Have you heard about our latest news? We have two new team members at WebDevStudios that we want you to meet. First, there’s Ashar Irfan, who joins WebDevStudios (WDS) as a Senior Backend Engineer. Next, we have Bret Phillips, WDS’ first-ever Digital Strategist. Let’s get to know them.

Ashar Irfan, Senior Backend Engineer

Ashar Irfan, Senior Backend Engineer

Ashar describes himself as the “magician behind the curtain.” He loves open-source software and says that WordPress is the only CMS with backwards compatibility. “I have seen a WordPress website update from a four- to five-year-old version to the latest release without even breaking the website,” Ashar explains.

He also says that WDS is one of the few agencies that comes to mind when talking about WordPress, adding, “The portfolio of WDS aligns with the direction I want my career to grow, so I went ahead and applied to work here.” For Ashar, the move to WDS felt natural. “I was looking for a role where I can work and grow alongside the best professionals in WordPress community. I also knew Tom McFarlin, Richard Aber, and Sal Ferrarello from Twitter, who also happen to work at WDS.”

Over the past five years, Ashar has worked with a couple of WordPress agencies, developed a number of custom WordPress themes and plugins, contributed to WordPress core, and organized local community events. He is also a big JavaScript and Node.js enthusiast. He’s bringing a great deal of talent and experience to WDS and the team is excited to have him on board.

“So far, I am loving the inclusive and friendly environment of WDS,” says Ashar. “Everybody knows everybody, or at least, they make an effort to get to know each other. I have literally attended at least a dozen meetings to meet the team.”

Bret Phillips, Digital Strategist

Bret Phillips, Digital Strategist

As the first-ever WDS Digital Strategist, Bret will be acting as a website consultant, helping to bridge the gap between sales and project operations. He will be working closely with the Corey Collins, Technical Strategist, during the strategy and planning phase of a project to make sure project requirements and plans are well-documented and the transition hand-off to project teams is seamless and transparent.

“My hope is to be challenged and grow as an individual, but to also add value to the WDS team across the board,” Bret says. He definitely adds value to our team with his extensive background that includes an affinity for technology and a background in programming. In fact, Bret started his own company building websites for local small businesses, which eventually led him to custom development for WordPress. “Having experience at many different levels of agency life in this space, I believe I’ll be able to enhance existing processes and ideas,” he adds.

Bret has been an active member of the WordPress community since his first WordCamp in Savannah, GA in 2010. He’s been a speaker at WordCamps and other events around the country, as well as a co-organizer for WordCamp Atlanta and WordCamp US. He will definitely fit in with our group at WDS, as many of our team members are also co-organizers, speakers, and volunteers for WordCamps and WordPress Meetup groups.

“Over the years I’ve seen WDS in name and people around WordCamps and just in the zeitgeist,” Bret explains, “Having met a few members of the team, it was obvious the type of culture being cultivated here and aligns with the type of people and projects I want to be a part of. I applied at WebDevStudios because I wanted to continue working on a team in the WordPress space. Having been on the front end of projects and strategy, I felt confident in my ability to nail this position.”

New team members means growth and evolution for WDS. We’re elated to have Ashar and Bret join our team, but there’s room for more. Have you checked out our latest career opportunities? We’re hiring now.

At WebDevStudios, we want to ensure a diverse and inclusive workplace where we can learn from each other and encourage people of different backgrounds, experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply. Studies show that minorities are less likely to apply if they do not meet 100% of the qualifications, but we would love to hear from you even if you feel like you don’t meet every single qualification. We are open to training the right person who has the right attitude and fit. Don’t hesitate. Apply today.


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