Q: How did you get started in your current field?
A: I started teaching myself web development when I was a teenager. I would find sites that I liked and look at the code and try to piece together what was making what happen on the page. It was just something I pursued on the side for a long time before it became my main focus about seven years ago. WordPress has been my primary focus the past five years.
Q: Describe your ‘ah ha’ moment about WordPress?
A: There is not a “one size fits all” approach to WordPress development that is going to work for everyone. I did regular web development before WordPress theming so I found building my own starter theme initially made it click a bit more for me than trying to decode some of the frameworks that felt heavily laced with their own hooks and seemed so much less familiar to the HTML/CSS that I already knew. So one approach to custom theming can make you go “ah ha!” while another can just make you go “ahhhhhh!” Seek out what starts to make it click for you and just build from there.
Q: If you could go back to when you were getting started and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: I think in the beginning I relied pretty heavily on the bad habit of copying and pasting solutions to whatever issue I was troubleshooting without always making an attempt to understand what the code was doing. I’m not saying it’s bad to research issues or use code already written that solves an issue. We’ve all thrown up a prayer to the Google gods as we’ve sought help on a frustrating issue. No one learns via copy and paste, though, so my advice to Beginner Me would be to always make a solid effort to understand the solution.
Q: Describe your talk in three sentences or less.
A: Custom fields are a key component to many custom themes. If you can utilize them effectively, you can be an unstoppable theming machine. Advanced Custom Fields is an incredibly powerful tool to help you do just that so let me introduce you to it, if you don’t already know its magic!
Q: Who should attend your talk (beginner developer, intermediate content provider, advanced designer, etc)?
This post is part of a multi-day series featuring speakers from WordCamp Kansas City 2015. Subscribe to have them delivered to your mailbox, or feel free to check back every day!