Meet Three More Speakers: Zack, Laura, and Robert

Let’s meet our remaining three prescheduled speakers.

Zack Tollman

Zack TollmanWhat’s your current relationship with WordPress?
Since joining 10up last September, WordPress and I are going steady. As a Senior Web Engineer with 10up LLC, my day job involves building everything from basic blog sites to complex WordPress implementations to mentoring developers. If that is not enough, I am usually spending time in evening and weekends working on plugins, core contributions, or writing about WordPress.

What’s the neatest thing you’ve seen done with WordPress?
I am a big fan of Scribu’s Posts2Posts plugin. As the name implies, the plugin gives developers the ability to easily relate one post to another post or posts. Post relationships is an extremely powerful concept that makes structuring data in custom WordPress implementation more flexible. This is a feature that is lacking in WordPress and Posts2Posts excellent fills this void.

Beyond the technical offerings of Posts2Posts, I think it is “neat” because it is a user contributed plugin (albeit from a highly involved Core Contributor) that adds a capability that WordPress does not have. It is a fundamentally important feature that can be provided via non-Core code because WordPress is open source. I only hope that some day this code, or code that serves a similar function, is someday integrated into WordPress Core.

Have you ever made a WordPress mistake that we could all learn from?
Absolutely! One of the more recent mistakes I made was while developing a plugin that automatically Tweets posts in a specified category to specified Twitter account, I imported the Theme Unit test data and it attempted to Tweet every post to my test Twitter account. I set the Tweet to be published when a post is published, forgetting that when posts are imported, the “publish_post” hook is executed. Fortunately for me, I had set up a test account on Twitter for this work and the damage was minimal. This experience reminded me that it is SO important to be aware of the context in which hooks are executed. Hooks can sometimes run at times that you do not expect. As such, it is important to test for context in a hook’s callback function. Additionally, when using an unfamiliar hook, it is important to carefully examine how and when the hook is executed in WordPress Core in order to mitigate collateral damage from an errant function execution.

What are *you* hoping to get from WordCamp Portland 2012?
Community. Community. Community. WordCamps are all about being and engaging with the community. I find inspiration, motivation and friendship from every WordCamp that I attend. I have no doubt that WC PDX 2012 will deliver in that regard.

I am also looking forward to getting a killer pint glass 😉

Laura Kimball

Laura KimballWhat’s your current relationship with WordPress?
We have a casual, open relationship even though WordPress and my blog,, have been going steady for the past two and a half years.

What’s the neatest thing you’ve seen done with WordPress?
I’m a huge fan of Site Stats from Jetpack. As a blogger, how people find my site and what they’re looking at is super important to me. And the best part is I can access that information without leaving the dashboard of my site.

Have you ever made a WordPress mistake that we could all learn from?
Once I gave in to WordPress’ request to update my site and it took the entire site down. I have no idea what I did, which was probably the problem, and the worst part was it was on a night that I was posting a new blog and a lot of people were looking. Luckily my husband knew more than I did and was able to fix whatever I did without too much damage.

I love all of the plug-ins and how you can customize WordPress. But when it comes to things like updating the database, I now lean on some friends who have more WordPress-tech-chops than I do.

Also don’t do any major changes to your site if you are doing something major like blogging every day for a month straight or launching a campaign.

What are *you* hoping to get from WordCamp Portland 2012?
I’m looking forward to meeting the Portland-area WordCampers and listening to the other presentations. Not to mention the beer. J

Robert Rowley

Robert RowleyWhat’s your current relationship with WordPress?
“It’s complicated” would be what I’d put up on my Facebook wall. I focus on helping educate the WordPress community on security matters, while my work has me supporting and helping secure tens of thousands of installs it is the WP community that I enjoy interacting with the most.

What’s the neatest thing you’ve seen done with WordPress?
On a site, there are far too many to really have a favorite. However with technology, the recently released wp-cli tool makes me very happy.

Have you ever made a WordPress mistake that we could all learn from?
Yes, oh my yes. Never forget about or ignore your site(s)! You know why 🙂

What are *you* hoping to get from WordCamp Portland 2012?
I only hope to have a good time with some good people, if I can help one more person secure their site then that would be superb.