TL;DR: Though it’s obviously possible to be a full-stack WordPress developer (that is, someone who is capable of working on each level of the stack with complete competency), it’s more common to find people who are stronger in one area than in others.

And if you’re working on a project and know someone who’s stronger in an area than you, it’s often worth partnering with them to complete whatever it is on which you’re working.

But weaknesses aren’t always in the form of knowing a language or an aspect of the application.

😖 Hire Your Weakness

In the previous post, I wrote:

I started working with others that complimented my strengths (and vice versa).

Where to Start With WordPress Development?

And this has been true when working on side projects, when working for myself, and when working with various teams at work. But the thing about this advice is that it doesn’t seem like a bit of advice at all, does it?

  • Who wouldn’t work with someone who worked well with them?
  • Who wouldn’t work with someone who could add to their l ability to produce good work.

In my experience, both personal and when talking with other people about this, is that the challenge isn’t so much about finding people to help you but finding people who can fill in your blind spots.

brown steel chain
via @mael_balland

That is, in my case, I could find a number of backend developers easily. Those are the circles in which I tend to run. And it’s fun to hire friends (though this goes against a bit of conventional wisdom; I don’t fully agree with it but maybe I’ll discuss that in another post). But I wasn’t looking for backend developers. That’s the stuff I can do.

There are plenty of other things to consider, too:

  • Database management,
  • Continuous Integration and Deployment,
  • Front-end Development (be it templates and CSS or JavaScript and React),
  • REST API specializations,
  • Headless WordPress,
  • etc.

The point is that when you get a certain place in your work where you know where both your strength and weaknesses lie, you can find others to fill in the latter (or even to sharpen the former!)

Then you’re getting a team together to help form a more cohesive way to solve problems that help deliver a better product for the user.

👌🏻 But I Can Do What They Can Do!

Okay, so you can do what they can do. In fact, maybe you can do the whole thing. And maybe you want to do the whole thing.

But maybe you don’t.

It’s cliché but just because you can do everything doesn’t mean you should. Perhaps this will come at the cost of staying as focused as you can on another area. Or maybe it’ll delay the amount of time it will take to solve a problem for whoever has hired you.

Sometimes the blind spot isn’t so much in what you can’t do, but how long it takes you to do it. And in those cases, putting the ego aside is not a bad move.

Vet the people who you’re looking at hiring, determine if they’d be a good fit, and then bring them on for the project or for the future of your organization. It truly will help free up resources.

You’ll feel it.

💪🏻 They’ll Make You Better (And Vice Versa)

And another great thing about it? You’re likely to learn a good bit from them.

At the time of writing this post, I’ve been conversing with a friend of mine about finding wildcard domain paths in arrays using regular expressions and existing array functions in the PHP API. We’re both backend developers. We’ve worked together. But each of us can still help one another and we’re better for it.

So this whole idea doesn’t necessarily apply to filling in gaps of working with people who focus in areas you don’t.

🙋🏻‍♂️ So Hire For What Then?

I still say that the purpose of this article is to urge you to aim to hire your weakness so that you have a more cohesive team to complete a project for someone.

But even if the project involves work you already know how to do, don’t discount that your weakness may not be in terms of your ability but in terms of meeting a deadline or working within the requirements of a project or even your knowledge of what you do have.

Whatever the case, the customer or user is not going to care so much about who built it but that it’s built. You and your ego might care. But it’s likely no one else will.

Weaknesses aren’t always languages or areas of a stack that you don’t know. They can areas in which you do know but could be stronger or areas in which you can’t control, like time.