Speaker Spotlight: Brandon Dove

Brandon is half of the dynamic duo that make up Pixel Jar, a WordPress development team based out of Orange County, CA. They are some of my closest friends in the WP community and I’m thrilled to have at least one of them on stage. Even if the other is boycotting WCLV. But that’s another story all together.

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you use WordPress
Hi! I’m Brandon and I’m a WordPress-aholic. I own more WordPress related t-shirts than I’m comfortable admitting to. I eat, sleep and breathe WordPress. I’m a WordPress developer & core contributor. I mainly build plugins for WordPress, but I’ve been known to kick out a theme when the need arises. I don’t even see the code anymore, I just see sidebars, nav menus, widgets…but I digress.

What will you be speaking about?
I will be challenging the misconception that “WordPress is easy to use.” I plan to highlight pitfalls that the uninitiated WordPress user will often fall into. I will instill confidence and breed a spirit of adventure – one that is so common in our community – in those who choose to attend my talk. When you leave, you will have a solid understanding of what WordPress can do (hint: N-E-Thang), and why the masses flock to it as their CMS of choice.

Who is your target audience?
The totally uninitiated. If you just set up your first blog or someone just told you – to your dismay – that you’ll now be managing the company’s web site and you’ve never touched WordPress before, this is definitely the session for you.

What do you hope the WordCampers will get out of your session?
You’re not alone. I can guarantee you that there is someone out there who has the “deer in headlights” look just like you do. I think the WordPress community helps bring a little warmth and humanity to the bits and bytes of the Internet. I hope that folks who attend my session will leave with the confidence to navigate their way around the WordPress dashboard as well as a basic understanding about the WordPress project and why it’s awesome.

What is your favorite WordPress Plugin?
WordPress SEO. I’ve seen my clients web sites gain visibility faster, when utilizing this plugin effectively, than any other plugin out there. Yoast, the plugin’s author, constantly updates the plugin with the latest search engine optimization techniques. It’s like having an SEO expert in your back pocket.

Do you have a WP hero?
I have many. There are some amazing folks in the WordPress community. If I were to point to one person that I look up to most it would be Mark Jaquith. For a long time, he was just a famous name to me. Unseen, unheard, untouchable. At WordCamp NYC 2009, I had a question about something that came up in a presentation and saw that he was sitting across the row from me. I leaned over after the session and asked him my question. He stopped what he was working on to have a conversation with me about my question. The following day, he ripped a plugin I had built a new one on stage in front of hundreds of people. He might be a nice guy, but he keeps it real. That moment was a turning point in my WordPress career. It cemented in my mind the responsibility I accept as a WordPress plugin developer.

Do you have a “Stays in Vegas” story to tell?
Yes, many of them. Unfortunately the Internet is not located solely in Vegas so I can’t put them in print here. Find me at the after party and I’ll tell them all to you…especially the ones about John Hawkins.

Tell your favorite WordCamp story!
See previous answer…

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One Response to Speaker Spotlight: Brandon Dove

  1. I’ve been around WordPress for a few years – web dev for over 10 – and STILL I would go to this session. Too often Intro to WP presentations are lead by the he (or she) with about two days more knowledge than the noobs in the audience. Not the case here. If you’ve used WordPress, you’ve probably at some point used code that Brandon submitted to core. Get there early, this session will fill up.