This is a repository of slides from talks and presentations I have given at conferences and meetups over the years.
Technical Disclaimer: Each slide deck should be taken as an artifact of its time—the older the content, the more out-of-date it is likely to be. If you see any technical errors or inaccuracies vs current libraries or evolving standards, please get in touch and I will update the content.
In 2016, WordPress introduced a REST API to expose site content as JSON. Also in 2016, we had the opportunity to present at csv,conf about this paradigm shift: what would it mean for all the content in any WordPress website to be accessible as data? Since then, WordPress has fundamentally reinvented itself using that new API. The project has been reimagined from the inside out, with the humble content block as the foundational unit of site data. But, where was that explosion of data-driven WordPress applications we hoped for?
In this talk we will look at what worked as we integrated this new API into WordPress, and at where we stumbled. We'll explore how roles, access, and authentication limit the utility of data. We'll candidly discuss how burnout affects project stewardship. And we'll also celebrate a tremendous, successful change of course for a venerable open source project, and think ahead to what "WordPress as Data" may mean in five more years' time!
This talk is the story of how we’ve managed the stress and change of rewriting and recreating a fifteen year old piece of software with new languages, tools and frameworks, without leaving our community behind in the process.
This lightning talk investigates how documentation and workflow instructions committed to your code repository as markdown files can improve team communication, reduce switching costs as you cycle between development and meta-tasks, and help keep documentation updated as the codebase evolves.
A Boston reprise of my address from WordCamp Portland, ME in May 2017.
An overview of data visualization on the web for a WordPress audience.
I was honored to be invited to keynote WordCamp Portland, Maine, where I shared my thoughts on how consumer-oriented open source software like WordPress can lower the barrier to entry for new programmers. By encouraging whatever level of technical engagement the writer or author using WordPress feels comfortable with, WordPress enables us to slowly evolve from "customizers" to full-fledged developers; and in doing so, it realizes part of the democratic dream of the early web and stands opposed to unified platforms like Facebook.
In this talk we’ll discover the breadth of new WordPress interfaces enabled by leveraging the WordPress REST API, such as visualizations and new editor experiences. How can our API client libraries and the applications that use them be designed for maximum flexibility? The future of WordPress is not one interface, but many.
Over the past two years we have been building a new JSON-based REST API for WordPress. Available today as a plugin, that API could be integrated into a core WordPress release as early as later this year—and with the reach WP has globally, that would mean a "quarter of the Internet" (as WP likes to bill its market share; see W3Techs) would suddenly have unprecedented access to their own content in a structured data format. I want to share the goals we have had while working on the WP-API project and its client libraries, and to open a discussion about how to educate users that they will have access to their data in this way—and that third parties may, as well.
Our industry is built on small parts—libraries, projects, tools, many of them built as side projects. This talk looks at why we do side projects, what we gain from them, and how we can fold some of that exploration into our day jobs, for (as the saying goes) fun and profit.
A brief postmortem of the technical decisions I made while building MBTAwesome this winter.
On a recent project at Bocoup, my team was looking for the best available Node.js content management system… and we picked WordPress! Our clients got all the benefits of WP’s content editing interface, and with the in-development REST API plugin we were able to use that content in our app without precluding any of our other technology choices. This talk will use our project as a case study to share lessons we learned while building a Node client for the API, and why we’re so excited about what the next year holds for the evolution of WordPress as a content platform.
A talk for Somerville Open Studios on what makes for a good art website, and how to make your own with free online platforms.
An overview of Backbone presented through WPSessions.com.
These presentations, with limited exceptions, all use in-browser HTML5 slide deck libraries. I am particularly indebted to the authors of the tools listed below, without whom my presentations would have looked considerably less good and taken considerably longer to create:
The Microphone I am using as a favicon is from The Noun Project.
Images used in slide decks are either credited in the slides in which they are used, via HTML comment or visible attribution text, or else credited in bulk at the end of the presentation.