Are you ready for some WordCamp?

I’m not sure exactly how it happened, but the five months since we started planning WordCamp Las Vegas have disappeared in the blink of an eye. Now there are just 4 short days until it’s here. The schedule is set, lunch has been ordered, shirts will arrive later this week, and now we’re down to just a handful of last minute things to do. I don’t know about you, but I’m very excited!

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on this week:

Thursday
Vegas Jelly
Time: 7pm – Midnight
Location: /usr/lib (map)
“Jelly” started out as a bi-weekly co-working event that turned in to SO much more. It is now a weekly event attended by 75-150 people on any given week. People come to co-work, network and to listen to the breakout sessions covering a wide range of topics.

Friday
If you’re in town early and need a place with some free wi-fi and good coffee, you should check out our coffee sponsor, Grouchy John’s (map)

Saturday
WordCamp Vegas
Time: 8:15am – 5:15pm
Location: inNEVation Center (map)
A day filled with so much awesome, your head may explode.

WordCamp After Party
Time: 6pm – 9pm
Location: The Hammer (map)
After we pack you full of WordPress, we invite you to join us for a cool beverage or two. And while you’re there, our friends from getshopped.org, the makers of the most popular e-commerce plugin, WP e-commerce, would like to buy you a beer. The Hammer also serves up some food items, so you’ll be able to grab a bite to eat.

Sunday
WordCamp Dev Day
Time: Noon – 5pm
Location: /usr/lib (map)
Dev Day is a great opportunity to hang out with some other WordPress developers, talk shop, work on projects and talk about all the amazing things you learned at WordCamp. For more details, check out this post.

If you have any questions, you can send me an email at info@lasvegaswordcamp.com.

See you soon!

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Speaker Spotlight: Cody Landefeld

Of all the speaker spotlight posts we’ve done to this point, Cody’s response to the “Stays in Vegas” question is the one that has me the most curious to hear the rest of the story. Maybe we can get him to tell the full story at the after party?

You can find Cody on twitter @codyl.

Here’s a bit more about Cody in his own words.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you use WordPress
I have been a user experience designer for over 10 years. I started my own company in 2005 and shortly thereafter we began using WordPress for all of our website projects. Our company uses WordPress as a Content Management System for Website and as a Web Application platform. WordPress is our favorite tool for these items by far and I couldn’t be more happy to be using it.

What will you be speaking about?
My talk will be centered around UX for websites and how WordPress can benefit this process.

Who is your target audience?
We are focusing on clients who want to build marketing websites and/or clients who want to launch some sort of a product/service. We can craft and design this along with building it on WordPress.

What do you hope the WordCampers will get out of your session?
I hope to bring some new ideas to the thought process of WordPress folks regarding design and UX.

What is your favorite WordPress Plugin?
G.R.A.V.I.T.Y.F.O.R.M.S.

Do you have a WP hero?
Hard to narrow down to one. If you want to put your name in here feel free ________________.

Do you have a “Stays in Vegas” story to tell?
Found a pair of a hooker’s underwear in the Binary M Suite couch. Lots of details are being left out for obvious reasons.

Tell your favorite WordCamp story!
Hard to narrow down just to one. Mine is maybe when I sat next to Ryan Duff at WordCamp Phoenix and sprayed salsa on the side of his MacBook Pro.

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Developer Day

On Sunday, October 7th we’re hosting a developer day as part of WordCamp Las Vegas. Come on down and hack some WordPress with us!

This is an informal event and lunch is not provided. We can chip in and order pizza, or there’s several places to eat within walking distance. We will have access to a screen and projector in case somebody has a discussion they want to lead.

Location:
/usr/lib
520 E. Fremont St.
Second Floor
Las Vegas, NV 89101
(map)

Parking:
On Sundays downtown, the street parking is not metered. So grab a spot on 6th if you can. If not, you can park in the El Cortez hotel across the street.

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Speaker Spotlight: Joshua Strebel

Do you know somebody who you really respect, enjoy hanging out with but are glad they live in another city because if they lived much closer the two of you would likely end up in Jail? Let me introduce you to Josh. He runs page.ly and has an absolutely adorable baby who is an instagram star. You can follow Josh at @strebel

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you use WordPress
Kind of a big deal. We launched the entire Managed WordPress Hosting industry. Honestly, we are just like you and just want to make awesome shit and WordPress makes it easy to do that.

Who is your target audience?
This session is for anyone, most probably sort of, kinda the newish person call me maybe.

What do you hope the WordCampers will get out of your session?
Appreciation of the power and flexibility that is WordPress.

What is your favorite WordPress Plugin?
Currently it is “Types” for Custom post type management.

Do you have a WP hero?
Shayne Sanderson, Page.ly’s support hero. You have no idea the amount of heart that guy puts into his job everyday.

Do you have a “Stays in Vegas” story to tell?
I grew up here in Vegas.. and I left for ‘storied’ reason.

Tell your favorite WordCamp story!
This one time, in Boston. Scott Basgaard got a Booner and Cory got in trouble for bringing a beer into a 3am pancake joint, on the ride home we all had to GTFO. I slipped and fell in on the Ice. It was wicked awesome.

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Speaker Spotlight: Russell Aaron

Russ is one of the most enthusiastic WordPress fans I know. He eats, sleeps and breaths it. If there’s somebody that reads more about WordPress, I don’t think I’ve met ‘em. Well, maybe Nacin. But he’s a robot.

Russ will be presenting a handful of plugins you can use to enhance your site. You fan follow Russ at @KrashKartMedia

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you use WordPress
I am a 26 year old WordPress Developer that only takes a break for Nascar, Coca Cola and Nascar. I use WP to manage clients, supporting questions asked by clients, task management and obviously, Building terrific sites. I would learn other Content Management Systems, if clients asked. They Don’t.

What will you be speaking about?
I will be talking about the plugins that anyone can use for free to add features to any theme. These Include, but are not limited to: Contact Form 7, Lightbox Plus, and JetPack.

Who is your target audience?
The day to day WP users that want to learn about the advantages they can gain by using some of the most popular plugins.

What do you hope the WordCampers will get out of your session?
I hope that Campers will learn more about plugins and how they add something specific to their theme, site and or company blog/site.

What is your favorite WordPress Plugin?
I have two. Gravity Forms for obvious reasons, and WooCommerce. These two do something very unique. But you can combine them and make some truly awesome and powerful websites.

Do you have a WP hero?
As in one? No! I have a few! Matt Mullenweg, John Hawkins, Austin Passy, Ryan Imel, Dre Armada and Sarah Gooding.

Do you have a “Stays in Vegas” story to tell?
So many, as I live here. My favorite would have to be the time I drank 5 or 6 “Chelsea Slammers” inside Little Darlings and had my grandfather pick me up on his birthday. To this day I do not know what the slammers consist of or how they are made. All I know is that I have never said no and I regret every single time. I went with some friends to an 18 and over strip club and Chelsea was able to sneak her drinks into the club. We drank them in a hurry, so we wouldn’t get caught. Those drinks crept up on us in a hurry and the bouncer called my grandfather who picked me up. It was on his birthday. in the car was my parents and family members who were in town.

Tell your favorite WordCamp story!
After WordCamp, WordCampes attend a social function at a local bar as long as you are of age. So Last year we went to the Freakin’ Frog and I met Mathew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare. I had a beer with Colin Lortez and consumed 3 $12 beers.

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Speaker Spotlight: Josh Harrison

When we first started the WordPress meetup in Las Vegas, Josh drove in from Utah to attend. That’s either extreme dedication or just a little bit crazy. Either way, I thought it was awesome.

You can follow Josh on Twitter at @joshh

Here’s a bit more about Josh.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you use WordPress
I use WordPress a lot. I currently work for 10up and we do lots of custom WordPress for both VIP and self hosted sites.

What will you be speaking about?
Plugging into plugins. I think it’s really important that plugin developers think of how their plugin can be extended by other developers. There are different ways this can be done and lots of benefits to doing it this way.

Who is your target audience?
Primarily developers but there will be good information for everybody. I would recommend some experience with WordPress.

What do you hope the WordCampers will get out of your session?
I want developers to think a little differently before releasing a plugin. I want site owners to expect more from the plugins they use on their site.

What is your favorite WordPress Plugin?
My favorite WordPress plugin is one that does something really well without modifications. It also lets me do a little extra to it without modifying the plugin itself.

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Speaker Spotlight: Justin Foell

I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Justin for a number of years. First at our previous job, and then after a bit of time doing freelance work he joined 9seeds as a full time developer.

Justin is going to be giving a talk about building your first WordPress plugin. You can also follow Justin on Twitter at @justinfoell.

What will you be speaking about?
Absolute beginner talk: how to create a plugin. I’ll touch on when to create a plugin as some customizations truly belong in a theme, and some do not. We’ll start from the beginning: what files you need to create, what the absolute minimum requirements are (not much). Then we’ll add some snippets of code and see how they affect what WordPress does. Most of it will be using hooks (actions and filters) to change core WordPress behavior that might not be affected by normal options or settings. If we have time maybe we could even take some requests from the audience – lounge singer style :)

Who is your target audience?
People who want to make WordPress do the dance with a little bit of code, but may be unsure of where to start. You do not need to be a developer! But if you are a developer and have never written a WordPress plugin, you should attend as well. It’s really quite easy.

What do you hope the WordCampers will get out of your session?
A good understanding of when and why you should put customizations in a plugin. Also the knowledge of how to generally get s*!t done.

What is your favorite WordPress Plugin?
Free: Meteor Slides – Not so much for me but for clients. My friend Josh in Minnesota wrote it. Usually when anyone is having an issue with whatever slider they’ve chosen, I’ll recommend Meteor Slides and it usually solves all of their problems.

Paid: Gravity Forms, hands down.

Do you have a WP hero?
Andrew Nacin mostly because of his clear direction on the future of WordPress development. I’ve seen quite a bit of improvement in WordPress from the inside (even though it may not be apparent to others from the outside). One particular email he sent stands out to me: http://lists.automattic.com/pipermail/wp-hackers/2012-March/042586.html I’ve never met him in person, but I’d love to sit down and have a beer with him sometime.

Do you have a “Stays in Vegas” story to tell?
While living in Vegas for 5 years I accrued many, none of which are suitable to publish. If anyone wants to hear one, please see me in person at the conference. Buying me a beer may help coax a better (more incriminating) story out. P.S. Some of these incriminating stories may include John Hawkins.

Tell your favorite WordCamp story!
My favorite was actually my first WordCamp in Minneapolis. The 9seeds crew from Vegas came out to Minnesota and overnight from the time they arrived to the start of WordCamp the next day, it had snowed 18 inches. It was also the first snow of the season so I’m sure it was quite a shock to wake up in a winter wonderland.

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Speaker Spotlight: Michael Bastos

Michael Bastos will be talking about setting up WordPress using Amazon web services. You can follow Michael on twitter @bastosmichael. And for the record, Michael is the one on the right in the photo below.

Here’s a bit more about Michael in his own words.

What will you be speaking about?
How to setup your site on Amazon’s web services and get it up and running from start to finish. I’d been to a few conferences where people told others it was a good idea but I want to do something a kin to holding your hand through the process. I gave this talk at the end of WordCamp NYC and half the room stuck around a glad hour after they had stopped recording me just to keep asking their questions.

Who is your target audience?
No doubt about it, this is for advanced users, but I want novices to feel welcomed to attend and ask questions even if they themselves don’t plan on setting it up on their own. After all the only way we become experts at anything is if we are willing to go and learn things that we feel are intimidating.

What do you hope the WordCampers will get out of your session?
I try my best to give everyone some kind of take away from this no matter the level of expertise. My real hope is that developers especially will take the time to experiment with and learn the base line underline systems and structures that run their WordPress sites on the web so that they have a little bit more freedom of choice when putting together solutions or picking hosting providers for their employers or clients.

What is your favorite WordPress Plugin?
I have to say that my favorite plugin has to be the IWP Plugin for Infinite WP, the fact is I have it installed on everyone of my installations simply so that I can manage everything from my InfiniteWP installation and this way I know all of my sites and or my client’s sites are up to date and working properly. My only wish is that they had better support for WordPress Multisite.

Do you have a WP hero?
If I have to pick someone I admire the most in the WordPress community it would undoubtedly be Matt Mullenweg, ever since I first met him in 2011 at the first WordCamp San Diego and spent hours chatting it up with the guy who started it all, his ability as a founder to steer the ship in all the right directions as one would say and accomplish his true vision for the platform is what inspires me, and he’s unassuming and humble as all hell.

Do you have a “Stays in Vegas” story to tell?
Everyone always says they won’t share their Vegas stories but I have no shame, I was a Marine for 8 years and every so often we would have what’s called a Marine Corps ball (best party ever) in Vegas in our dress blue uniforms. After much drinking and ceremony all of us would leave the big fancy ball rooms drunk as a Marine (not a Sailor) and would go up and down the strip in uniform living it up. This was in the early days of the war and people were extremely generous, we never paid for any of our drinks and they pretty much let us go anywhere we wanted and do anything that Vegas had to offer, I’ll end the story there and let you guys picture the rest…

Tell your favorite WordCamp story!
I would tell my favorite after party story but I’ve said too much above, so if we are talking during the actual event, I’d have to say it was this year’s WordCamp LA, I was giving a presentation about using WordPress in the Command Line using wp-cli and they had scheduled me for 9am in the morning so I immediately thought I would get like 10 people attending considering the subject matter. To my surprise after the keynote finished downstairs people starting pouring in and the place was standing room only, I was not expecting that many people to want to geek out on what to some would be such a boring topic.

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Speaker Spotlight: Mike Schroder

Mike “Shredder” Schroder will be talking about Managing WordPress with Awesome using CLI. Be sure to check it out!

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you use WordPress
I’m a sailor and coffee-lover who develops software at DreamHost and works on WordPress-y related things.

This means contributing code to the WordPress core and wider community, helping maintain the WordPress One-Click Installer, and developing further WordPress-y DreamHost-y features.

What will you be speaking about?
wp-cli, and how to make managing your WordPress sites a whole lot easier.

Who is your target audience?
Developers, site admins, and otherwise-technical site owners.

What do you hope the WordCampers will get out of your session?
I hope that they’ll be able to save themselves time in management, and that we’ll see more secure sites due to updated being easier for them.

At the very least, hopefully the talk with generate a bit more appreciation for the power that the shell has. It’s unfortunate that more developers don’t make better use of the shell — or in many cases are afraid of touching it at all.

What is your favorite WordPress Plugin?
BatCache, and the related Memcache(d) object caching backends.

Do you have a WP hero?
Yes, definitely. But you’ll have to ask me in person, because that list gets longer all the time.

Do you have a “Stays in Vegas” story to tell?
It wouldn’t have stayed in Vegas, then, would it have?

In all seriousness, have only been to Vegas a small handful of times, and have had some pretty awesome time with members of the WordPress community.

Tell your favorite WordCamp story!
There are a lot of them! Here’s a silly one, though:

I was standing at the Muni station outside WordCamp SF 2011 with Jason Cosper and Otto.

Another WordCamper walked up and asked, “So. Are you Otto or Nacin?”

After a long pause, he begrudgingly but kindly admitted: “Otto.”

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WordCamp Vegas Banners

Are you planning to speak, sponsor or attend WordCamp? Why not tell the world! Download one of the images below and use the code to add it to your website. It’ll make your site 18% more awesome!

<a href=”http://2012.vegas.wordcamp.org/”><img src=”attending.jpg” title=”I’m attending WordCamp Las Vegas” alt=”Attending WordCamp Las Vegas”></a>
<a href=”http://2012.vegas.wordcamp.org/”><img src=”attending.jpg” title=”I’m speaking at WordCamp Las Vegas” alt=”I’m speaking at WordCamp Las Vegas”></a>
<a href=”http://2012.vegas.wordcamp.org/”><img src=”sponsor.jpg” title=”I’m sponsoring WordCamp Las Vegas” alt=”I’m sponsoring WordCamp Las Vegas”></a>
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