Way to Go Ohio. See You at WordCamp Kent!

If you know WebDevStudios (WDS), then you know how much we love WordCamps! Why? Because they bring together WordPressers from all over to share, connect, and network. But, do you know what’s even better than attending a WordCamp? Speaking at one!

A photograph of WebDevStudios engineer, Jeremy Ward, smiling and wearing a WebDevStudios baseball cap while standing in front of a wall painted with various colored stripes at Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Jeremy Ward, Senior Backend Engineer

Our own Senior Backend Engineer, Jeremy Ward, will be speaking at WordCamp Kent this weekend, June 15-16, 2019. Jeremy’s talk is on “Modernizing Your Development Workflow with Composer,” which takes place on the first day of the event (Saturday) at 11:00 a.m. in the Developers – McGilvrey Ballroom. You can view the full schedule here.

What can WordCamp Kent attendees expect when they attend his talk? As Jeremy puts it, “Be ready to drink straight from the firehose that is Composer!” He’s going to go into all the basics: what Composer is, what problems it solves, how the PHP community uses it, how he uses it in a WordPress context, how it could be problematic if you’re not careful, how there are more commands and use cases for it. “I’m hoping people leave with the idea of why it’s a useful tool and are motivated to go learn about it so they can take advantage of all the benefits it provides,” says Jeremy.

He started his web development career in 2013, and it wasn’t long before he heard about this great dependency management tool used by the broader PHP community. “The following year, I attended the Midwest PHP conference in Minneapolis, where Jason Rhodes gave his talk, ‘The WordPress Hacker’s Guide to the Galaxy,’ explains Jeremy. “In that presentation, Jason spoke about the numerous tools and processes he was incorporating into his WordPress workflow. Though I was still new to web development at the time, I could clearly see the value all of these tools could provide to the broader community – Composer, Twig for front-end templating, heck, even headless WordPress.” Since then, Jeremy has used Composer more and more in his daily work, advocating for its use among my peers. “I hope I can bring the same level of excitement about Composer that Jason brought to me those many years ago,” Jeremy says.

According to Jeremy, people from all over have told him about how much they love WordCamp Kent. “This will be my first time speaking outside of my hometown,” Jeremy points out, “So when I heard the call for speakers was open, I thought it sounded like a good opportunity to share my Composer experiences with a new-to-me group of people who are passionate about web development.”

One of the presentations that Jeremy is looking forward to attending at WordCamp Kent is Steve Grunwell’s “A Crash-Course in PHP Namespaces.”  “With WordPress recently updating its minimum requirement of PHP to 5.6, namespaces are brand new to a lot of people, and I’m looking forward to seeing Steve’s take on the topic,” says Jeremy.

He’s also looking forward to “Design Systems in WordPress” by Tim McKenna, saying that, “Back when I’d done more full-stack development, I paid a lot of attention to style tiles and building sites in a modular, componentized way (I’d even built a Composer-ified framework for it, called Dudley!). I’m also a strong proponent of designers and developers working together to create re-usable systems to help streamline site development, so I think Tim’s session will be enlightening.”

But beyond the sessions, Jeremy is also excited about meeting other speakers and exploring Northern Ohio. He says that sessions are great, but information doesn’t exist in a vacuum. He encourages attendees discuss with other attendees about which sessions they’re excited about, which they’ve attended and what was learned. “Meet people, build friendships, make connections, and be inspired,” Jeremy says. “Then come back next year with a talk of your own!”

Keep up with WordCamp Kent by following their profile on Twitter, @WordCampKent or the hashtag #WCKent.


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