WordCamp Chicago 2013 Speaker Interview: Jeremy Felt

Jeremy FeltJeremy Felt – WordPress icon designed by Dan Leech twitter icon designed by Dan Leech facebook icon designed by Dan Leech LinkedIn icon designed by Dan Leech Google+ icon designed by Dan Leech

As Director of Web Engineering at 10up, Jeremy works every day with an amazingly talented team to create, deploy, and sustain some of the biggest WordPress sites on the web. He has been creating things on the Internet for well over 15 years and has constantly strove for better ways to publish and maintain user generated content. A native to the Chicagoland area, Jeremy now lives on the west coast in sunny Portland.

He will be presenting “Hi WordPress, Meet Vagrant” on Sunday.

Interview with Jeremy:

Why do you use WordPress?
I really buy into the principle that content creators should own their data. From my perspective, WordPress is the most approachable, extendable, and reliable way to accomplish this. On top of that, the community around WordPress is second to none. It really is a great example of what many people can do with open source software.

What do you like best about WordCamps?
Coming out from behind the Twitter handles and Web URLs to meet members of the community face to face.

What is your favorite tip or resource for a new WordPress user?
Look for a WordPress meetup and get involved with the local community. Having people to talk to about WordPress will advance the learning curve quickly.

How do you stay up to date with new information about WordPress?
I keep an eye on #wordpress-dev throughout the day and try not to miss any big blocks of time. When I see a ticket that interests me, I’ll bookmark it to check back in later. Our #team10up room will often fill in the blanks with anything WordPress related if it was exciting. And of course the WordPress crowd on Twitter does a great job of spreading the word.

Share an example of a really great (creative, cool, unusual) use of WordPress you’ve seen recently.
I’m a bit biased as we build creative, cool, and unusual uses of WordPress every day at 10up. Global News (http://globalnews.ca/) is one of the more recent 10up projects that really blew me away. The management of regionalized content and the various tools in place to break news are amazing behind the scenes. I’m also a big fan of Quartz (http://qz.com). A lot of interesting things were done with the interface and the mobile experience keeps me coming back more often than usual to look for new content.

Do you have any advice for a person who’s building a business around WordPress design/development?
Be involved with the community. If you’re siloed off by yourself, you’ll miss an extremely important perspective when building things with WordPress.