I have been releasing plugins and themes since the early days (~1.0) and I’ve been doing professional WordPress development for 6 years, but I only recently realized that I’ve become out of loop with the WP community. There’s so many new sub-groups: premium sellers, WP agencies and a ton of shops.
Looking back (beyond 6 years ago) I fit into a few places, I had some popular themes and a surprisingly popular plugin in Search Everything . The community was smaller, the “premium” market was just starting and the explosion of WordPress dominating anything but blogs hadn’t hit yet. I could blame the community growth but I can’t.
I really just shut myself out. I stopped releasing code, stopped blogging and participating. This was because I ended up separating community involvement with work/business, and with me working full-time on a premium WordPress plugin I didn’t want to spend any free time on anything related.
Now that I have a more flexible work schedule, since I only need to hold myself accountable, I’ll be able to “give back”. I plan to contribute back to core , putting in more time at Stack Exchange (because it’s not just about WordPress) and being involved in my local WP meetup.
It will also be good business to give back at Sprout Apps and the plan is to make the core apps available for free in WP extend. This alone will help prevent me from sheltering myself away from a community I owe a lot to.