DTES Backstory

The Digital Technology & Education Society 

DTES Backstory:

The name and web address is a play on the acronym DTES – Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside – Canada’s poorest postal code. The school was founded in 2008 but only ran for one semester. It was funded by under the Metro Vancouver Urban Aboriginal Strategy and successfully trained five Aboriginal students in digital arts and production technology. Originally there were six students enrolled but one had to drop out due to health reasons.

The students were taught the design and development process using a popular open source CMS (content management system) as well as graphics and image processing tools, navigational design and client communications. Remarkably within thirty days all five students had learned the framework behind the CMS as well as basic image editing skills and were able to produce a commercial grade website on their own.

When the funding ran out however there was no model for continuing the project and it was put on the shelf. Originally the school used Joomla and Drupal CMS systems as they were the most robust systems  at the time. Since then WordPress has taken the lead and over 30% of all websites on the planet use this open source CMS.

WordPress stats for 2021 are quite remarkable:

  • 62% of the top 100 fastest growing companies in the US (Inc. 5000) use WordPress.
  • Over 500 new sites are created daily using the free version of WordPress.org
  • Seventy million new blog posts pop up every month.

As unusual as it may sound, WP owes this entire success to its active and loyal community, not just a single visionary CEO. In fact, WordPress.org doesn’t even have a CEO — the project is entirely run by volunteers across the world. There are currently over 455 million sites that use WordPress.