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.
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