019 – From Choir to Coding with Ben Meredith

019 – From Choir to Coding with Ben Meredith



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[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

What would lead a music director to a career in computer coding? How can you get people to read your online posts even if the content seems at first to be bland? Is it really necessary to create an explosion every time I light the grill? Why did Nikola Tesla wiggle his toes 100 times every night? What does all this have to do with inventing and education?

Our guest today, Ben Meredith, is a self-taught web developer who creates great WordPress plugins.  If you aren’t familiar with WordPress, it is a web kit to help average people start a website.  Forbes says that 20% of Websites are now powered by WordPress–that’s somewhere north of 60 million websites powered by WordPress–and Ben is developing plugins for this extremely powerful web force. Listen in to see what Ben has to say about the power of the web and self-education.

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Ben’s Favorite Quote 


You don't need to go back in time to be awesome; you just have to start right now. - Jon Acuff Click To Tweet

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About Teachers

Can you briefly tell us about a teacher that made an impact on your education and why they are important to you?

Mr Burke, my high school English teacher, who made me realize that reading is fascinating, and that it’s cool to love books.

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About Making

What was the last thing you made?

Always making something digital for WordPress. The last physical thing? A paper airplane for my 4-year old. It wasn’t the most epic thing ever, but it got the job done.

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About Learning

What is the most recent new thing you have learned?

Oh, it’s some fascinating stuff about how to code a plugin in such a way as to be translated into multiple languages. We geeks call it i18n (there are 18 letters between the i and n in “internationalization”). I am working to make my plugins inclusive of people who don’t speak English. It may sound corny, but getting even the smallest portion of the code right has been known to initiate a happy-dance in my office.

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About Ben

meredith_benBen is a self-taught WordPress plugin developer, with more than 3,000 downloads of his plugins! He decided 10 years out of college to teach himself how to code, mostly using free resources on the web. Ben was fascinated by open source code and the ramifications for web development and learning to code. Ben is a husband and homeschool dad of two boys.  He leads the music at his church when he’s not knee deep in code!

For a very interesting, more in-depth look at Ben’s bio, check out his page “I Lost My Job, Not My Identity: Part 1 of My Employment Bio“. We guarantee you’ll want to read the rest of the story!


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Additional Notes

Connect with Ben:

Ben’s wordpress plugins:

Link to Forbes article on WordPress:

TED talk by Maurizio Seracini on “The Secret Lives of Paintings”:

The WikiFacts version of Tesla’s life: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikola_Tesla

The irreverent, not-so-true-to-facts version that actually captures Tesla’s personality the best: 

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Text Transcript

 Coming Soon!


Coding... it's like a puzzle and a poem all at once - Ben Meredith, Digital Handyman Click To Tweet


Attention is our greatest resource today - Seth Godin Click To Tweet


Consuming is cotton candy compared to the steak dinner of creating - Ben Meredith, Digital Handyman Click To Tweet

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