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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