Thanks to our Sponsors

WordCamp Minneapolis / St Paul is made possible with the help of our generous sponsors. Their support keeps this volunteer-organized event low-cost and accessible to everyone. 

Thanks to all our sponsors for supporting this WordCamp and the WordPress open source project. WordPress community events strengthen, inspire, and connect the people that build and maintain WordPress.

“Only in the WordCamp community have I seen this idea that people will donate not only time, but money, under the assumption that there will be nothing at the end of the tunnel,” says Tony Perez, Vice President of Product Management, GoDaddy Security Business Unit (The Value of Sponsoring a WordCamp from a Business’ Perspective).

WordCamps differ from commercial conferences by focusing on sharing knowledge and opportunity across a broad and open ecosystem, and our sponsors understand the value of contributing to our efforts without expecting a direct return.

Be sure to visit with our sponsors during WordCamp Minneapolis / St Paul.

They’re here just like you! To share and learn everything we can about WordPress, and to meet, collaborate, and partner with members of the community.

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Interview with Tracy Apps

What inspired or motivated you to give this talk at WordCamp?

like most of my talks, i usually end up telling lots of people and clients the same thing over and over, so i decide to make it into a talk instead.

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for those who are thinking about getting involved in the WordPress community?

just do it. it’s worth it. we’re cool people.

If you could make one improvement to WordPress today, what would it be?

front-end inline editing of content (but still keeping the theming process the same and not a part of the front end inline editing)

Who do you most admire and why?

pretty much everyone i meet… honestly.

What’s your favorite quote from a book or movie?

“Good evening, I’m a lizard woman from the dawn of time. And this is my wife.” –
Madame Vastra (ok. so yeah.. it’s not from a book or a movie.. but whatever.)

Interview with Josh Aas

What inspired or motivated you to give this talk at WordCamp?

Lots of love for WordPress and Minneapolis, and it’s hard to pass up a chance to talk with people on the front lines of building a secure Web.

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for those who are thinking about getting involved in the WordPress community?

Imagine the kind of person you’d want to interact with in a community. Be that person.

If you could make one improvement to WordPress today, what would it be?

Anything that improves the process of getting and applying security updates.

Who do you most admire and why?

Maybe not most, but… People who find interesting security flaws in software. It requires a deep understanding of how computers work combined with good instincts, planning, and persistence. Few people have all of those qualities.

What’s your favorite quote from a book or movie?

“A perfect plan, so perfect that a trivial complication sufficed to spoil it.” From ‘If on a winter’s night a traveler’, by Italo Calvino.

Interview with Tessa Kriesel

What inspired or motivated you to give this talk at WordCamp?

I am very passionate about being lazy, I mean efficient. Once I realized the capabilities behind this capability I instantly thought of how much easier my dev life could have been if I would have known about it sooner. Therefore, I am hoping to help others find out about it sooner in their dev lives than I did!

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for those who are thinking about getting involved in the WordPress community?

Join. Meet. Volunteer. There are so many great people in the WordPress community and it’s a great community to be a part of and participate in. If you are new to WordPress, attend Meetups and WordCamps and absorb as much information as you can. Volunteer – you may be new, but the best way to learn is to dive right in and do it.

If you could make one improvement to WordPress today, what would it be?

Configuration management built into core. For example, things that we do or save to our WordPress sites that are saved in the database also being saved in json format to be able to be carried to other environments easily without having to override databases. Drupal 8 is doing it, we should be too.

What’s your favorite quote from a book or movie?

“Life doesn’t give you seat belts.” – Lego Batman

Interview with Zac Gordon

What inspired or motivated you to give this talk at WordCamp?

Ever since Matt Mullenweg told the community to learn JavaScript Deeply, I have been dedicating myself to teaching JavaScript Deeply to the WordPress Community. This started with an online Master Course and has now evolved to trying to teach more people in person via Workshops at WordCamps.

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for those who are thinking about getting involved in the WordPress community?

Go to your local WordCamp or WordPress Meetup Group. People are super friendly and knowledgable and you’ll build up a nice little network pretty quick.

If you could make one improvement to WordPress today, what would it be?

I feel there is some not so great politics involved with the decision making process of what JS framework to include in WordPress Core.

Who do you most admire and why?

Jesus. Pure love baby. Very inspirational 🙂 St. Francis is another inspiration for me. Love me some animals 🙂 Ghandi, Mother Theresa… these are the types of folks I look to for inspiration and have a lot of admiration for.

What’s your favorite quote from a book or movie?

“Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.”

~ Jesus, A Course in Miracles

Interview with John Havlik

What inspired or motivated you to give this talk at WordCamp?

As with any topic I speak on, my motivation is sharing knowledge. In this case, I am sharing what I have learned over the course of a decade of maintaining a popular plugin. While it may not seem like it, a decade, especially in tech, is a long time.

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for those who are thinking about getting involved in the WordPress community?

The best advice I have for those thinking about getting involved in the WordPress community is to get involved in your local WordPress community. The easiest way to do this is to attend a local meetup. In the Twin Cities, we have a WordPress User Group that meets monthly.

What’s your favorite quote from a book or movie?

“That’s the beauty of argument, if you argue correctly, you’re never wrong.” -Nick Naylor (Thank You for Smoking 2005)

Interview with Suzi Hunn

What inspired or motivated you to give this talk at WordCamp?

Starting a blog has been the single-most impactful decision I’ve made in recent years. I’ve spent waaaaay too many years staying in my lane, so now I blog about helping people find their voice. I’d love nothing more than to inspire others to cultivate their thing and–while they’re at it–unabashedly own who they are.

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for those who are thinking about getting involved in the WordPress community?

Do it. Don’t just sit there contemplating. If you want to improve your life, surround yourself with people doing the thing you want to do. No joke. This practice has changed my mindset, my career, and my life.

If you could make one improvement to WordPress today, what would it be?

Hallelujah! They just changed my biggest pet peeve: The “publish” button is no longer RIGHT NEXT to the one for saving drafts. Whew, I get an inordinate amount of pleasure from seeing “Save draft” ALL THE WAY ON THE OTHER SIDE of the page.

Who do you most admire and why?

In the past year I encountered two women reporters who are breaking barriers, inspiring me in a big way.

First: In October I attended the Giant Steps conference,
(http://giantstepsmn.com), where I saw a panel featuring Kare11 reporter Jana Shortal. She spoke of the pain of trying to fit in to a pre-defined view of what a woman reporter looks like. When she finally had the courage to show up as herself, she took some hits from internet trolls, but her career took off as well.

She was hilarious and relatable and fantastic. And hey–how can I not be inspired by the author of a piece called, “I’m a TV newswoman, and No Thanks on the Lady Uniform.” (http://www.startribune.com/i-m-a-tv-newswoman-and-no-thanks-on-the-lady-uniform/382913191/)

Second: I attended the Women’s March this past January. Too busy to make arrangements with friends, I showed up alone. (http://resoundingyou.com/2017/01/23/i-went-to-the-womens-march-alone-heres-what-happened/) As I was bending down to take a (fabulously composed) shot of a protester holding a sign that read “Viva la Vulva,” I felt a tap on my shoulder.

A woman wearing a pom-pommed knit cap said, “My phone just died. What are the chances you could send me that photo?” As it happened, ESPN reporter Julie Stewart-Binks (http://www.espnfrontrow.com/2017/03/stewart-binks-eager-kick-off-espn-mls-sideline-reporting-sunday/) had also come to the march solo, despite being in town for less than 24 hours for a Wild game. (I mean, does she kick ass or what?) Now, I enjoy following her on Twitter, hearing how she defeats absurd obstacles like having sports mansplained to her on a daily basis.

What’s your favorite quote from a book or movie?

It’s funny: The other day I found myself wondering who Rumi was. I confess I don’t own a Rumi book, and I haven’t read much about this poet. But, man, these days I’m doing what I can to model my life around his quote: “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”

As a woman in early midlife, I’m realizing for the first time how skilled I am at asking for permission. When it comes to seeking others’ approval, dang, I’m a straight-up master! This habit of intentionally shrinking ourselves is a learned phenomenon for too way many of us. I’m tired of it. Maybe you are, too.

My passion is helping others overcome this limitation, right along with me. For example, I’m in the process of developing my first online course: The Empowered Presenter: From Hesitance to Confidence. I may not have the natural charisma of Tony Robbins, but I gave talks so many times for my job, I learned to overcome my fears. Every time I hear some version of that stat that more people are afraid of speaking than dying, I want to reach out and help! It’s a learned skill. If I can do it, so can others.

Okay, y’all, let’s all refuse to live small!

Interview with Joe Dolson

What inspired or motivated you to give this talk at WordCamp?

I’ve given a lot of technical talks on web site accessibility, but the technical side is really only the nuts and bolts of the topic – getting people to understand the impact a lack of accessibility has on the people using their products is the beginning of better empathy.

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for those who are thinking about getting involved in the WordPress community?

Do what you love. I don’t believe that you need to do what you love to make a living; but if you’re going to contribute to open source, that’s got to be something you’re really passionate about.

If you could make one improvement to WordPress today, what would it be?

It’s hard to pin down just one change, or even agree on what constitutes “one change”. Given no limits, I’d remodel the management of media.

Interview with Shelly Peacock

What inspired or motivated you to give this talk at WordCamp?

So many freelancers in this space are super introverted.. I just want to help break through the fear and teach easy ways to communicate.

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for those who are thinking about getting involved in the WordPress community?

Jump in head first! Ask all the questions, and never stop learning.

If you could make one improvement to WordPress today, what would it be?

Help to level the playing field.. by setting some industry standards, and help beginners grow faster.

Who do you most admire and why?

Carl Alexander. There is no one better at helping others learn, and his sheer motivation is to improve everyone around him by teaching and mentoring

What’s your favorite quote from a book or movie?

“How is that single serving life working out for ya?” Fight Club

Interview with Jessica Gardner

What inspired or motivated you to give this talk at WordCamp?

Michelle Schulp gifted me a hipster Wapuu pin while we were waiting in line at Starbucks at WordCamp Chicago. She mentioned that she was an organizer in Minneapolis, and that WCMPLS was set for later in the summer. My son’s best friend moved to Minneapolis three years ago, and we’ve been wanting to visit. Gears started turning.

Do you have any advice or words of encouragement for those who are thinking about getting involved in the WordPress community?

Jump on in, the water’s fine! Seriously, remember that there are people at all levels of interest and experience, and that every individual has something of value to offer. We all have different perspectives and backgrounds, something to share, and something to gain by showing up.

If you could make one improvement to WordPress today, what would it be?

I seriously cannot think of anything right now and have to submit this form before the deadline 🙂 I’ll get back to you.

Who do you most admire and why?

I’m going to go with my husband. He is a rare mix of geek brains and warm-hearted friendliness. He gives unending emotional and technological support to every endeavor I dream up, and he inspires me to weather scary growing pains and push myself when things get rough.

What’s your favorite quote from a book or movie?

“That is no Orc horn.”