Speaker lineup update

We’d like to let you know about an update to our speaker lineup. Andy Johnson will not be able to give his talk on WordPress automation and the Internet of Things. He deeply regrets not being able to present at WordCamp SLC this year, assures us he’ll be back next year, and is planning on taking his talk to the local meetup groups.

In his place we have Chris Rogers, who’s coming up from Las Vegas, to talk about creating a training/membership site. Welcome Chris!

Chris Rogers

I am the Co-Organizer of WordCamp Las Vegas 2017 and 2014 and Co-Organizer/Frequent Speaker of Vegas WP Meetup Group. I have a degree in MultiMedia from West Los Angeles College. I am a professional actor with BFA in Acting & Minor in Voice from U of Louisville and started my dance training with the Louisville Ballet.

Kids 17 & under can get into WCSLC free!

WordCamps are all about education and learning and sharing knowledge. But one thing we’ve never done at WordCamp Salt Lake City is invite kids to learn alongside everyone else. We’re changing that this year.

While kids have never been explicitly excluded from WordCamp SLC, we’ve never taken the time to actually invite them or provide any kind of resources for kids and their parents. So, this year, we’re making it easier to take your kids to WordCamp with you. Using the wcslc2017-17-and-under you’ll get a full price discount ($20 off) for kids and young adults.

Kid president dancing with grover

A couple caveats:

  • This coupon code can’t be used in combination with another coupon code. So if you’re using, for example, the early bird discount, you’ll need to register yourself and your kid separately.
  • There will be no child care available at WordCamp SLC. It’s assumed that you will keep track of your own kid or that they are old enough to take care of themselves.
  • There’s no specific kids camp or kids track (this year). But they’re welcome to hang out with you, at the Happiness Bar, or attend whatever talks they are interested in.
  • This offer only extends to kids and young adults 17 and under. But we do have a coupon for students — wcslc2017-student — for $10 off.
  • It’s unlikely that we will have youth-sized t-shirts, but they can get an adult small.
  • Please make sure to actually register your kids. That way we are able to properly make a head count for shirts, badges and food.

If you have a kid that’s interested in WordPress, coding, or making websites, this is a great opportunity to introduce them to the WordPress community, and some of our amazing friends, colleagues and teachers!

You — yes YOU — have a WordPress story to tell

Everyone has a story to tell. Maybe it was the first time you climbed up in the Uintas and you never thought you’d make it to the top but you pushed on and finally reached the top of Bald Mountain and celebrated your success by gazing out at the amazing view of the valley. Or maybe you have a story like me about the first time you went to a professional soccer game and, even though we lost 5-0, the excitement of the crowd, the chanting, the energy in the stadium, the “Believe” chant all combined to make you a diehard, lifelong fan of Real Salt Lake.

Everyone has a WordPress story, too. That time your website was hacked and how you fixed it. The first time you wrote a plugin or a theme. Submitting a theme to the WordPress theme repository and going through the review process. Committing a patch to WordPress core. Submitting documentation to the WordPress Codex or developer docs. Setting up WordPress for the first time for your business. Creating an online store with WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads.

WordCamps are about stories. The stories we tell each other when we introduce ourselves, the stories we hear from speakers, and the stories we share among our friends, peers and community.

This year, we’re doing something new and we want to hear your stories. That’s why this year we’re doing lightning talks. They are short — even if you are fantastically introverted or suffer from severe stage fright, you’re only up there for five minutes which is less time than it takes to get a filling at the dentist — so you know there are worse things 😉. They don’t need to be technical, in fact, it’s probably better when they aren’t — it’s way too hard to get a lot of technical information out there in five minutes. And they encourage storytelling.

Some things that would make great lightning talks would be getting started with using WooCommerce, development tools that help theme or plugin development, how to write a Grunt file, what to look for if you think your site may have been hacked. We all have something we’ve been through that we can share, and we all benefit from learning from each other’s experiences.

If you haven’t already, I’m asking if you would consider presenting a lightning talk at WCSLC 2017. Don’t think of it as a presentation. Think of it as an opportunity to share an experience that you learned from with a group of friends, so we all can learn with you.

Submit a lightning talk!

Speakers! Round 4!

Our last round (officially) of speaker announcements is here. Let’s take a moment to give all our speakers a round of applause.

Keep your eyes peeled next week for an announcement if you are interested in presenting something at WCSLC but you didn’t get your talk in on time or didn’t feel confident enough to submit a full 30 minute presentation.

Without further ado, here are your WordCamp SLC speakers!

Jo Murgel

Jo Murgel, known online as “jomurgel,” is a front-end developer and designer at WebDevStudios living in Boise, ID. He’s been working in the world of web design and development since 2007. In 2008, quite by accident, he discovered WordPress and has been smitten ever since.

When he’s not in front of a computer, he’s behind the lens of a camera and building furniture for his five fur babies.

Velda (supernovia)

An artist raised by geeks in the beautiful Utah mountains, Velda has been using computers as a canvas for digital expression for as long as she can remember. She loves to help others do the same. With her ridiculously long list of interests and activities, it’s best to simply say that Velda is a huge fan of the universe and the people in it.

Chris David Miles

Chris is a CX Writer and Researcher for Bluehost in Orem, Utah. He has done freelance web design and front-end development for over a decade. He discovered WordPress in 2011 and has used it to built sites for clients and non-profits ever since.

Gina Marie Zanutto

Gina Marie Zanutto is a young media professional with experience in journalism, marketing, publishing, and business. Her background is in mass communication, project management, qualitative research, and event planning. She is ambitious, organized and intelligent with a rich international history. Gina is originally from Chicago, IL. Her bachelor’s degree is from the Manship School at Louisiana State University, and her master’s degree is from the University of Tampere, Finland. She completed her thesis research at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Toronto, Canada.

Previously employed by Microsoft, she is currently working and residing in Denver, CO as a marketing executive in the data center sector. She maintains more than 20 active WordPress sites and has built more than 50 while moonlighting as an independent contractor.

Ride the Lightning! Flash talks are coming to WCSLC

I’ve teased it for the last couple weeks but we’re officially announcing it today, WordCamp Salt Lake City will have lightning talks!

For those of you who don’t know what a lightning talk is, or need a refresher, lightning talks (or flash talks) are short presentations that are usually only a couple minutes long and typically cover one specific idea or topic. In a WordPress context, it might be this cool plugin you discovered (or wrote!) that you want to show off. Or it might be a story about that one time your site was hacked and how you dealt with it.

There are different flavors of lightning talks as well, including Ignite Talks, which are strictly defined as 5 minutes and 20 slides long, with the slides automatically advancing every 15 seconds.

What I like about lightning talks is that they can be very laid back and casual — much more so than a traditional presentation. They can use slides, or not, and can be used as an opportunity to demo something really quickly, like how NPM works and what it does. One pro-tip I learned about lightning talks is to put very little text on your slides — or none at all! You don’t have enough time to read it, and your audience will be trying to listen to you speak while reading the slide which means they’ll end up retaining less information.

How it works

Now that you know what lightning talks are, let’s talk about how they are going to work at WordCamp SLC.

  1. Lightning talks will be no more than 5 minutes long. They will be timed and you will get kicked off the stage if you go over.
  2. There will be no time for questions, so be sure to include your Twitter handle or email in your presentation so people can ask you questions later.
  3. There will be two rounds of 3 lightning talks with a 5 minute break between them for a total of 6 lightning talks.
  4. Talks can be on any subject but will be loosely grouped into “general WordPress stuff”, “WordPress development” and “business”.
  5. The submission deadline for lightning talks is August 13.
  6. All lightning talk speakers will receive the same benefits as other WordCamp speakers, namely free admission and an invitation to the speaker dinner on September 22nd.

If you didn’t get a chance to submit a talk, or your talk wasn’t accepted, here’s your chance to still take the stage and present your idea. It’s especially great for people who are new to public speaking and want to dip their toes in the water without having to prepare a full-length talk. We’ll especially be looking for lightning talks that are:

  • original or presented in a unique way
  • fit into one of the three general “categories” of general/userdevelopment, and business/entrepreneur
  • can easily be presented within the time limit
  • present a new idea, technology or trend that is emerging in your realm of expertise
  • by speakers who haven’t presented before at WordCamp Salt Lake City
  • by speakers who are part of an underrepresented or marginalized group (people of color, LGBTQ, refugees, Joomla! users, etc.)
  • fun!

Submit your lightning talk!


Still feeling nervous? Check out these resources for more information and some ideas about the format. And don’t worry! Lightning talks are fun and casual and low pressure (even if the time limit seems like a lot of pressure). If in doubt, submit your idea!

WordCamp SLC Speaker Announcements: Round 3!

Speaker submissions are now closed (although stay tuned for another announcement in the next couple weeks — there may yet be a chance for you to present a lightning talk if you didn’t get a chance to get a talk submitted and still want to speak) but we’re still running through our awesome speaker lineup. Make sure to grab your tickets — the wcslc2017-earlybird promo code is valid through the middle of August!

Tevya Washburn

In 2007, Tevya completed his BS in History. He paid for much of that degree doing freelance work. Much of that work was building websites. After college he tried a few “real jobs,” but people kept asking him to build websites. In frustration with the very manual “HTML and FTP” method of managing content and design, he went searching for a better solution. He found WordPress in 2008.

He’s been building websites almost exclusively on WordPress since that time. Soon after, he decided to make these side projects into a business. He and his small team at Fiddler Online have now handcrafted over 100 unique WordPress websites, and actively maintain and manage 60+ of them.

Tevya is the founder and lead organizer of the Boise WordPress Meetup and hopes to one day help take his home state of Idaho off the list of a few remaining states that have not yet hosted a WordCamp.

Chris Reynolds

Chris is a Senior Engineer at Human Made and has been working with WordPress for over 10 years. Before joining the team at Human Made, Chris has been a Developer Lead for WebDevStudios, an author of online training videos for Pluralsight, a developer, project manager and support technician at Event Espresso, a freelancer, a one-person WordPress theme shop, and a Specialty Team member at Whole Foods. Though vegan, he can still be snobby about cheese and chocolate. Chris maintains a number of open source plugins on GitHub and WordPress.org and has been involved in WordCamp Salt Lake City since 2011.

When not coding, he may be found chanting for Utah’s own Major League Soccer team, Real Salt Lake.

Susan C. Daniero

Founder and President of Materiell and NeatlyPressed. Materiell has designed and developed WordPress websites for enterprise, government, and education clients throughout the U.S. since 2011.

NeatlyPressed provides comprehensive WordPress site support services, code reviews and audits, and site migrations.

Susan loves coffee, deadlines, snow skiing, Park City, UT, her dog, friends, and family. (not necessarily in that order!)

Garth Mortensen

Garth is a software engineer at Sucuri. He’s passionate about information security and pizza.

Dhanushka Samarakoon

Dhanushka received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and started the career as a .net developer at Virtusa Corporation, developing business solutions for clients, such as Siemens Energy Automation and Xerox. At Kansas State University Libraries, he worked with platforms and frameworks such as Drupal, WordPress, Omeka, Solr, and CodeIgniter. Dhanushka was able to use WordPress to replace some legacy custom coded products at the library. In 2016 he moved to the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. As the Assistant Head of Software Development, he provides the leadership to the Software Development unit. His main responsibilities are developing and maintaining in-house software solutions, customization and adaptation of open source software, and administration of enterprise systems at the library.

Joelle Reeder

I am the owner and creative director of Moxie Design Studios, where I’ve worked to create fabulous online brands for best-selling authors, award-winning businesses, academic institutions and creative entrepreneurs since 2003. I specialize in creative consultation, online branding, and creating responsive WordPress websites from design to development and I especially love working with Genesis framework.

Once upon a time, I was an an award-winning blogger, and I am also co-author of the book, “The IT Girl’s Guide to Blogging with Moxie” (Wiley & Sons Publishing) and have spoken on panels at industry events such as SXSW Interactive and appeared in several publications, podcasts and radio programs, including Entrepreneur Magazine, BlogTalk Radio and The Derek & Romaine Show.

I’m a retrophile who sings jazz, and a brunch enthusiast on a quest for the perfect bottomless mimosa.

Natalie Osborne

Natalie owns a boutique web development company called WONDERBUILD.com, designing and developing solely on the WordPress platform (with exception of a handful of Shopify clients).

Natalie began her career in early 2000’s working tech support and product development at one of the largest virtual-shared hosting companies. She rode out the first boom-bust of the DotCom era working in front-end production for some big-named online companies that you’ve probably never heard of now: HotelNet, Invite Internet, and KBKids.com (now eToys). Most notably was her tenure at MLB.com (Major League Baseball). After seven years of producing online campaigns for baseball clubs, she left the comfort of a pension, 401k and health insurance plan to start her own small web dev agency – WONDERBUILD.com.

Natalie chose WordPress as her platform of choice for a variety of reasons and credits the success of her business to the WordPress community.

Speaker deadline approaching! Get your talks in!

Due to an amazing combination of excellent speaker submissions and invited guests, we’ve already got almost a full WordCamp SLC speaker roster! We’ve gotten so many great submissions, even with three full tracks, it’s hard to fit everyone in! We’re preparing to send out the final round of acceptances for the final 6 slots and will then get in touch with potential backup speakers. That means we’re going to have a schedule finalized long before the originally announced speaker submission date of August 13.

Now is your chance to get your submission in!

Don’t wait. If you are thinking about speaking at WordCamp SLC, submit your idea. We’re happy to work with you to brainstorm a topic, flesh out a description or otherwise help you make your voice heard. We are trying our best to have a diverse range of speakers and topics and yours could just be the one we need to fill in the gaps.

The deadline for speaker submissions is July 16. That gives you about a week and a half to get your talk in. Get cracking!

Hackerman using multiple computers to hack time. Animated gif from the movie Kung Fury.

WordCamp SLC 2017 Speaker Announcements: Round Two!

Continuing with our ongoing speaker announcements, we’re delighted to include the illustrious Lisa Sabin-Wilson as our keynote speaker. Lisa is well known in the WordPress community and is the author of the WordPress for Dummies series. She’s flying to Utah for the first time from her home in Wisconsin and we’re thrilled to welcome her!

There are still tickets available (and one or two speaker slots), so make sure to get yours with promo code wcslc2017-earlybird. And now, on with the announcements!

Keynote Speaker: Lisa Sabin-Wilson

Lisa Sabin-Wilson is co-owner and Chief Operating Officer at WebDevStudios, where our large team of web development experts provides custom web design and development solutions for clients like Viacom, Campbell Soup, Uber, Microsoft, Discovery Channel, Wharton University, University of Pennsylvania, Kaspersky Antivirus and more.

In this role, she provides the leadership, management, and vision necessary to ensure WebDevStudios has the proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems in place to effectively grow the organization and to ensure financial strength and operating efficiency.

Prior to her role with WebDevStudios, Lisa operated her own freelance business for 10 years, starting in 2003, providing custom design and development services to her WordPress clients.

Lisa is a subject matter authority on WordPress and is the For Dummies™ brand franchise author on all things WordPress due to her extensive experience and knowledge on the platform and shares it as the author of several WordPress-related books, including the best-selling WordPress For Dummies.

Lisa is a regular public speaker at national events on topics such as: WordPress, Development, Design, CSS and Social Media. You can find her on Twitter @LisaSabinWilson.

Clarence Bowman

Clarence Bowman is the owner of Bowman Design Works, a graphic and web development company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been an artist, coder and full-stack developer for more than 20 years. Specializing in both front-end, UI/UX design, as well as back-end PHP and mysql development, he has strived to continually educate himself on emerging technologies and the current state of web security as pertains to websites.

Michael Sheen and Angie Fenimore

Michael Sheen and Angie Fenimore are a husband and wife powerhouse team. They co-host the Calliope Writing Coach podcast and lead conferences for writers of every genre.

Angie Fenimore is the International Bestselling Author of BEYOND THE DARKNESS, a highly effective coach, and the facilitator of Calliope Writing Courses. She has landed six-figure book deals with the Big-6 publishers and signed with the industry’s top literary agents. She has spearheaded legislative reform, programmed film festivals, spoken to thousands, and supports writers of every genre to achieve success.

Michael Sheen with Dandelion Platform Design has over 15 years of experience in marketing and branding, and web and graphic design. Michael has worked with NYTimes Bestselling Authors, world-renowned artists and coaches, and worldwide companies to establish and expand their unique online presence. Michael was the Technical Director for the emPOWR Film Festival for the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

Joseph Stevenson

Joseph Stevenson is a public speaker, author and SEO Consultant. He has over 17 years of experience in digital marketing and is currently the CEO of Joseph Stevenson SEO Consulting.

Mike Selander

Mike is a WordPress Engineer at Human Made hailing from Coeur d’Alene, ID and has been building custom websites for more than 6 years. Building everything from full sites to immersive publishing experiences, he has worked with several of the largest publishing sites on WordPress from USA Today to News UK.

Obsessive over QA, testing and code standards, Mike is also quite passionate about publishing, front-end performance, photography, and the great outdoors.

Tyrel Kelsey

Tyrel Kelsey is a Web Engineer at 10up, Organizer of UtahWP, and a Utah Open Source core team member.

WordCamp speaker Scott Deluzio mentioned in Post Status footnotes

Just noticed this today as I looked at my (several days old) latest Post Status email:

Accountant Scott Deluzio has developed WP1099a plugin that automates filing 1099-MISC forms for site owners who are running affiliate programs or an online marketplace. This niche plugin came into being after conversations Scott had with Pippin Williamson, Cory Miller, and Andrew Norcross.

The Post Status newsletter is an exclusive email for Post Status members by Brian Krogsgard and is always an excellent source of WordPress news (in addition to Post Status itself), so it’s always fun to see yourself, or people you know, featured in his features and footnotes. Congrats Scott and come hear him talk at WordCamp Salt Lake City about, what else, “Taxes for Techies“!