WordCamp Chicago 2014

WordCamp Chicago will be held this year on June 13th-15th at the University Center in downtown Chicago, the same venue as last year. We’re adding more space for more speakers, more talks, and more room to network and connect.

location
speakers
register
sponsors
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schedule

We’ll be updating this website more and more in the coming weeks, so please check back for more updates.

Whether you’ve been to a WordCamp before or not, we hope you’ll join us for this year’s WordCamp Chicago events!

WordCamp Chicago Slides!

Not all of our speakers have posted their slides yet, but we’re working at catching them as they’re posted to Twitter and we wanted to send out the batch we’ve gathered so far.

Wish you could view this by track? check out our Storify account to find the slide links and twitter conversation organized separately by topic.

Friday:

101: 

201: 

Saturday:

Lightning Speakers!

Sunday

If you are a speaker and want us to update this post with a link to your slides, send us a tweet or post a comment!

Meet our Lightning Round Speakers: Brian Busche, Joel Bronkowski, and John Havlik

Brian, Joel and John will be speaking in our Lighting Round of sessions on Saturday. in the Loop/River Room (Engineer Track) at 12pm

Brian Buschetwitter dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com facebook dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com LinkedIn dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com Google+ dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com Flickr dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com

Brian has been working with WordPress for 8 years, using it to build online communities like camaro.com, and various client projects. His background as a web developer landed him jobs at agency.com, Leo Burnett, Digitas, and BBDO.

Brian founded Rendition Multimedia in 1999 as a Web design shop, and currently operates out of the 1871 co-working space in the Merchandise Mart. He emphasizes the Lean Startup principles to building software, and feels that WordPress is the best tool for the Minimally Viable Product approach to web site design.

Brian organizes a monthly meetup called “WordPress in the Loop”, which you will find at meetup.com. He is always looking for opportunities to connect with other WordPress people in Chicago, and foster a greater degree of friendship and collaboration within that community.

Joel Bronkowskitwitter dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com facebook dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com LinkedIn dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com Google+ dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com

Joel is a bit of a WordPress newb but has been thrown in the deep end in helping WooThemes bolster its relationships and partnerships with the many players in the eCommerce space over the past 14 months.

Joel lived at home in Southern California until he was 23 before he ventured to South Africa on a mission trip, met the love of his life and has lived there ever since.

John Havliktwitter dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com LinkedIn dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com

First introduced to WordPress in 2005, John Havlik has been an avid WordPress user, theme creator, and plugin author ever since. Among his various plugins is the popular breadcrumb plugin, Breadcrumb NavXT.

When not working on his own projects, John helps support the small, 150 user, WordPress community at Weblogs.us. He also helps organize and frequently presents at MSP WordPress User Group meetings.

Interview:

Why do you use WordPress?
Brian: WordPress is the best way to quickly build and test new startup ideas. The platform can then be extended, customized, and scaled to grow with the business.

Joel: The easy answer is that it is now a huge part of my life working with WooThemes. I am constantly blown away by the many incredible ways WordPress is being used and by the people using it.

John: Ease of use, extensibility, and familiarity that comes with using WordPress for 9 years.

What would you say to convince someone to attend a WordCamp?
Joel: The WordPress community is great, there is so much to learn from attendees and speakers. People are generally incredibly approachable and down to earth. People come ready to learn and share ideas. Feels so good to be part of community and something bigger than whatever you use WordPress for.

John: Attending a WordCamp gives you access to a ton of friendly and talented people that you can learn from and cultivate ideas with. Additionally, attending a WordCamp that is “out of town” is a perfect excuse to visit a new city.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?
Joel: I’ve never worked at or with Web Agencies but in terms of a larger WordPress products/services business, I would say do not underestimate the value of quality support. Without quality support at Woo it would be challenging for us to differentiate ourselves from the copy cats and misusers of products we’ve developed.

Secondly, pricing and licensing are key. Terms like unlimited and lifetime really bit us in the ass and making changes to those terms was a tough pill for many of our customers to swallow.

What is your favorite WordPress-related resource?
John: As a developer, I find myself searching the wordpress.org codex frequently, so that still is my favorite.

Joel: WP101 is great. TeamTreehouse does really nice stuff. I suppose with both of those suggestions I lean towards videos, it’s easier for me to learn that way.

Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related
Joel: I previously worked in the development sector here in South Africa and served various poorer communities all over the country. More recently (2010-2011) this led me to do a post grad degree in Sustainable Development where I focused on community led informal settlement upgrading. While I now work in the private sector I am still passionate about social justice and crossing the invisible lines that divide society in South Africa.

listening-crowd

Follow Along Online!

WordCamp Chicago has great roundup of speakers and sponsors this year as well as a lot of fun extra activities.

Not able to attend? Wish you could be in more than one place at once? We’ll be updating this post throughout the conference along with the Storify links below and (of course) our twitter account and hashtag.

Twitter:

Follow us on twitter @WordCampChicago, of course, for updates throughout the day. You can join the conversation about WordCamp Chicago using the #wcchi hashtag or you can start following these twitter lists to find some of our key contributors:

Storify:

Interested in a particular track or topic? You can also follow by topic using these Storify collections, which we’ll be updating throughout the conference with links to slides, quotes from twitter and pictures as they’re posted:

Slides:

Just want Slides? We’ll add links here as we get them, but check our twitter stream or the Storify links above because that’s where we’ll gather them first.

Friday:

Saturday:

 Lightning Talk: 1 Million Downloads

Chicago Historical Architecture Walk

Map IconView a custom Google map of the buildings on our tour here:
http://goo.gl/maps/LzEsQ

 

We’ll be meeting downstairs in the lobby area at 12:15 on Saturday. Be sure to sign up during registration if you’re interested!

A few glimpses of the buildings on our tour:
Printer's RowFisher BuildingMonadnock, Western View
Kluczynski Federal BuildingPortal Marquette Building ExteriorMarquette Building Lobby
Skyscraper motif mailbox/elevator indicator & matching chandelierRookery BuildingRookery Building Lobby

Notes from Clare Parkinson:

My architectural history professor, Richard Betts, used to say that in terms of architectural influence, Chicago is the third great city in the world, after Athens and Paris. Chicago is where modern architecture – steel-frame construction, the skyscraper – was born at the turn of the 20th century. There are still a few lovely buildings from this time, and some nice examples of the architecture of later times as well. Continue reading

Interview with Lisa Sabin-Wilson

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Lisa will be presenting Check & Double Check: Internal QA is Vital on Sunday in the Business/Project Management track

Lisa Sabin-Wilson is the co-owner of WebDevStudios, a design and development company specializing in customized WordPress themes and plugins, and the author of WordPress For Dummies.

As the “For Dummies” brand franchise author on all things WordPress she’s also written several other WordPress-related books. She’s worked with WordPress since 2003, and is also a regular public speaker on topics such as WordPress, blogging, design, and social media.

Interview:

Continue reading

Interview with Michelle Schulp

Michelle Schulptwitter dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com facebook dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com

Michelle will be presenting A Website Is Not A Poster on Friday
in the Foundation Friday 301 track

Michelle the lead organizer for WordCamp Chicago 2014. When she’s not organizing, she’s an independent graphic designer based in Chicagoland. She was formally schooled in many aspects of design including print, branding, packaging, etc., as well as Psychology and Sociology, all tying together in a love of How To Solve Problems. She is a lover of WordCamps and the WordPress community. Find her portfolio at Marktime Media, and her talks/events/ blogs/geek-themed artwork at My Name Is Michelle. You may have seen her work on the WordPress Template Hierarchy or her Git-Themed poetry. ;)

Interview:

Why do you use WordPress?
I started using WordPress because someone told me that it was easy for designers to learn. And at the beginning, it was kinda easy but kinda hard and scary… and then I discovered the WordPress community. Continue reading

Looking for Work? Looking to Hire? Meet Up!

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No secret handshake required!

If your company is looking to grow, you’re looking to hire a freelancer for a project, you’re looking for full-time work, or just to take on a few projects, why don’t you come join our NEW informal meetup during our Saturday Activity Hour?

Taking place in the Lounge, we’re hoping to connect people looking for work with people looking to hire. If you fit either of those categories, feel free to show up! We’ll give you a color-coded sticker (Red=Hiring, Blue=Looking for Work) where you can write what you do or what you are looking for. No need to sign up in advance, just show up! And don’t worry, you’ve still got an hour for lunch afterwards… maybe with some new friends or business connections!

Interview with Josh Broton

Josh Brotontwitter dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com facebook dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com LinkedIn dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com Google+ dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com

Josh will be presenting You Don’t Need jQuery on Saturday in the Advanced Development track

Josh spends his days building interactive infographics, cool ways to visualize data, and high performance NodeJS web apps and WordPress themes at Lemonly. There, he fills the roles of both senior developer and curmudgeon.

He writes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript at Kidblog.org, the world’s largest educational blog network.

He also helped build the Spring Theme and Sassquatch Sass mixin library with 3themes.

In his spare time, he works on standing.io, a collection of his favorite conference videos. Continue reading

Interview with Alison Barrett

Alison Barretttwitter dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com facebook dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com LinkedIn dark blue jeans social media icons designed by icons.mysitemyway.com

Alison will be presenting Wireframing Essentials on Saturday
in the Design track

Alison has been working with WordPress since 2008. She started out building simple client websites and moved on to developing plugins and theme frameworks.

After working at various local agencies in Minneapolis, she is now a senior web engineer at 10up. Alison lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and their three cats.

Interview:

Continue reading

Get Help in the Happiness Bar!

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Looking for help or advice with a specific WordPress problem?

Need a plugin recommendation? Having trouble configuring your theme? Got a weird problem you just can’t figure out?

Bring your questions and your admin login to the Happiness Bar, in the Arts room, and one of WordCamp Chicago’s friendly volunteers will help you sort our your website.

The Happiness Bar is a live help desk, where WordPress professionals sit, and wait, for attendees to ask them a question. Often populated with WordCamp speakers, organizers or volunteers, a rag-tag group of WordPress professionals are always around to help!

Give back to the community

You don’t have to be a hardcore expert to give back to the WordPress community. Continue reading