language. Last year, she also voiced an Indonesian translation of the onboarding video for new contributors joining WordPress.org. She has been a regular contributor to the PerempuanWP, an initiative for Indonesian women working in the WordPress world. Working with a firm which uses the WordPress platform has strengthened her familiarity with projects in the community and encourages her interest in contributing.
To learn more about contributing to WordPress, visit make.wordpress.org/ and follow the “get involved” link. You can join any of the weekly team meetings to get started, and there is a lot of help available.
Fike says, “I want to represent Asian women. In the future, I hope I can inspire more women, especially Asians, to work remotely.” She is now studying in Europe for a Master’s in Digital Communication Leadership. She hopes to use her learning to help other women, particularly back in her home country of Indonesia.
She continues to share her energy for learning and remote working.
“Just learn things. As much as you can. From anywhere, about anything. Keep an open mind. Read books, listen to podcasts, and learn new skills.”
She added: “If you’re working in the WordPress world, join the WordPress community. It’s a great place to learn from and connect with great people.”
Share the stories
Help share these stories of open source contributors and continue to grow the community. Meet more WordPressers in the People of WordPress series.
Thank you to Fike Komala (@fikekomala) for sharing her #ContributorStory. Thanks to Abha Thakor (@webcommsat) and Meg Phillips (@megphillips91) for writing this feature, to Surendra Thakor (@sthakor), Meher Bala (@meher), Larissa Murillo (@lmurillom), Josepha Haden (@chanthaboune), Chloé Bringmann (@cbringmann) for additional support and graphics, and to Topher DeRosia (@topher1kenobe) who created HeroPress.
This People of WordPress feature is inspired by an essay originally published on HeroPress.com, a community initiative created by Topher DeRosia. It highlights people in the WordPress community who have overcome barriers and whose stories might otherwise go unheard. #HeroPress