Episode 119: Keanan Koppenhaver
This is hallway chats where we meet people who use wordpress we asked question August your stories and perspectives and now the conversation begins this is episode one. Nineteen welcome to Hallway Chats Clays and I'm Liam Dempsey today we're joined joined by Keenan Copenhager Keenan is the CTO at Alpha particle a digital consultancy. That helps their clients plan and execute the digital projects. He believes. Technology isn't always the answer but when it is it's important to get it right I can. Hey Darren lamb. Thanks for having me Nice to see you Keenan. Thanks for joining us on. Can you start out by telling us a little bit more about yourself. Sure yeah so like Liam said Keenan. I run a company in Chicago here We're we're in the merchandise mart for those of you who know the area and currently enjoying it very mild winter which is great help Anything by by bringing that up now but Yeah I've been in in the work space for six or seven years on. I really enjoy it. Enjoy kind of getting to know the community in the people in it which is why you know terror when we're talking about our chances really interesting community you kinda gathered this community around your your podcast. So I'm happy to be here in an doctor. Yes what is your the journey to wordpress So I kind of on a Lark in college decided. I wanted to build a website which of course I thought was going to be the next billion dollar thing And I didn't really know anything about it so I started just kind of googling like how to build a website stuff like that and very quickly realized that there were already lots of tools To help people do these things so I experiment with a couple of those on my own But then ended up taking an internship with an agency here in Chicago ago That was primarily wordpress shop. So most of what they did was wordpress almond so you know throughout the course of my internship and when eventually took a full time position with them You Know Day in day out was was wordpress working at client sites and things like that So I've found it really interesting as a platform really powerful and Able to help people work on the web on their own without necessarily needing developer. Like me on which is which is super empowering for clients and people who run their own businesses and things and so I kind of just never looked back at that point Still do a lot of wordpress but also we've been kind of expanding other PHP frameworks and things too. But really what what stuck with wordpress for me. Was You know how easy it was how Harvard was for people But also the kinds of people that were involved in the community like like we talked a a little bit who spend a lot of their time giving back and helping other people come up behind them and get started? Doing the same thing is is Alpha particle are you one of the founders of that company so it's myself and my business partner j We we started the company in May of twenty seventeen on. We've sleeping around just about two and a half years Like I said because you know initially when we started the company especially like if you if you were looking around searching for answer to a wordpress I problem or looking at me personally. wordpress answers would be while. Come back in Google and so that's why a lot of early work was depressed and we still do a lot of that at our core But we also expanded and expanded and do Digital Strategy and things. That aren't necessarily code as well. So what was your transition to starting your own company well so yes J. J. and I had worked together previously Couple jobs ago and I went off and was just a you know pure developer for a while but You know a couple two years after we we parted ways that our company He approached me and said. Hey you know I kind of interested in in starting my own thing You know I'd really like like food on board and work with me on it and you know he and I get along really well. We always have We do even more so now. It's after showing some AIRBNB is early on in the company. That is But you know I I really enjoy kind of the the fact that we're in control of our own destiny in a Lotta ways We can choose the kind of clients we WANNA work with. We can choose where we think we have the most impact We have the capability to say. Hey you know. We know that somebody told you that wordpress would be good for this project but we don't really think that's the case or you know. Have you considered wordpress. We think it'd be really good for you. In you know we just like having that the ability to make those decisions and advise clients in that way. We didn't necessarily get to do that before we were just kind of in place. Yeah there's a lot of change in In the wordpress environment right now with respect to the C._M._S.. Gutenberg about a year or so ago we've getting.