Speaker Spotlight: Ben Lobaugh

In the first of our speaker spotlights, I’d like to introduce you to Ben Lobaugh. I had the pleasure of hanging out with Ben at WordCamp Portland a few weeks back, and I’m excited to have him speaking at WordCamp Vegas!

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you use WordPress:
I started creating static HTML websites back in 1996 and slowly graduated up to PHP and MySQL sites over the years as the internet evolved. Back in the day I built fully customized PHP content management systems for wide range of clients, from mom and pop shops to large international corporations. In the early 2000s I tentatively put a client who needed some pages and a newsletter on WordPress instead of building my own solution. Since then WordPress has only continued to mature and for the past several years I have almost exclusively used WordPress for all my client site. I am currently working at the premier WordPress shop in Seattle, freshmuse, where I am head of development and have the pleasure of overseeing great projects with a great team.

What will you be speaking about?
Interacting with external APIs to bring together resources far beyond what is normally possible is the wave of the future. In my talk I will show developers how to tap into several powerful libraries that already exist inside WordPress for interacting with external sources.

Who is your target audience?
Developers, developers, developers, and anyone interested in learning some WordPress internals. This talk will be technical and for those of you with a weaker constitution I warn you ahead of time that some code will be shown on slides.

What do you hope the WordCampers will get out of your session?
A greater respect for the existing WordPress libraries and a thirst to seek out and implement new libraries in the core wherever they may exist

What is your favorite WordPress Plugin?
I do not know that I have a particular favorite. I know that I install WP Slimstat on nearly ever client site thought. I am currently tickled with the Ship’s Log plugin (that I am developing ). It will keep track of vital stats surrounding all the boats you own, as well as provide a log entry form to track every voyage.

Do you have a WP hero?
There is no single hero that I have in the WordPress world. Anyone who freely gives of their extra time to contribute to WordPress, be it through plugins, documentation, core update, whatever, is a hero in my eyes.

Do you have a “Stays in Vegas” story to tell?
Honestly, this is my first time in Vegas! Ask me again after the WordCamp 😛

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