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Maryna Medushevska
July 25, 2023

WordPress as a Lifestyle: Meet Tymofii Synianskyi

Tymofii Synianskyi is a full-stack WordPress developer and a team lead at Syndicode. He firmly believes that success is within reach for those who have faith in their abilities. With his positive outlook and unwavering confidence, Tymofii inspires his teammates and ensures they are motivated and supported along the way.

Tell us a bit about yourself

Hi! I’m Tymofii, and I’m passionate about what I do. It all started as a hobby when I wanted to create a website for sharing motocross news. I chose to use WordPress, and during the process, I realized that web development could be a lifelong pursuit for me. 

To this day, I continue to develop websites, constantly learning and applying new technologies and frameworks, such as Laravel and Vue.js. However, my core specialization lies in WordPress, which I find incredibly fulfilling and enjoyable.

Running is another significant part of my life. While I’m not a professional, I occasionally compete with talented athletes. Running is my true love! It serves as a means to relax my mind and reflect on work-related matters. It’s like a meditation session that simultaneously activates my vital energy. 

I specialize in marathons, ultramarathons, and trails. Recently, I took part in the Carpathia trail run, a grueling 115 km race that I completed in just over 30 hours. It was undoubtedly the toughest competition I’ve ever faced, but it also brought me immense pleasure!

Tymofii during a marathon

As a Team Lead Engineer, what do you do?

Given the nature of our main clients and projects, I consider myself a non-conventional team lead within our WordPress team. I strive to be approachable to my team members, encouraging open communication on both work-related and personal matters. 

However, in other aspects, I fulfill the typical responsibilities of a leader in our company. I guide my team in establishing coding standards, finding solutions to challenges, and offering assistance in various projects. 

Moreover, I foster a culture of mutual respect and collective ownership, emphasizing the importance of helping each other to achieve the best possible outcome as a team.

How did you first get into software development?

As I mentioned earlier, my journey in software development began with the desire to create a website using WordPress. Those familiar with this content management system know that it relies on premade templates and plugins. 

However, after completing my first website and launching it into production, I quickly realized that the existing functionality fell short of my needs. I constantly made changes, attempting to add new features and improve its speed. 

It became clear that relying solely on premade solutions had limitations, and I yearned for a more customized approach. I wanted to learn how to create tailored solutions, and that interest grew into a career.

What did you do before switching to IT?

I worked as an event manager. My responsibilities involved managing a cooperative website. I curated and updated its content and ensured it stayed relevant.

What exactly did you do to transition to development?

To acquire the knowledge needed to bring my ideas to life, I enrolled in a 3-year educational program, where I immersed myself in the fundamentals of software development. 

I started from the beginning by learning languages like C and C++, as well as other related disciplines. Initially, it was daunting, and I was afraid to change my life. However, as I progressed, I discovered an unwavering passion for web development residing deep within me. smiles

How did you get your first project as a WordPress developer?

I was lucky enough to meet Anton Harbuz and Oleksandr Subbotin. They were the ones who trusted me with my very first paid project, and I have to say, they opened the door to the exciting world of web development for me.

They also extended an invitation for me to join Syndicode sometime later.

What’s the best part of working at Syndicode?

Without exaggeration, the company shaped me into the specialist I am today. We have grown together, learning and evolving side by side. Working at Syndicode, I acquired knowledge that courses, educational programs, and pet projects could never provide. 

The company embraces a culture of exploration and actively encourages new team members to get involved and contribute their unique perspectives. While taking risks and trying new things can sometimes lead to failures, it’s also the only way to push boundaries and develop truly disruptive solutions.

What are some common challenges you’ve encountered while working on WordPress projects?

In my opinion, one of the biggest challenges we face in the realm of WordPress is the misunderstanding around its capabilities. Sadly, this CMS has garnered a reputation for low-quality templates, unreliable plugins, and untrustworthy contractors. As a result, people often have the misconception that WordPress can be used to create any project without requiring a deep understanding of PHP or programming in general. However, this is far from the truth.

While it is true that WordPress is a powerful system and a flexible framework, harnessing its full potential often demands significant effort and personal experience from a skilled developer. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution that can magically create any desired outcome without any technical expertise. Building complex and customized projects with WordPress requires a deep understanding of PHP, as well as proficiency in other web development technologies and best practices.

By acknowledging and addressing this misconception, we can strive to educate clients and stakeholders about WordPress’s true capabilities and limitations. This will help set realistic expectations and foster a better understanding of the skills and expertise necessary to create high-quality, tailored solutions.

Tymofii Synianskyi

From my experience, the best themes and plugins for WordPress projects are the ones we develop ourselves to meet the specific requirements of our clients. This way, we can tailor their functionality and design to align perfectly with the project’s needs. Moreover, by minimizing reliance on third-party plugins, we get greater control over the project’s development and ensure a more streamlined and standardized process.

However, in cases where we absolutely need to use third-party plugins, we prioritize those that have been thoroughly tested, verified, and proven reliable. These plugins should focus solely on the specific functionality they were created for and come with continuous and timely support from their creators.

Do you follow any specific coding standards or best practices when working on projects?

At Syndicode, we greatly emphasize adhering to the global WordPress coding standards. We also have our own internal standards aimed to simplify maintaining a clean and consistent codebase, which contributes to better maintainability and readability of our WordPress projects. 

However, there can be exceptions, particularly when a project or client company has its own specific coding guidelines. In such cases, we ensure we align our development practices with the client’s requirements and coding standards.

Regarding best practices, we emphasize the importance of regularly and mandatorily updating the WordPress system. This ensures that our projects benefit from the latest security patches, bug fixes, and feature enhancements, keeping them secure and up to date.

Additionally, we strive to meet our client’s requirements while adhering to high-quality code standards. This means understanding the client’s needs, clearly defining project objectives, and delivering a solution that meets those requirements and maintains a high level of code quality.

While these practices may sound somewhat cliché, they are crucial to maintaining a solid foundation in WordPress development.

How do you manage to keep your spirits high?

I have three “secret” ingredients that greatly contribute to my personal and professional fulfillment. The first is the close people who inspire me and allow me to be my authentic self. The second is running, a passion I could talk about for hours. (If you’re interested, I invite you to visit my blog, where I share my experiences and insights related to running). And finally, my job! There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of seeing a project grow and flourish.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my WordPress team, whom I absolutely adore. Each member—Le Dang, Grigoriy Klimov, and Vira Prykhodko—is a dedicated specialist and an amazing soul. Working alongside them is a pleasure; together, we form a cohesive and effective team.

What would you advise those who want to become software developers in 2023?

First and foremost, never give up on your personal development. Regardless of your chosen technology, keep learning, even if you think you already know everything about that particular thing. There is always an exception to the rule you once thought was set in stone.

One of the keys to success is finding a balance between staying interested in new technologies and concentrating on your chosen area of expertise.

Another crucial aspect is believing in your abilities and trusting your decision-making. When you have confidence in yourself, your team members will also feel safe relying on you.

And finally, remember that even the stretchiest of deadlines has its limit. winks