Vincenzo Carrubba

February 20, 2017

From Special Forces to OTGS

Vincenzo Carrubba: “Working in WPML support is a challenging and ever-changing experience.”

Vincenzo, you joined OTGS in March 2015. What kind of work are you doing exactly?


In 2014 I received an email from OTGS about a supporter job for the Italian forum. This role requires a great passion for problem solving and for helping people. Of course, a working knowledge of CSS, PHP and javascript is essential, but it also requires a constant update on the latest WordPress and WPML development news. A good in depth knowledge of WordPress Codex can really help.

Working in WPML support is a challenging and ever-changing experience but it is also very rewarding. We try to solve and answer all the tickets opened in our support forums. Sometimes you need to solve weird issues with intricate WordPress installations.

This sounds very daunting and challenging

Working in the support forum

This is when the thorough training provided by OTGS comes in handy. It is not so overwhelming when taken step by step. As Denise, my trainer, taught me, I always start by reading the client’s description of the issue. Then I take a quick look at the debug information to search for common issues (eg. outdated or incompatible themes and plugins). After that, I go back and read the whole ticket again starting with the title. Sometimes the title says more than the description. If needed, I quickly search for similar issues. This is usually enough for the first reply.

It is a really rewarding job, especially if you like to help people. It is great when the client answers gratefully because you helped him. I always try to keep in mind that behind the tickets there are people who have problems and are asking for my help.

Whereabouts in Italy are you from? What would you like to tell us about your hometown?


I live in Siracusa, in Sicily, a town established by Greek colonists from Corinth in the 8th century B.C.E The mathematician Archimedes was born here in 3rd century B.C.E. Siracusa has a rich history. Following the close ties with ancient Greece, Sicily was ruled by Rome, the Byzantines, Arab Muslims and in medieval times by various victorious crusaders. Finally, the House of Bourbons was overthrown and the way was paved for the Unification of Italy in 1865.

Since 2005, the entire city of Syracuse, along with the Necropolis of Pantalica within the province of Syracuse, were listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Syracuse was chosen because “monuments and archeological sites situated in Syracuse are the finest examples of outstanding architectural creation spanning several cultural aspects; Greek, Roman, and Baroque”. Ancient Syracuse was “directly linked to events, ideas and literary works of outstanding universal significance”. A visit to Siracusa must include an excursion to Mount Etna only 1 ½ hrs drive north. Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity.

Before joining OTGS, what kind of work were you doing?

Siracusa seaside

All through my life I have tried to turn my passions into work. Since I was a child I was passionate about Information Technology, Photography and the Special Forces. About 25 years ago, I trained with Special Forces from various nations and I worked for U.N. to provide help for people in need in warzones. I served in Italian special forces (airborne) for about a year and while there I was deployed to Somalia for a few months. After that experience, I continued training with skydiving and scuba diving and for a while I worked for a underwater works company. Later, I worked mainly in the IT field as a Network and UNIX System Administrator with various Internet companies and even as a wedding photographer for a studio in Catania. During this time, I also created their website using WordPress and WPML.

Describe a typical working day

Typical Italian breakfast

One of the greatest things about working at OTGS is that you work from home or from wherever you wish. This is what I always imagined when I was a child and thinking about the future. Of course, you have to be self-disciplined and honest but if you love what you do, this is an easy task.

I begin my day with an Italian breakfast. This is my preferred meal of the day. The thought of a cappuccino and a pastry with ricotta can really pull me out of my bed! I turn on my laptop with its two external monitors and after greeting my friends, I go through my emails to check for urgent issues. Then I dive into my queue and try to fix as many issues as possible.

When I feel my concentration is lagging, I open Spotify and start my preferred playlist – “Late Night Jazz”.

Jazz is not my kind of music but I feel that for me it is the best music when I work because it just plays softly in the background. All my distracting thoughts leave me and I can concentrate on the task at hand.

A good Italian coffee helps me to keep the right rhythm!

If possible, even at the end of the day, I keep an eye on our support slack group just in case a colleague needs help with an issue or wants to share some nice joke.

You do work hard, but I’m sure you find time to relax. What activities do you enjoy?

Vincenzo is passionate about photography

As soon as I finish my working day, I just relax with a nice “Reading soundtrack” (music which doesn’t distract from reading) and I start reading my Bible. I feel the instruction I find within its pages has improved my personality and has drawn me closer to my Creator. Since my job is a “sitting down” job, I aim to do some sort of physical exercise every day. I really love to photograph people and places, especially at weekends, but best of all I prefer portrait photography.

How do you see your future?

In the future? I would like to keep working with WordPress because I love the community around it. I will keep upgrading my knowledge and skills so as to give something substantial back to OTGS, the company which stood by me when I needed it the most.

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