Categories
About Aaron Uncategorized WordPress

Fall Conferences – PHP Madison and WordCamp NYC

Today I get to announce two conferences that I’m speaking at this fall. The first is here in NYC and is the 2015 WordCamp NYC.  I’ll be giving a talk entitled:
Lessons from Science Fiction and Fantasy we can use in Creating Websites.  Here is a short synopsis.

Science Fiction and Fantasy can teach web creators many valuable lessons. From seeing how Daleks with too narrow of a goal always fail to understanding the Klingons value of honor, to hundreds of other we can become better web creators by borrowing lessons from Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Next, I’ll be traveling to Madison, Wisconsin for the first time in almost 10 years to present “How Not To Build A WordPress Plugin” at Madison PHP.  A short synopsis of this talk is

WordPress has a powerful plugin architecture that enables you to build almost anything on top of WordPress. This power though can lead to anti-patterns that slow down sites, confuse users, and make it hard to scale. Let’s look at the wrong way of building plugins so you can avoid these traps.

Tickets for both events are on sale.  If you are either one, make sure to say hi!

Categories
About Aaron Uncategorized

Thirty Two

For the fifth time, I’m an integer power of 2. I don’t remember much (or anything) from when I was 2, but I’m sure I was excited to play with trains. I also don’t have many memories of being 4, but I know I attended the Niles Park District pre-school and owned pretty awesome linen suit. When I was 8 I was excited to fall asleep with my clock radio listening to the White Sox games. I also started the 3rd grade, my last year at Stevenson Elementary. At 16 I started working as a lifeguard. That summer I went to my first outdoor concert and got my driver’s license. It was the first summer where I regularly stayed out late and was also the age I first heard about Northern Michigan University. Power of 2 years have been pretty good.

31 was also a good year. It was the year I moved in with my love, the year I spoke overseas for the first time, and the year I was trusted with commit to WordPress core. On both personal and professional levels, 31 has been a good year.

32 is shaping up to be another good year. Professionally, I’m going to be giving the keynote at WordCamp Philly (and speaking at some other exciting places to be announced), and will be working on some exciting things. Personally I’m excited for all the travel I have planned and to spend my first summer as a Jersey resident heading down to the shore.

This is going to be my last power of two birthday for a while which makes me wonder what things will be like when I’m 64.

Categories
About Aaron Uncategorized

I’m a gif star

My buddy Rami created the above gif featuring me. I can now check gif star off on my bucket list. Thanks Rami!

Categories
About Aaron Uncategorized WordPress

Five Years of Contributing to WordPress Core

Five years ago today, my first patch was accepted to WordPress core. Oh how the time has flown.

This last year has been one of my most exciting years as a part of the WordPress contributor community. At the end of September, I was given commit access to WordPress Core. I was excited to join a group that includes some of the smartest people I know, while also being terrified at the responsibility being handed to me. It’s been fun so far.

One of the coolest things in WordPress core that I worked on this year is the “Log Out of Other Sessions” button on the bottom of users profile screens. This seems like a simple button, but adding this iteration (which was a part of the 4.1 release) was the result of live user testing I organized as a part WordCamp San Francisco 2014.

In celebration, I made two commits to core today. One of them was to start user testing WordPress with PHP 7. I’m excited to see how we perform vs. the nightly builds there. The other introduced a new version of grunt-patch-wordpress which is one of my favorite parts of WordPress that I’ve been able to spearhead.

I’m lucky to share my committiversary with my partner who got her first props one year ago. I’m even more lucky that WordPress helped me meet her.

Five years of contributing is a long time. I’m especially happy that five years in, I’m more excited than ever to help build the software that powers so much of the web. Here is to another five years!

Categories
About Aaron Uncategorized WordPress

PHP UK – Here I come!

In just about two months, I’ll be making my international speaking debut when I present “Modernizing the WordPress Toolbox” at the 10th Annual PHP UK conference in London.

I’ll be talking about how updated we have updated the WordPress toolbox and build process from what would be considered antique at best.  I’ll also talk a bit about where it’s going to go and how our philosophies align with our tools.

This will be my first time speaking at a PHP specific conference and my first time speaking outside the USA.  I’m excited.

Categories
About Aaron Uncategorized

One Year Ago Today I got on a train

I ran around in a blur most of December 5, 2014 finishing packing, shipping boxes and cleaning my home for three years.  It took longer then I expected (though I remember to this day having great customer from USPS) to finish all my tasks and as I sat in my Uber on my way to Union Station, I knew there was no way that I would make my train. The next train would mean sitting for two hours in Union Station.  I texted two friends who jumped at the chance to have one last beer.   At 7:50 I boarded the train and said good bye to Washington, DC.

One year later and I’m loving NYC.  Nine days after moving here I went on my first date with an amazing lady who is now the love of my life. One month later I found an apartment where I can step outside and see the freedom narwhal. I’ve been to Yankee Stadium, Grand Central Station and seen Amateur Night at the Apollo.  I ate Corn beef at Carnegie Deli and Disco Fries in Jersey.  Between museums and theatre, I’m never at a loss for culture.

I’m loving this concrete jungle where dreams are made up.  One year in and I can’t wait for the next year to start.

Categories
About Aaron Uncategorized

Video Captioning

I’ve given a couple of talks this year that I’m hesitant to promote since they don’t have captions.  After a lot of thought, I’ve realized that the likelihood of me doing the captioning is low (low, low, low, low, low) so it makes sense to hire someone.  Anyone have experience hiring a captioner or a recommendation for one?

The three videos are a total of about 90 minutes and are my three most recent videos on WordPress.tv.

Categories
About Aaron Uncategorized

Bloggings effect on my site traffic

Last week I was at WordCamp San Francisco and the accompanying community summit and team work days. Despite my constant focus on WordPress, I didn’t publish anything here. In the week leading up to WordCamp, I published six blog posts about a large variety of areas from a technical tip to a book recommendation. The effect on my site’s traffic was obvious.

In raw numbers, I saw a drop in close to 50%. I think I learned an important SEO tip: Publishing content increases visitors.

Categories
About Aaron Uncategorized

Take off and Landing

The first time I flew was when I was five years old and I went to Florida with my mom and brother to visit my great-grandparents. I ended up with an ear infection on that trip and decided that I was never going to fly again.  Fast forward 26 years and I’ve taken double digit flights each of the last 5 years.  I haven’t had any ear infections from these flights.

Taking off and landing is now my favorite part of the flight.  There is something magical about a 200,000+ pound machine going from grounded to flying and back again.  I took a video of both the take off and the landing on today’s flight west.

It was my first time using Hyperlapse and the UI was super simple. If you want to make time lapses on your phone, I recommend checking it out.

Categories
About Aaron Uncategorized

Hello iPhone 6

On a winter night in late 2011 I picked up a zipcar and drove to Best Buy to take the Android plunge, picking up the Galaxy Nexus. It was the first time I had a top of the line smartphone.  For the previous few weeks, I was using an old iPhone 3g a coworker had given me.  And for the last almost three years I’ve loved my Galaxy Nexus.  But my phone was showing it’s age.  For the last few weeks it’s been held together by duct tape (pink zebra stripe) and had started to random power cycle.  It was time for an upgrade.

Two things really sealed the decision to switch to the iPhone 6 for me.

  1. Size. All of the top of the line Androids are way too big. The iPhone 6 is virtually the same size as the Galaxy Nexus.
  2. TouchID.  After seeing multiple people use this (and rave about it), I really felt that it would make my use of a phone simpler.

The hardest part was porting over all my two factor authentication accounts.  The second hardest is now needing to find new apps for just about everything.  If you are a current iPhone user, what’s the one app you recommend I check out?