Director of Engineering / Delivery Giuseppe Mazzapica

Inpsyde Developer Giuseppe Mazzapica is a WordPress specialist living in Italy.
I was wearing my green Syde T-shirt already at my honeymoon in Thailand, and one year later I’m more than happy to be where I am.

In this article, we want to introduce Giuseppe Mazzapica, our Director of Engineering / Delivery. When Giuseppe joined our agency as a WordPress Engineer in July 2016, we asked him to answer a few questions to get to know him a little better.

By the way: The Syde Team is 100% remote

This enables us to bring together the best minds in the world in one team. You want to learn more about our way of working and the Syders? Take a look inside Syde!

This is Giuseppe Mazzapica

Giuseppe is 35 years old and lives in Italy. 

Inpsyde Entwickler Giuseppe Mazzapica aus Italien ist froh über den Remote Job bei Inpsyde.

Tell us something about yourself …

As a child, my parents tried to keep me away from any computer-like thing. They wanted me to spend my spare time cultivating hobbies and passions that have nothing to do with a screen. They thought that I would have enough time for that as a grown-up (and they were right, it seems). As a teenager, I still wasn’t attracted by PC or video games. Instead, I preferred to stay with friends chilling around. As a result: I’ve played a video game, I think, two or three times in my whole life. And I was nineteen when I sent an email for the first time.

I was good at graphic arts (used to draw a lot), but also somehow at engineering (Lego was a passion of mine since year one of my life). When I had to choose something to study, I asked my father for advice. He said: “Art plus engineering? Sounds like architecture”… and architecture it was.

Unfortunately, Sicily is not known to offer a lot of work possibilities. Many people I know migrated, to the north of Italy or even abroad to get a decent life. Working 100% remotely with a good, solid and supportive company like Syde is something that I really value and I am very thankful of. But let me take few steps back on how I got there.

From blog to web development

As soon as I had my first PC as part of my architecture student toolset, I taught myself some basic HTML. Moreover, I taught myself Macromedia Flash (yes, Macromedia) and that new thing everyone was talking about: CSS. It was the early 2000’s when blogs were the new trend and “blogosphere” the current buzzword. In Italy, there was a platform named “Splinder” (which doesn’t exist anymore). It allowed anyone to have a blog for free. I created one as well. It was a personal blog that I was using mainly to get to know girls from around Italy (and it somehow worked for that).

My blog looked cool because of my CSS and Flash skills. Therefore I got a lot of help requests from people about making their blog looking better. To answer those requests I learned a lot of things. In a couple of years, I built the reputation of the go-to guy to have an awesome-looking blog in my blogosphere area.

One day a friend asked if I could help customize her new blog. The basis was WordPress. It was 2005 and the first time I heard about that thing. I tried to help her. But at some point I had to give up. “Sorry, I don’t know PHP” I had to say. That same year, that friend sent a gift to thank for the help. It was a book, and the title was “Building websites with PHP 4 and MySQL”. That was the start of a lot of things…

A few months later I was quite an “expert” in WordPress things. Moreover, I was quite into PHP and amazed about this object-oriented programming thing that PHP 5 made possible. At some point I decided to “monetize” my expertize, selling websites to small businesses in my local area as a part-time job. Years passed by and the clients became bigger every year. The part-time job became full time and gave me financial independence from my parents. Eventually, I managed to accomplish a couple of university exams per year, studying during nights. Still, I was selling to myself the idea that web development was a “side job” and that my future will be in the architecture field.

Giuseppe’s way to Syde

It was 2013 when I googled for some new WordPress features. Accidentally I landed on WordPress’s Stack Exchange website. I realized I found pretty much all the answers to my questions. So I started to spend time there and to meet the people in that community virtually. That involvement made me reconsider the idea of my future. I started to share my work as open-source, being active in the WordPress community. Finally, I gave up university (after 44 exams out of 47).

Two years later I was employed full time by a big European media group as a WordPress engineer. Shortly after that, I also became a moderator at the WordPress Stack Exchange. I had been in a stable and more than happy relationship for a few years. In combination with that well paid and (what I thought to be) stable work, we thought it would be great to get married. When everything was set up for the wedding, I received the message that I would have been fired. The company decided to restructure the department I was working at. That included giving up with WordPress — so they didn’t need WordPress engineers anymore. My last day of work had been one week before my wedding date. Far from ideal, just saying.

I asked Twitter for jobs, and several people said Syde was hiring. I knew the company because some of the people I knew from WordPress Stack Exchange worked there. Plus, at WordCamp Vienna 2015 I had the chance to meet Frank Bültge, one of Sydes’ CEOs. He seemed to be a super-nice person and one who could make a great boss. So I applied. I had just a few calls with Alex Frison, another CEO, but right after the first call, I was already convinced to work for Syde.

I was wearing my green Syde T-shirt already at my honeymoon in Thailand, and one year later I’m more than happy to be where I am.

Do you want to join the Syde team?

We are hiring! You can find all the current vacancies on our job page. Take a look!