It started with "a cute appendicitis"
6 months ago I was in Vietnam and not feeling well. I went to see a (Vietnamese) doctor who ran some tests and then told me I had acute appendicitis, which I repeatedly mistook for "a cute appendicitis" due to his funny accent. :)
A few hours later my appendix was removed in surgery - I have a photo but I will spare you the details.
The next week I was on a lot of painkillers, bored and sleeping the days away in my hospital bed. The room was better than the hostels I had been staying in and a team of nurses was taking great care of me (and asking me to marry them, but that's another story). I was actually enjoying my time in the hospital.
First lines of code
A Dutch friend brought me flowers and my laptop - gold. I couldn't be more exited, after all I would have plenty of time to work on that idea I had for a new plugin.
I started playing around (coding) and a few days later, the first version of MailChimp for WordPress was available for download from the WordPress.org plugin repository. It didn't do much besides adding a sign-up checkbox to your registration and comment forms but it was enough to have users provide me with valuable feedback. :)
From there, I iterated on a weekly basis, continuously improving the plugin, adding new features and smashing bugs. I built a premium version as well, which allowed me to spend more time on this and several other plugins.
100.000 plugin downloads!
Today, barely 6 months later the plugin has been downloaded over 100.000 times, I can't be more happy about that. It was well received by the WordPress community and the plugin reviews reflect that - thanks everyone.
I learned a ton and really enjoyed every minute I spent on the plugin.
My mind is buzzing with ideas so I'll definitely be focusing on developing more and better plugins in 2014. If you like to stay in touch: follow me on Twitter or subscribe to the newsletter I send out occasionally.
PS. Starting in February I will be doing my graduation internship at a company most (if not all) of you know, more about that later. :D