Why bother with WordCamps?

I had a great time at WordCamp Vancouver this weekend. I had the privilege of hearing great talks, had great conversations and learned a few things. At the end of the day, someone who I just met, asked me a very interesting question. “What do I get out of attending WordCamps?”

I had to think about it for a few seconds. My first reaction to that question was, does he mean financially and does attending help my business? He then proceed to clarify that yes, that’s what he meant, but then also said, has it improved me as a developer to which the answer is YES.

I think that the big thing for me is that WordCamps, do NOT generate leads and thus I don’t consider them as big networking events where lots of business deals are made. However, it does get be motivated to learn and research more about the topics I discovered that day/weekend and in turn, makes me a better developer which then generates “better” business for me.

This weekend was no different and I was encouraged by his question to make a list of the all the things I need to go and learn more about. I thought I would share it would you. So here goes:

  1. Review Mandi Wise’s extensive list of resources
  2. Make sure to watch Mel’s presentation about making your own custom widget when it is published on WordPress TV, because I just couldn’t be in two rooms at once
  3. Look into WP CLI. I’ve known about this long enough… Enough with the procrastination already.
  4. Play with Flexbox and Picture fill… again, stop procrastinating
  5. Make a fully accessible theme and add it to the repo

That list isn’t too long, but some of these items may take me a while… What about you, what do you get out of WordCamps?

See you at WordCamp Vancouver 2014

WordCamp Vancouver is just around the corner and if you do any kind of development work with WordPress, you should join us. This year’s WordCamp is the developer edition and the schedule has something for everyone. WordCamp is held on July 26 at the BCIT campus downtown Vancouver. Tickets are on sale and going fast, so make sure you grab yours soon.

I’ll be doing a lightning talk on handling multiple screens and responsive design using CSS and mobble. If you’ve never used the plugin you should come by and ask your questions. If you have any right now, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer you right away or I’ll chat to you at the conference. See you there.

WordCamp Vancouver: Put some shine in your back-end

Coming up with titles for WordCamp talks is always tricky. I’m not proud of this latest one, but it did garnered a few fans and thus was stuck with it.

My WordCamp Vancouver talk this year is about looking at ways pages can be designed slightly differently. During the presentation we’ll be looking at using shortcodes, widgets, include pages, looping through pages and advanced custom fields.

Here is the link to my slides: https://bluelimemedia.com/wp/wcyvr-2013/

Get your tickets to WordCamp Vancouver

wc-vancouver-2013-logoWordCamp organizers, Joey, Jill and Flynn are super excited to announce that WordCamp Vancouver is back for another edition and that tickets are now on sale. WordCamp Vancouver 2013 will be on Saturday August 17th, at the BCIT Downtown Campus.

Tickets are only $20 and the venue is fabulous, so there’s no excuse. If you’ve ever wanted to attend WordCamp, this is it. The final list of speakers will be announced next week. This conference is the perfect opportunity for developers to come and mingle with others as well as brand new bloggers/website manager/marketers/website owners and non developers who want to ask questions and learn something new.

Hope to see you there!

Become a Better Developer by Contributing to WordPress

I owe much of my career to WordPress and it’s use of use. However, none of it would have been possible without the community. Contributing to WordPress is a great way to become better with WordPress as a developer, designer, teacher, writer… there are contributing opportunities for everyone.

During my talk at WordCamp Ottawa I’ll be sharing info on how you can get started.

In the meantime, here are my slides for the presentation:

Come and join me at WordCamp Ottawa

WordCamp Ottawa 2013The first ever WordCamp Ottawa is happening in a few weeks on April 27. It will be held at the University in the MonPetit Hall. I graduated from University in 1991 and haven’t been back since. I’m a little apprehensive about going back, but excited as well.

I’ll give a talk in the developer track and discuss ways to become a better developer by contributing to WordPress and joining the community.

The title of my talk might be a bit misleading though. I probably shouldn’t have said developer.

Designers, teachers, writers and organizers are also needed and welcomed in the WordPress community. I hope that all types of WordPress enthusiasts will join me and get to know the many ways in which one can participate.

See you there.

WPCS Personal Action Items

In my last post, I mentioned that many action items were made following numerous discussions and conversations. I myself had the opportunity to speak to various members of the Theme Review Team and came up with my own set of personal action items.

Updates to Mon Cahier

My theme Mon Cahier was quite popular when it came out, but of course, now that’s it’s not as new it’s no longer as popular. One thing that one can do to make a more popular theme is by offering right to left language support. WordPress itself is very good at providing right to left support for countries in the Middle east and Persia but only a small percentage of themes offer it. Providing RTL is quite easy, since it’s only a matter of adding a stylesheet, so I thought I would update my theme. I took care of that task this weekend and will be submitting it to the WordPress repo. Fingers crossed it will be updated soon.

I also plan on making it responsive and need to make better use of the theme customizer, but these two action items will need to be put on the back burner for now.

Learn WordPress

I’ve been teaching WordPress for a few years now and my efforts have not gone unnoticed. One of the great things to come out of the WordPress Community Summit is the handbooks that are currently in the works. I’ve been asked to be the lead of setting up a curriculum for teachers. This material will consist of teaching materials, videos and tutorials. This task is quite big, but I’ve already chatted to a few people who have offered to help. Similarly to the other handbooks, a website will be put in place allowing people to contribute, edit and share information. The website and plan of action should be put in place in a few weeks. I’m very excited about this project and  look forward to see how it progresses and evolves.

WordPress Community Summit 2012

The first ever WordPress community summit (wpcs) took place last Monday in gorgeous Tybee Island. The weather was a bit chilly thanks to Sandy, but that didn’t keep anyone from enjoying themselves and taking part in amazing discussions. Attendees, each there by invitation, was composed of Automatticians, core contributors, WordPress based companies, hosting companies, plugin developers, designers who have contributed to the community somehow.

The unconference started with everyone wishing to discuss a certain topic giving a 2 minute presentation detailing what they wanted to discuss and who they would like to have at their table. Discussion topics ranged from how to recognize non-code contributors to WordPress, reducing the pain of Plugin and Theme reviews, the future of Multisite and much more. Altogether, there were four time slots for these discussions which lasted 45 minutes. So we all got a chance to participate to 4 sessions and join in on stimulating conversations.

Each session had a note taker and the group needed to come up with one action item. You can view all of these notes on the wpcs website if you wish to read them in more detail.

Read more…

WordCamp Vancouver

Time is almost running out, WordCamp Vancouver 2012 is next Saturday, Oct 13th!
We have a jam packed day in store with 16 sessions, spread over 3 tracks. Talks from how to make your WordPress site mobile, to demystifying SEO, to building member sites, to developing properly with jQuery, to caching, to BuddyPress, and so much more! I’ll be giving a presentation about the WordPress community. If you want to learn how to get jobs, make friends and get involved, come check it out.

The whole day will be filled with talks for every level from beginner to advanced. So check out the schedule, and then grab your tickets.

WordCamp Seattle 2012

One of the best thing about WordPress is the online community and the many ways one can learn how to use WordPress as a blogging platform or as a CMS. WordCamps are always a lot of fun and a great way to meet other developers and bloggers. This year, I’ve been fortunate to have been selected as one of the speakers at WordCamp Seattle. Check out the schedule and come and say hi.

My slides used for the presentation can be found here.

The theme created for this presentation can be viewed here.