Thank you, 2015 Volunteers

Thank you for showing up, for participating, for helping when help was needed, and for making this an amazing 2015 WordCamp Ann Arbor:

Session Slides

Design / Business

Development

User

Bobby Bryant Speaker Interview

Bio

Bobby is a Web Developer at 10up. He has been working in and around WordPress for close to two years. Prior to working in WordPress, he spent 13+ years in the US Marines as a Communications Technician.

Why do you use WordPress?

I enjoy the versatility that WordPress provides. As a developer, I like that WordPress has been built over time, to be a highly customizable and extensible platform. It can be built to fit a large number of use-cases.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

I started using WordPress in mid 2013. At the time I wanted to get involved in web development, and WordPress looked like the perfect place to start. And it was! Since then I have been able to branch out into the larger web space. But it was WordPress that got me started.

What would you tell someone to convince them to attend a WordCamp?

The easy argument is the return on investment. The knowledge value that can be gained at a WordCamp is of the charts. However, for me, I really enjoy that WordCamps give me a chance to talk to other developers. Mainly because most people don’t know what I am talking about. haha

Tell us about something awesome you’ve experienced at a WordCamp in the past.

I have been fortunate to give a few WordCamp talks, and the feedback I have received from attendees has been really rewarding.

Give an example of a cool WordPress project you have worked on recently.

Most recently I worked on a Github to WordPress integration, which allowed users to write articles in Markdown on Github, and it pulled them into WordPress as posts.

What is your favorite part of WordCamps?

That’s easy. Getting to catchup with folks I have met at previous WordCamps.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?

Due to the low barrier of entry WordPress provides, a lot of people jump into the WordPress business space. Which over time has lead to people assuming WordPress is easy and more importantly cheap.

Meaning: You need to work very hard to prove that you are providing a lot more than just a website. Especially in the service space.

Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related.

As my bio states, I did spend almost 14 years in the Marines. I did a lot of cool things while in the service.

Name someone in the WordPress community who inspires you.

Easy Pippin Williamson. He has built a number of awesome and successful products. But more importantly, I feel he does a lot for the community at large: Core Plugin reviewer, prolific WordCamp Speaker, and provider of top notch tutorials online.

What has been your biggest WordPress related accomplishment to date?

I am proud to be a Web Engineer at 10up. Being able to work among the great group of talented engineers they have assembled is really rewarding. But honestly, every time I built something cool that I have never done before, I feel really proud.

How have WordCamps impacted you and your business in the past?

WordCamps are directly responsible for me continuing to learn and grow as a developer. They were also responsible for me learning about my current company. All of which lead to my current position.

Fill in the blank for other attendees: “If you __________ then you should come talk to me at WordCamp”.

enjoy development

What should someone learn before attending your talk at WordCamp Ann Arbor?

My talk is developer specific. But honestly, if you understand how development works, then you will be ready for my talk on using IDE’s.

What is your favorite WordPress related resource?

Free: YouTube, and managewp.org Paid: Treehouse

Where can we find you online?

I post tutorials on Youtube

Seth Alling Speaker Interview

Bio

Seth Alling is a Detroit-based developer turned designer turned developer, who has been working with WordPress since 2009. Currently he works remotely as the Lead Developer for Ranch House Designs, a small agency located in Wharton, Texas, where he is primarily responsible for developing custom WordPress websites and plugins. When he’s not developing (or designing), you can find him running, playing soccer or spending time with his wife and two sons.

Why do you use WordPress?

Because it’s awesome! Seriously, I use it because it’s easy to use and learn. Also, it has a great community of people to continually help make it better.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

Before graduating from BYU in 2009, I needed to quickly put up a portfolio for one of my classes. I had heard of WordPress and gave it a shot, and found out how easy it was to pick a theme and add some content. I started developing with it a few months later when I was asked if I could develop a WordPress theme while working as a web designer. Even though I had never done it before, I said sure, found a couple posts on how to build a WordPress theme, and everything just kinda took off from there.

What would you tell someone to convince them to attend a WordCamp?

You will meet some of the smartest and coolest people. And, the amount you will learn is well worth the price.

Tell us about something awesome you’ve experienced at a WordCamp in the past.

I recently attended WordCamp DFW where I had met none of the people there before attending the conference. By the end, I have many people who I now consider friends.

Give an example of a cool WordPress project you have worked on recently.

I used WordPress to develop a BuzzFeed-like personality quiz that matches car buyers with similar interests into “tribes”. This then would list a bunch of video car reviews to help them with their car-buying purchase.

What is your favorite part of WordCamps?

Meeting new people and hearing their story about how they’ve made their impact on the world.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?

Work hard and learn hard. Everything else will follow.

Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related.

I love playing soccer. In fact, I was one of the few people who was excited to turn 30 this year because it meant that I could play on the over-30 leagues and be the fast guy on the field again.

Name someone in the WordPress community who inspires you.

Honestly, It’s not possible to choose just one, as a someone new inspires me just about every day. Whether it’s Topher DeRosia with his work on HeroPress, Joel Worsham with his crazy-fast learning abilities, or anyone who just put themselves out there and released their first WordPress plugin, I am constantly being inspired.

What has been your biggest WordPress related accomplishment to date?

I developed a plugin called No Page Comment that provided a solution to individually set the default comment setting on new page. This solved a problem that didn’t have a native solution until WordPress 4.3.

How have WordCamps impacted you and your business in the past?

It’s an opportunity to meet up with people who “have been there”. Each time I attend, I am able to find some knowledge and inspiration to help me improve.

Fill in the blank for other attendees: “If you __________ then you should come talk to me at WordCamp”.

need help with something on your WordPress site

What should someone learn before attending your talk at WordCamp Ann Arbor?

The command line is NOT a scary place.

What is your favorite WordPress related resource?

WordPress.tv or just the source code of WordPress.

Where can we find you online?

http://sethalling.com
@sethalling

Get to Know Carol Davis

Bio

I started Charlotte’s Web Design Studio about a year ago because I really like computer graphics and web design. I’ve been around design and colors ever since I was able to walk since my parents owned a paint and wallpaper store. When it was time for me to go to college, I’m pretty sure I would have gone into web design, but there was no such thing back then. So, instead I got a degree in Elementary Education and taught middle school for 18 years. In 2008 I went back to school and took web design classes which led me to where I am now.

I live in Charlotte, MI with my husband and our brood of rescued cats. Our kids have all grown up and moved on to their own careers. My favorite pastime when I’m not on the computer is playing the piano and visiting my two daughters in Chicago. I love the outdoors, animals and photography. One of these days I’d like to get a good camera and make a photography website for myself.

Why do you use WordPress?

I use WordPress because I like the open source idea behind it and the WordPress community is phenomenal.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

When I was designing websites for a company in I worked for, they decided that they were going to use WordPress for the websites we made. At first I thought, “Oh, great, just one more thing I have to take the time to learn on top of everything else I was working on.” But it was the best move ever because it wasn’t hard to learn and it was really fun using WordPress.

What would you tell someone to convince them to attend a WordCamp?

Besides it being the best WordPress information you can get in one or two days and for a very low price, the people attending WordCamps are just awesome and fun!

Tell us about something awesome you’ve experienced at a WordCamp in the past.

Something I found out about myself and others that I didn’t know existed was “The Impostor Syndrome” I learned about it at the 2015 Dayton WordCamp. Just knowing about it and slowly learning how to combat it is empowering.

Give an example of a cool WordPress project you have worked on recently.

Well, I haven’t started the project yet, but I just gave a proposal to a hotel company who wants to showcase their area. The website I proposed would have interactive maps in it which I think will be really cool to design.

What is your favorite part of WordCamps?

My favorite part of WordCamp is meeting people who are all there to better themselves in the WordPress world, who have different strengths than myself and I can learn from them and share what I’ve learned with others.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?

The best advice I got when I wanted to start my WordPress based business was to network, network, network. So that’s the advice I would pass on. Also, take advantage of all the free webinars, podcasts and blogs about WordPress.

Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related.

I love to play the piano and am pretty darn good at it.

Name someone in the WordPress community who inspires you.

The person who has inspired me the most would have to be Kyle Maurer with his selfless and dynamic contributions to the WordPress community. He also has been a fantastic source of encouragement for me in learning WordPress and starting my own business.

What has been your biggest WordPress related accomplishment to date?

My biggest accomplishment to date would be acquiring some paying clients.

How have WordCamps impacted you and your business in the past?

WordCamps have greatly affected my knowledge about WordPress and internet issues. There is no other way to learn a lot of great information in such a short time.

Fill in the blank for other attendees: “If you __________ then you should come talk to me at WordCamp”.

If you are unsure about stepping out of your comfort zone to pursue a whole new career.

What should someone learn before attending your talk at WordCamp Ann Arbor?

No previous knowledge required.

What is your favorite WordPress related resource?

My favorite WordPress related resource would be Dustin Hartzler’s “Your Website Engineer” webinars and podcast episodes.

Where can we find you online?

http://charlotteswebdesignstudio.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/daviscarol
@CLDavisDesigns

Get to Know Keynote Speaker John Eckman

Bio

CEO of 10up, organizer of WordCamp Boston.

Why do you use WordPress?

I believe in the democratization of publishing, and I believe WordPress is the most successful CMS because of its focus on author experience.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

In 2005, first for a personal blog, then later for corporate sites and non-profit sites.

What would you tell someone to convince them to attend a WordCamp?

It’s the best damn deal you’ll ever find for a conference in terms of value to cost ratio.

Tell us about something awesome you’ve experienced at a WordCamp in the past.

The presence of core team members in the room, the opportunity to meet the person whose plugin you rely on, the chance to network with other developers, designers, and PMs and talk about their challenges.

Give an example of a cool WordPress project you have worked on recently.

So many I’m not allowed to talk about. I do a site for a non-profit on the side called Food Empowerment Project – we’re working on some cool REST API stuff to power a mobile app – hope to have that done by WordCamp Ann Arbor.

What is your favorite part of WordCamps?

The “hallway track” – talking to people, getting to know the community.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?

Get started already.

Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related.

I’m a huge music nerd – collector, musician, avid attender of concerts.

Name someone in the WordPress community who inspires you.

There are just too many to think of only one. Cory Miller is high on the list lately; Andrew and Brianna Norcross; Ryan Boren.

What has been your biggest WordPress related accomplishment to date?

Contributions to core in 4.1 and 4.2. Starting WordCamp Boston in 2010.

How have WordCamps impacted you and your business in the past?

WordCamps have made a huge difference for 10up, from the beginning.

Fill in the blank for other attendees: “If you __________ then you should come talk to me at WordCamp”.

are interested in the future

What should someone learn before attending your talk at WordCamp Ann Arbor?

The difference between the future and the past. 😉

What is your favorite WordPress related resource?

make.wordpress.org

Where can we find you online?

jeckman on twitter, johneckman.com has a list of all the places.

Get to Know Kellen Mace

Bio

Kellen is a Web Engineer and lifelong learner with a fondness for projects that push his creative and technical limits. He loves building and launching software that clients find both powerful and easy to manage.

Kellen started his career in the healthcare industry, but discovered a passion for technology, especially the creativity and problem solving inherent in web development. Eager to learn as much as he could on the subject, he completed coursework through a number of online educational services including Harvard University’s edx.org, Coursera, Lynda.com, Codecademy and Code School. He ran a business for the next several years building WordPress-powered websites and custom themes and plugins, providing solutions to clients, and learning a great deal in the process.

In May of 2015, Kellen joined 10up as a Web Engineer for the opportunity to work on larger and more challenging projects, and to work alongside and learn from the other extremely talented folks on staff. Kellen has released a theme and several plugins that are available on wordpress.org, and is a WordCamp conference speaker.

In his spare time, Kellen can be found going on adventures with his wife, Meghan, and their baby boy, Desmond. He also enjoys reading, exercising, enjoying the outdoors, and ‘rocking out’ on guitars, drums, keyboards and computers.

Why do you use WordPress?

Because I think it’s the best, most robust CMS for content publishers.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

In 2012. I fell in love with creating things with code, and WordPress development seemed like the best way to extricate myself from my boring day job at the time to instead do something I was passionate about and interested in.

What would you tell someone to convince them to attend a WordCamp?

The WordPress community is very welcoming, accommodating and everyone seems to build each other up rather than worrying about competition – and you get a sense for all of that when you attend a WordCamp.

Tell us about something awesome you’ve experienced at a WordCamp in the past.

I was inspired to write my first plugin after listening to a talk by Daniel Espinosa on creating them.

Give an example of a cool WordPress project you have worked on recently.

I worked on a plugin that fetches data from three different APIs (Basecamp, 10,000 ft. and Harvest), runs calculations, then ultimately outputs all the figures and graphs on a webpage where project managers can see how productive their teams are being in terms of hours and resourcing.

What is your favorite part of WordCamps?

Learning from very talented people.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?

Don’t neglect the ‘soft skills’ of networking and building personal relationships in addition to working on your technical skills. Collaboration, word-of-mouth, and leaning on the skill sets of others is half the battle.

Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related.

I write music and have an ultra-cute 1 year old who just learned to walk 🙂

Name someone in the WordPress community who inspires you.

Brian Richards

What has been your biggest WordPress related accomplishment to date?

Working on large scale projects at 10up.

How have WordCamps impacted you and your business in the past?

They’ve given me inspiration and opened my eyes to new ideas.

Fill in the blank for other attendees: “If you __________ then you should come talk to me at WordCamp”.

like building cool things and are an interesting person

What should someone learn before attending your talk at WordCamp Ann Arbor?

What WP-CLI is.

What is your favorite WordPress related resource?

At the moment, the WordPress Developers Club, WPDC.

Where can we find you online?

@kellenmace on twitter and kellenmace.com

Get to Know Matthew Clancy

Bio

I began working with GoDaddy in customer support in 2005 and shortly after began building sites using WordPress for family and friends. Currently based in Phoenix, AZ he is a Project Manager for GoDaddy Hosting Support designing Hosting training and standing up international hosting customer support teams. In his free time he teaches becoming Agile, gaming, and watching his two children grow up to quickly.

Why do you use WordPress?

WordPress can do anything and everything and is simple to use, plus it has the best community ever.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

I built my first site with Microsoft Front Page and needed to move to something new. I started with Joomla and got really frustrated with the control panel and available functions. When I found WordPress and everything it can do I haven’t looked back in 10 years.

What would you tell someone to convince them to attend a WordCamp?

WordCamp’s truly bring out the awesomeness in the community and provides an opportunity to connect with talented WordPress developers and designers. If you have a question about anything WordPress related and want to get an in person answer, come to a WordCamp.

Tell us about something awesome you’ve experienced at a WordCamp in the past.

Give an example of a cool WordPress project you have worked on recently.

What is your favorite part of WordCamps?

Showing the community that GoDaddy Hosting Support cares about their feedback and being able to solve problems for GoDaddy users.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?

Attend a WordCamp or as many as you possibly can. People make mistakes all the time and Wordcamp attendees are always happy to share what experiences have worked for them.

Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related.

Name someone in the WordPress community who inspires you.

Jesse Friedman

What has been your biggest WordPress related accomplishment to date?

How have WordCamps impacted you and your business in the past?

Fill in the blank for other attendees: “If you __________ then you should come talk to me at WordCamp”.

are a developer or a lead for developers

What should someone learn before attending your talk at WordCamp Ann Arbor?

Nothing! I will go over the basics.

What is your favorite WordPress related resource?

Twitter, there are so many fantastic sites and blogs about how to WordPress out there that it can be hard to find what you need at any one single resource.

Where can we find you online?

Get to know Angela Bergmann

Bio

Angie has been developing websites since 2000 and using WordPress since it was b2- in other words, a very long time. Additionally, she’s skilled in SEO, PPC, accessibility, and usability.

She is passionate about video games, web dev, cooking, public speaking, and german shepherd dogs. She’s a co-organizer for the Northeast Ohio WordPress Meetup and a member of the organizational committee for WordCamp North Canton.

Angela Bergmann will be presenting…

Why do you use WordPress?

I use WordPress because it’s given everyone the ability to easily update and maintain their own website.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

I started using WordPress sometime in 2003 when it was a little known blogging script called b2. I am self-taught and started out in the “personal website” sphere that has grown to now be called blogging.

What would you tell someone to convince them to attend a WordCamp?

Go for the community. It doesn’t matter your skill level, you will learn something and meet amazing people.

Tell us about something awesome you’ve experienced at a WordCamp in the past.

Making lifelong friendships. Seriously. We may not see each other in person often, but it’s always awesome to see everyone face to face every year!

Give an example of a cool WordPress project you have worked on recently.

What is your favorite part of WordCamps?

Getting to hang out with a bunch of people that are as passionate about WordPress as I am.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?

Find your niche. We all have our strengths, find yours and run with it.

Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related.

I am heavily involved in the infertility community on a local and national level. I’ve spent time in Washington DC lobbying for infertility and adoption benefits and I lead a local infertility support group.

Name someone in the WordPress community who inspires you.

Chris Lema – I think he inspires alot of people with how willing he is to help.

Fill in the blank for other attendees: “If you __________ then you should come talk to me at WordCamp”.

are interested in SEO

What should someone learn before attending your talk at WordCamp Ann Arbor?

My talk is a beginners guide, so just come wanting to know more about that weird thing you heard about called SEO!

What is your favorite WordPress related resource?

http://codex.wordpress.org/Main_Page

Where can we find you online?

October 24th 2015 at the Michigan Union