Interview with Nick Ciske

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

I often see developers using lengthy PHP workarounds when a core function exists to make their lives easier, they just don’t know where to find it. I’d like to change that!

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

Release (or adopt) a plugin — even a small one. You learn a lot when other people start using your code in ways you never imagined!

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

Bump the minimum PHP version to 5.6.

Who do you most admire and why?

My wife — I could never do what she does with as much grace or patience.

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

“The things you used to own, now they own you.”
― Fight Club

Interview with John James Jacoby

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

Love Minneapolis. Love Midwest camps.

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

Do it! It’s awesome!

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

Better user profiles.

Who do you most admire and why?

No one specifically. Everyone at once. Admiration is fleeting.

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

Are you watching closely?

Interview with Cory Miller

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

My own mental wellness struggles and seeing the need for others to share authentically in order to inspire others to see and get help and eradicate and erase the stigma around mental health

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

Take a step in. Don’t wait. Don’t cower down. Just take one bold step, then another and another. This is one of the most accepting communities I’ve been a part of. I was a nobody who became somebody simply by taking a step into it.

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

A better, simpler UI dashboard for the WordPress admin

Who do you most admire and why?

My group of business friends in OKC. They inspire me to be a better man, father, husband, leader, entrepreneur in the world.

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

“So you’re saying, ‘I’ve got a chance.’ YEAH!”

Interview with Nathan Ingram

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

As I’ve coached freelance web developers for the last few years, I see Imposter Syndrome as one of the recurring issues we all seem to face. I deal still sometimes with it myself. I think it’s critical for all of us to realize that we’re not alone in this struggle and by being open and honest about our celebrations and challenges, we can all grow more effectively.

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

The WordPress community is amazing. As I’ve travelled across the country to speak at WordCamps, I’m continually impressed by the openness and friendliness of our community. No matter what your skill level, you will feel right at home at a WordCamp or WordPress meetup.

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

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a person of value. (Einstein)

Interview with Ashten Fizer

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

There is so much that can be accomplished with the use of Social Media that many people and small business overlook. I want people to know that their websites and social media do not have to be two separate entities. Use one to boost the other and its easier than you think!

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

“Do IT!”-Shia Lebeouf

If you don’t think you can, do it. Don’t be intimidated by the unknown. WordPress has a huge support community to help guide you along the way. Once you get started, you’ll see how good it feels to accomplish those minor tasks that you thought were so insurmountable. But remember young Padawan, “Do or do not, there is no try.”

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

More built in Social Media integration… but maybe i’m biased.

Who do you most admire and why?

To this day, I still remember how Star Trek shaped my life. It was the first time I saw someone like me — an African American woman — on a spaceship. It might have been fictional, but Lieutenant Uhura was an icon for progress. Growing up, I was different from the rest of the girls. I didn’t want to be a princess or a dancer or anything involving bows and frills — I wanted to work with computers. That’s where Lieutenant Uhura came in. Well, her and Dr. Mae Carol Jemison, the first African American woman to travel to space.

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

“Hold on to your butts.” – Samuel L. Jackson as Ray Arnold in Jurassic Park

Interview with Marcus Genzlinger

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

I’m a big fan of WordPress and marketing automation.

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

We are fortunate WordPress promotes inclusivity within its community creating a tribes of people that are selfless in their interest to share what they know about WordPress with others. Just show up to a meetup, user group or WordCamp and someone will say hello and ask how they can help.

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

More validation and control around plugins, similar to the Apple App Store. If a plugin gets added to WordPress.org it should be vetted to work. Too many plugins are hit or miss and/or outdated and should be deprecated. Somehow this should be an opportunity for both Automattic and people who work to make contributions to the community.

Who do you most admire and why?

Seth Godin. He makes my head hurt. Every day he publishes a thought that challenges the way I live or think. Typically his posts are marketing focused. Sometimes it’s an observation on life. Usually it’s something simple. He has really mastered what is important. Managing time, self improvement and continuous learning. Things I work to be better at everyday.

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

I have two… First is the fun one “Adventure, excitement… a Jedi craves not these things.” from Silent Bob in Mallrats. Second is business “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.” from Seth Godin

Interview with Tyler Golberg

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

I was hesitant to use a page builder for our projects since my first first experiences were not very good. Fast forward a few years and they are changing everything about how we approach and build websites.

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

A rising tide lifts all boats and that couldn’t be any more true for the WordPress community. There are so many opportunities to get involved. Find what resonates most for you!

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

An improved writing experience for richer content.

Who do you most admire and why?

Simon Sinek – He is amazing at articulating the intersection between human behavior and sincere marketing.

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

“In my experience there is no such thing as luck.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

Interview with Anthony D. Paul

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

We enter into many of our web projects by focusing on budget, schedule, and technical requests from our clients and then later evaluate our designs with end users to find they either aren’t usable or they don’t solve actual needs. No matter how technically great the site is, if it we’ve failed at giving it usefulness, convenience, and/or enjoyment, people simply won’t use it. I wanted to share some of the tools and techniques I’ve had success building into early client and team conversations to make sure we’re thinking about our websites in the right way, even if ultimately we have to weigh pros and cons of implementing specific against scopes and budgets.

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

Attend many meetups, request to give a lightning talk if you’re nervous about speaking for the first time, and volunteer at local WordCamps. Not only does volunteering get you a free ticket at the WordCamp, but it’s the no.1 best way to meet new people even if you’re shy.

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

I think we’re driving toward this today, but a higher percentage of .org themes and plugins should be graded for accessibility (including multilingual).

Who do you most admire and why?

Out of anyone? My father. I always felt I knew him, but in adulthood I feel like I’ve started to understand him more and admire his life and his accomplishments. at times, his life is a bit Big Fish.

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

“Come with me if you want to live.” As a UXer, this is what I feel like I’m saying when trying to convince team members and clients to listen to my suggestions.

Interview with Lynn Winter

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

I submitted a talk for WordCamp as I wanted to become more active in the community by sharing what I have learned. I always find speaking to be powerful. It helps me learn and reflect but, more importantly, it allows me to connect with others and learn from their experiences as well.

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

I am actually a new member to this community. I have been more active in the Drupal community in the past. That being said, there are three things I do when joining a new group. Attend events, volunteer and be social at events so I can meet people.

Interview with Andrew Robbins

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

For the past year I’ve been working arduously on a plugin that has continuously tested my knowledge and patience. Throughout the process I learned a lot and feel that the mistakes I made can act as sign posts to help others make better decisions in their adventures through software development.

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

In my experience the WordPress community has been extremely welcoming to all skill levels. Everyone is helpful and excited to work on such an awesome open-source platform together. Despite the number of developers all across the world there’s still a lot of potential to create unique and original plugins on top of the platform.

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

It’s 2017. We shouldn’t have to reload the page to perform CRUD operations. AJAXify the entire backend.

Who do you most admire and why?

It’s impossible to say who I admire the most because who I am is constantly evolving. However right now I’d say Jordan Peterson, professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto for his dedication to intellectual integrity. Satoshi Nakamoto, inventor of Bitcoin and Vitalik Buterin co-creator of Ethereum for their incredible contributions to computer science. And finally Brendan Eich the creator of JavaScript for constantly pushing the boundaries of what the Web can be.

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

“No action can be virtuous unless it is freely chosen.” ― Murray N. Rothbard