Tell us a bit about yourself:
I am a graphic designer turned web designer turned web developer. I’m one of those weird ones who can understand the principals of design as well as code. I got a degree in Photography just so I could go to college and have fun, and that was a very good choice. In addition to all my independent work I also have served with several ministries all around the country.
Please share a brief history of your work with WordPress:
In 2009 I decided to release my core theme framework, StartBox, for the general public. I then spent 9 months rewriting much of it, adding and improving functionality, in-line documentation and an external codex and training resources. StartBox was already two years old and had been put to work on more than 50 sites before it ever graced the hands of another developer.
Here we are, one year later, and StartBox is now being used by hundreds of developers around the globe. I am very excited for what is in store for the year to come! I’ll be announcing a couple of surprises at WordCamp
What is your favorite plugin?
Gravity Forms, hands down. I install it on absolutely every site and have used it for some pretty incredible things.
A very close runner-up is BackupBuddy. I also install this on every site and am most thankful for it’s robust feature set.
Tell us about your latest WP project:
I can’t, yet
Share one WP tip:
Unlocking the power of hooks and filters will give you master control over every aspect of WordPress.
What inspires you?
The incredible mountain of talented designers and developers within our community. They’re all truly awe-inspiring. If I were half as talented as some of these guys I would be able to do so much more.
Any tips for people just getting started with Blogging or using WP?
Read, a lot. Then, if you’re serious about something, commit to it with steadfast dedication — especially in the face of failure or difficulty.
Do you have a WP hero?
Several! In no particular order: Jason Schuller, Carl Hancock, Ian Stewart, Justin Tadlock, Drew Strojny, Andrea and Ron Rennick, Ryan Imel and Andrew Nacin. They, and their work, simply amaze me. (that’s not even all of them)
What is your motto?
Be a blessing.
What is the funniest or most informative tweet you ever wrote or read?
Read: “The iPhone has forever changed the way I poop.” Threadless web made a shirt from it.
What is your favorite restaurant or club in Chicago?
Brazzaz Brazilian Steakhouse – an incredible place where you are descended upon by a SWAT team of meat. If you eat here, don’t make plans for afterward. All you’ll be able to do is nap.
What is your idea of success?
Enjoying how I spend every day while doing something meaningful with my time.
Why did you choose your topic for WC Chicago?
I’ve seen a number of people question and struggle with creating a business. Uncertainty about what to charge (if they should at all), doubt about their own abilities, fear of failure, etc. I know all about it, because I was there.
What do you hope the attendees will get out of going to your session?
A better sense of confidence and control over their situation; an increased awareness of the tools and resources available to them; a sense of reassurance that any idiot can do this (many have!), but only determined individuals will succeed. The WordPress community is both wide and deep, there is space for everyone to contribute and create improvements.