If WordPress has any part of your life – be that as a publishing application at work, your blogging platform, your CMS, or the tool you use to build websites – you owe it to yourself to attend a WordCamp in your neighborhood. WordCamps are locally organized Open Source conferences focussing on WordPress and everything WordPress related and is the best place to learn, share, and meet others to whom WordPress matters.
This year I’ve made my mission to go to several of these events, and I’ve even been given the privilege of speaking at a couple. So, if you’re going to a WordCamp in the near future and that WordCamp happens to be in Vancouver, New York, Montreal, or San Francisco, track me down and say “Hi!” I might even have something cool to give away!
Is WordCamp for You?
Every time I go to a WordCamp I meet a huge pile of new people who are attending for the first time. What do they all say? “I had no idea it would be like this! I can’t believe I took so long / hesitated / didn’t think there was any point in going!” The reality is if you are asking yourself the question “Is WordCamp for me?” then the answer is a big resounding “YES!” It’s an event for everyone who touches WordPress – from the absolute beginner who has yet to set up her first site to the seasoned pro who has built sites for the biggest corporations and has her name prominently placed in the WordPress developer credits.
One of the many great things about WordCamp is the atmosphere: Everyone has been a beginner and everyone remembers their roots so there is no elitism or clique forming to speak of. WordCamp also has a refreshingly high level of diversity. Attendance is usually close to a 50/50 split between the genders and visible minorities are gaining a stronger presence and influence.
In short you have a place at WordCamp.
2014 Speaking Engagements
As I mentioned I’ll be at several WordCamps this year: Seattle (this past weekend), Vancouver, New York, Montreal, and San Francisco. There may be others added as well (I’m eyeing Los Angeles and Toronto at the moment), but that’s it for now. In the cases of Seattle, Vancouver, and Montreal, I’m also speaking. Here are the short pitches:
Future Responsive Today – Embracing mobile-first with <picture> and FlexBoxWordCamp Vancouver, July 26th
Responsive Web Design is about to get a whole lot more responsive with the <picture> element for responsive images and Flexbox for responsive layouts. In this talk front end developer and web standards expert Morten Rand-Hendriksen will provide the audience with everything they need to use these new tools today and show how a true mobile-first workflow will help them make cleaner, more efficient, and more responsive WordPress sites. You’ve heard about <picture> and Flexbox and now you’ll know how to implement them in your WordPress projects today! The future is now and it is responsive.
Building Themes from Scratch with UnderscoresWordCamp Montreal, August 16 – 17
Free and premium themes are great, but if you want to build a truly custom website with WordPress you need to build a custom theme from scratch. In this presentation designer, developer, and educator Morten Rand-Hendriksen takes you through the process of building a theme from scratch with what is arguably the best starter theme available: _s (Underscores). The presentation looks at design and development decisions and principles including mobile-first, accessibility, responsive design, and information architecture, and takes a deep dive into the structure of the Underscores theme to show the audience how to build a theme from the ground up to become what you envisioned and more.
Web Design is a Process (link to slides)WordCamp Seattle, June 28 (past)
Web design does not start with a Photoshop comp. Web design does not start with a Photoshop comp. Photoshop is step 7. Or 10. Or 50. Before you draw a single pixel on your canvas there are a myriad of things that need to be covered. This talk is an exploration of the web design process, all the way from the first client meeting to the shipping of the final product. The audience will learn about IA and UX techniques, card sorting, personas, concurrent development, agile process, version control, the works. This will be a hyper-intensive flyby to give people who work in or want to enter the field of professional web design and development a better understanding of all the roles they’ll have to play and all the ground they’ll need to cover if they want to be truly successful.
See You at WordCamp!
Are you going to a WordCamp this year? Have a story to tell or a question to ask? Make your voice heard in the comments below, go sign up for a WordCamp for yourself, as an attendee, a volunteer, or a speaker, and maybe I’ll see you there!