Speaking Engagements

Can WordPress really do that? A preview of my 2012 WordCamp Victoria talk

Vi er der du er - applicationIt all started with a simple yet befuddling question: “Can you create a WordPress site that sends SMS messages to users when things change?” My initial thought was that this could easily become the most annoying website in the world, but upon closer inspection it was a stroke of pure genius.

To ring in 2012 I’m bringing something completely different to WordCamp Victoria. If you’ve seen my live talks previously you know they are usually either neck deep in live code or conceptual presentations on theoretical ideas. This time will be different:

My talk, entitled “Can WordPress really do that? A case study of” will be focussed around one of the most interesting and challenging WordPress projects I’ve ever been involved in, the building of a site called “Vi er der du er” (“We are where you are”) for Norwegian bank SpareBank1. I was brought on as an outside contractor by Netlife Research, one of the largest and most well renowned web dev houses in Norway, to make their crazy ideas and designs into a real-life site. I say crazy because this is a site that does things so far out of the ordinary even I have a hard time figuring out how we got where we are today.

What makes the site so interesting is that it uses Facebook Likes as a voting system to help raise money for organizations. The more likes an organization gets, the more money the bank gives them. And along the way the organization gets SMS messages telling them about the status of their application and how much money they have raised.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This site has so many hidden features and backend customizations I’m not sure I’ll be able to cover them all in a measly one hour. But I’ll try.

The talk (which I have yet to prepare) will be a nice break from my regular stuffing-code-down-your-throat approach. I’ll talk about how the site came about, the many challenges and solutions implemented and how you can take my hard learned lessons and use them to make your custom WordPress themes more effective and easier to manage. More importantly though I’ll spend the hour helping you break free of the well established preconceptions about what WordPress can and cannot do. If you ask me there is no limit. And in this talk I’ll prove it.

So, if you haven’t already bought a ticket, head on over to the WordCamp Victoria site and grab yours. See you there!