Tom McFarlin On The Differences Between A WordPress Developer and Implementor

In a post recently published by Tom McFarlin, I learned about a new segment of WordPress developers called implementors.

Implementors are generally described as those who look for and use existing solutions to solve problems. Developers on the other hand, approach problems from a different mindset. In a comment left on the post, Julien Maury summarizes the two beautifully:

An implementor will say first “ok I’ll check if there’s some good plugins to do that” whereas a developer will say first “I’ll check if I can do it”.

In the early years of using WordPress, I learned enough to produce the infamous white screen of death. I relied on plugins and themes to accomplish tasks for websites that I built. Just because I’m able to take existing pieces of a puzzle and put them together to make a complete WordPress website, doesn’t mean I’m a developer. However, the term implementor describes me quite well and has a nice ring to it.

I think of developers as those who have the knowledge and skill set to invent solutions to problems. It’s a skill that I envy and respect. An implementor is a good way to differentiate yourself from developers without it sounding demeaning. Some of those who work with WordPress, such as Jimmy Smutek, are already wearing the badge with honor.

Eventually, as my understanding and knowledge grows, maybe I’ll reach a place where I will confidently refer to myself as a developer but, for now, I’m proud to be an implementor and happy for the distinction.

Which term more aptly describes you, a WordPress implementer or developer?

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