Drupal 9 Contrib Module Readiness Report from April 2020

If you have been reading my updates, then you already saw that I was rerunning my experiment from 2019, checking all the contrib modules for Drupal 9 readiness. Except this time, I was using upgrade_status, which also takes into account several things drupal-check does not.

The numbers…

Without further ado, here are the results I am seeing:

Chart showing:
total modules checked	6353
Total 'd9 ready' D8 modules that just need info.yml updated	2498a
D9 ready = 39.32%
 1 error =	15.11%
 2 errors =	7.02%
 3 errors =	4.39%
 4 errors =	3.07%
 5 errors =	2.57%
 6 errors =	2.16%
 7 errors =	1.18%
 8 errors =	1.21%
 9+ errors =	8.36%
Other issues	15.61%

6353 total modules checked.
2498 total ‘d9 ready’ modules

The percentage breakdowns:
39.32% = D9 ready*
15.11% = 1 error
7.02% = 2 errors
4.39% = 3 errors
3.07% = 4 errors
2.57% = 5 errors
2.16% = 6 errors
1.18% = 7 errors
1.21% = 8 errors
8.36% = 9+ errors
15.61% = Other issues

You can read all the results I parsed in this Google Drive spreadsheet.

*= still need to update the info.yml to say d9 ready

I based all these numbers of appearances of keywords and phrases found within Drupal API Deprecation documentation and deprecations of twig files, composer files, Drupal libraries found within upgrade_status.

The tooling and the XML documents I used to accomplish all of this can be found on the Gitlab project page.

I based almost everything on grep and other built in Bash tools, so you should be able to replicate anything I did on a mac or linux box. I used Ubuntu 19.10 for all this.

What do you mean by ‘error’?

Let me state, in an effort to be clear, when I am using the term error, it is not that the code is not correct to have a successful site, it is a keyword I `greped` from the tooling’s reports.

As was pointed out to me in Drupal chat there exists many an error that is needed for supporting Drupal 8.7. I realize it is not fair to call good code ‘full of errors’ but I am at a loss of how else to phrase it.

And I completely recognize that not all error are the same. Some of these are readily fixable with a line replacement. Some are going to be hard to deal with. We will figure it out, I believe.

Didn’t check the dev branch

I think some of these issues are probably (hopefully) fixed in a dev branch somewhere or just not released yet. I wanted to simulate what someone would pull off the shelf with a ‘standard’ install and whatever composer default grabbed.

Side note: Composer, while I am on the subject, is the slowest part of this whole experiment. The reporting tooling I built ran a loop of about 800 keywords against 6300+ modules in 8 hours total. To produce the XML reports for 100 of those modules tool, on average, of 90 minutes. This was mostly due to needing to uninstall and composer remove the modules to not break the running site install. Without the help of Arrow a.k.a Aaron Feledy and ccjjmartin a.k.a Christopher Martin I would not likely have finished before mid April.

Given that there are errors that can’t be addressed in the main release yet, I am confident that the Drupal community is going to deliver and this is going to be a smooth transition in the long run.

Historical context

I said about a year ago “About 43.7% of all projects I analyzed have “No error”. That was what I said confidently the first time out. I said a lot of things back then and I said it when someone was financially backing me doing this. This time around I am doing it while working for myself. But enough digression.

Here is how the numbers stack up:

Keyword	2019	2020
deprecate	2941	2383
deprecated-class	272	547
deprecated-constant	1561	341
depricated-trait	186	0
does-not-exist	272	0
drupal_set_message	1692	1058
entity_get_display	93	73
entity_get_form_display	106	77
entity_view	22	12
Fatal-error	179	5
no-error	3004	0
not-found-and-could-not-be-autoloaded	93	138

If you click on that linked image it takes you to the Google report sheet again. The project from last year is located here.

That ‘biggest offender’ from last year wasdrupal_set_message() use has dropped from 1692 modules using it down to 1058 today. This is the trend we all love to see. .

On the surface it would be easy to say ‘well, our Drupal 9 readiness went down.”, but Let’s face it, D9 is a moving target with so many deprecations added over each 6 month release cycle. Also, I think this is due to better methodology and tooling from last time as well. ‘Upgrade_status’ simply reports more and all the test this time around were performed against running Drupal installs, which was made easier by the the magical Drupal 8 Quick Start Command.

Let’s not brush past the Drupal 8.8.x issue. If you look at the Deprecation API page and look at 8.7 vs 8.8, there are simply 150 more deprecations since last time I ran the report. Each module that contains one of the deprecations that explicitly calls out Drupal 9 is listed on this tab of the Google sheet.

Now is the time! Let’s make it happen.

In an ideal world, we would have no issues at all and we would be ready now. In our real, messy world,we are not in that bad of shape. We don’t have to roll out D9 on June 3rd if we don’t want. We are not another CMS that talks about forced updates. We are Free (as in Freedom) Open Source and the price we pay for that is we have to make it happen. Let’s do this!

The tooling has never been better and the fixes, while many, are mostly fixable with a find/replace and some testing. The #d9readiness channel awaits you on Drupal slack where you can ask any and all questions. It is full of awesome people, like Gábor Hojtsy, who I can not thank enough for asking me about all this and getting me excited about the D9 readiness for the first time in a little while.

Let’s build something beautiful together!

Please direct all conversation to me via either Drupal Slack (mcdwayne) or Twitter, as comments are not reliable at the moment.

That time I checked all the Drupal modules for Drupal 9 readiness, I mean again

On a recent Thursday afternoon, Gabor asked if I was going to pick back up on me efforts of checking Drupal 9 module readiness. That got me a mention in the Driesnote last year and to be honest is my favorite claim to fame in any project. I had not thought about reviving it though. I mean people are tracking this stuff I assumed, but independent validation of notions is a really good thing to have. So, I said to myself, “that would be a good idea.”

Gabor, if you don’t know, has been diligently working on getting us all ready for that June 3rd launch date of the next major version of Drupal 9, which has a lot of anticipation around it. It will be the first major release to not require a rebuild for site owners, just an update. I think that is pretty awesome given the technical sophistication that is Drupal at this time in history. He has been the driving contributor for the upgrade_status module development. TL;DR, this module lets you know what to fix in your modules to be D9 ready!

Basically, the idea is to run this checking tool against all the modules that I can install with the command line (more on that later) and spit out consumable reports we can do analysis on.

So, I did what anyone about to embark on a quest for computer science knowledge would do, I did a fresh install of Ubuntu and started setting up my environment to make Drupal work. Why a fresh install? When was the last time you installed a minimal operating system and just pulled down only what you needed from the interwebs, as you need it? So snappy, so clean. If you have not taken Ubuntu 19 out for a spin, well, you are missing out on a great OS experience. Also, doing as much tinkering and sampling as I do of various repos and settings, a fresh Ubuntu install would make it easier to debug, and boy howdy did I need to debug as I went.

Getting Drupal working was super fast and easy because I had the perfect pairing of tools to get me going: Composer and the, completely new and amazing to me, Drupal 8 Quick Start Command . Literally 5 minutes from the time I installed Composer, I had a working copy of Drupal 8.8.5 installed and running. This is a demo setup but you can get to hacking on it immediately. Served my purposes as I ran it more or less nonstop for a few days and it didn’t fall over on its own, though you can push it over with a wrong move or two.

A quick note about Drupal always assuming you want to immediately pop it into production. I get it, this saves a lot of devops hassles to make the options assume you don’t want people messing with things, but we are on a local box explicitly messing with things, so we need to run chmod u+w web/sites/default in order to give the files permission to actually let us Composer install stuff.

One of the very, very recent updates (as in hours before I agreed to do this) Gabor has been working on and what he asked me to investigate was the modification of the Drush command upgrade_status:analyze to the command upgrade_status:checkstyle. It runs the same check, just outputs the results to XML format. So I needed Drush and Composer let me require drush/drush which gets me Drush 10 automagically. If you have not seen the generate feature of it yet, here is a video I did about it in Drush 9, not much has changed.

The script itself is pretty short and simple without all my inline commenting, basically
1) load in a CSV of module names,
2) loop through it, composer require modules one at a time,
3) runupgrade_status:checkstyle and redirect the output into a file with the module name and
4) uninstall the module before beginning the loop again.
When I did the ‘check all’ project last time, I used “drupal-check”, a PHPStan based project for static code analysis. I didn’t need a working install, just a code repo. Using a running Drupal site makes things a little stranger.

Before, I was able to leverage Git to just flip between branches as I went, configuration was not part of the mix. Also upgrade_status needs the module to be enabled. Drush lets me do those things easily. git reset --hard should have let me just flush all the code changes, but something interesting happened, and I think it was due in part to Drupal caching, the code stayed put. At least parts of it. I eventually went so far as to composer remove each module, then rm -rf each module folder. Seems like overkill but it worked.

It take approx 45 seconds per cycle, but it worked. 45 seconds x ~6000 modules = 75 hours of script run time to do them all. So naturally I reached out for help to the internet for help scaling the process. Very fortunate for me Arrow a.k.a Aaron Feledy, master of all things Lando and ccjjmartin a.k.a Christopher Martin immediately jumped on board this train.

Aaron built the awesomeness that is the Lando recipe for this setup, which you can find in the repo. Chris dedicated some time and machine resources to make multiple Lando instances run as well as made tweaks and suggestions to everything along the way. This would have taken me a full week of futzing with things on a single, underpowered laptop. Instead I got to hang out with some amazing Drupal folks for a couple days online and produce the final results.

And the results are….not finished running as of the time of this writing. About another 2000 or so modules to check, but soon this will be public. I just wanted to write this up while it was fresh in my brain. I love me some Bash and Drupal. I am so lucky to have found this community. Looking forward to a grand future with Drupal 9.

If you want to run this yourself or just see what we are working with, check it here: https://github.com/mcdwayne/d9-upgrade_status-project

HighEdWeb 2019: Milwaukee in the fall is cold but we didn’t have that far to walk

On a train is how I arrived to ‘Cream City’ from Chicago, my near future home as of when I am writing this. I was in the windy city acquiring an apartment for the upcoming year as I move some things around in my life and it seemed really silly to fly between the cities when you can drive in less than 2 hours. It turns out you can take a train for $25.00 each way and it has free wifi good enough to read news and check email. This was the first time I had returned to ‘Brew City’, home of The Bronze Fonz was way back before this blog was a thing for WordCamp Milwaukee 2016. I forgot all about it until I got here and no old post to remind me how good it was in so many ways. I was excited for a few reasons but the biggest was this was my last scheduled talk and workshop for the whole year, which I was giving at HighEd Web 2019

Food and Fun

Before I dig into the day by day play by play, I need to tell you about the Polka Button. Yes, you read that right, a Push To Play Polka button. It does exactly what it says too. You push it, an announcer says what band and song and it plays that good time feeling music for all ages to dance to for a few minutes.


I arrived a day early and not much was going on for event stuff but there seemed to be a natural gathering of folks at Miller Time Pub and Grill. I made my way there and immediately saw a few people I knew and raised a glass with them. It was also good to meet a few new people as well. I returned to this place a few other times, but this will be it’s only linked inclusion for the post.


A late start to the day meant the day started with lunch. And what a lunchroom it was. The speakers and workshop attendees gathered in the Crystal Ballroom at the official convention Hotel, the Hilton, for a buffet of salad, soup and potato.

As the day ended with the Orientation, which I will discuss later under Sessions, we walked over to the “Welcome Reception” at the Milwaukee Public Market. This is a grand space with many vendors. It feels like someone went to Pike’s Place market in Seattle and rebuilt just the good parts in Wisconsin. I had too many different awesome things to name them all, but will cite the vegan ice cream from On The Bus as outstanding.


Unlike any other conference I have been to in my travels, this one offered a formal “let’s all sit down together” kind of breakfast experience. I had coupons all week for a special dietary meal which fed me tofu scrambles and many other delectable things. Meanwhile, others ate a lot of bacon. This conference is known for this apparently. The quality of the coffee was pretty good, so much so that I never even bothered to look at the tea selection too closely.

While I was surprised at the breakfast it did set expectations high for lunch and I have to say they delivered on it very well. Same as the breakfast, I presented my ticket and they brought me a soyrizo stuffed pepper that was mighty tasty.

One more time we gathered at Miller Time for an end of day relaxation drink and social hour.

And then we went to the unofficial party at Up-Down MKE, an arcade bar stuffed with well maintained classics, modern awesomeness and some rarities I have never seen in person ever before. The one that sticks out the most is a rare box called ‘Ice Cold Beer’. Giant Jenga and some other non-video cabinet games were around as well. A very good night overall.


Breakfast was as good on the second day as it was the first with another tofu scramble thing. Coffee was on par too. Lunch was a repeat mostly but with a pastry replacing the pepper. I like the idea of all eating together in one room and then having the next part of the day be in the same large room, as they did here if you look at the schedule. It feels efficient and keeps the whole conference going as one unit.

The big after party for the event, which they call the BIG SOCIAL EVENT took place at the Milwaukee Art Museum, one of the finest collections of modern art and most striking buildings on the planet. We were given free access to the exhibits and we had some light snacks, beer and wine. There was even a fireworks show for the event!

At the BIG SOCIAL EVENT, they had live band karaoke! They hired a band called “Live Band Karaoke Milwaukee” to do it. Everyone had an amazing time but we were not done singing for the night.

Karaoke Plane

Now, I have heard of this before and was supposed to crash it last year in Sacramento, but got sick and couldn’t make it over there from SF. This year I was the first singer singed up as people just started arriving and it was amazing! I wish every event I went to had this kind of group singing tradition. We gathered at the really cool spot Tavern at Turner Hall, which was super comfy and cozy but very large and accommodating at the time time. A remarkable time that ended only when the venue finally forced everyone out with the flood lights that bars use to shoo patrons.


Breakfast and coffee were repeats, but boy howdy was it great. At the end of breakfast they announced the Red Stapler Award winners who would have to give their talk again this day. This is a mixed thing. It is great to be honored for an award, but having to repeat a session when you are exhausted is just a chore. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I did not get one of these awards. It was right before the keynote, after the session has been represented, that they gave the actual Red Staplers out. Lunch followed and that ended the day and the event for me.



There was a very friendly and welcoming orientation session where I learned about half the people attending were also first timers. I wish more events had these type of welcoming sessions. It really made me feel more connected and less like an outsider as this was my first HighEd Web as well.

Escaping the Data Doldrums: Transforming basic analytics into holistic data-driven decision-making
Sean Flynn

This was a very no-nonsense talk about collecting real data into reports for deciding on actions. Sean laid out very succinctly what tools he uses and why. Striving for automation is great, but striving for automation of meaningful reporting is the best. He also addressed SMART goals, like a few others did as well, which I love and think we should talk about even more. The second half of the talk, about how to wisely use the data is the real star of the talk though. Just having data means nothing if you can’t connect it with how people receive data and act on it. He ended on an XKCD joke, so this talk got my highest praise in my evaluation.

Raw Notes:
not about coding today
What covered
building foundation-ally sound analytics Building Data infused decisoin making culture
data can’t tell you what you strategy should be
without data we are working in the dark,
we should drive the process
Lot of unreacted data today
data sources
GA/Tag manager
Salesforce Marketing Cloud
Social Media Sources
G/A Basic web analytics
event tracking via GTM
ecommerce tracking for a giving site
Twitter Analytics
export data button to get a CSV
FB has data export function as well, but exports excel, not CSV
Automated Instagram reporting
they ended up running the school’s LinkedIn account
turned out LinkedIn is most engaged audience
Salesforce marketing Cloud
emails – sends deliveries, etc
does require some manual, not 100%
URL builder
UTM tagging – without this working, not as useful data
dev team built a UTM building tool, made it way easier to track links once made easy
they started in hand typed Adobe inDesign docs
weekend to build it
no automation of daily entry, no auto comparisons
hard to read and no real insights exposed easily
Meet Google data studio
Rapid visualization and reporting
eam based permissions
easy rapid visualization
examples of output
Social summary gives very clear view of which platform most engaged, LI
tracking texts vs calls
Data cleaning is the most important and most time consuming step manually
pt. 2
Building a Data Infused Culture
culture change is hard and frustrating
Basic analytics flow
In reality
stale comms strategy
frustrated audience
never ending meaningless reporting-> frustration
what is missing?
institutional support, stakeholder buy in
data infused decision making
this is the feedback that improves and closes that loop frustration turns to improvements
but how did they get there?
Slow uphill climb, no easy answers

  1. analytics subject matter expert (SME)
  2. build rapport with colleagues, TRUST builds everything
  3. aim for small victories early, then build on them – small stuff builds trust
  4. set SMART Goals
    becoming the SME
    immerse yourself in data
    admit when you don’t know things
    prize credibility above all – if you’re not sure say so. if you need more time to give good answer, say so
    saying you don’t know, when you don’t know, builds trust
    Build rapport
    seek first to understand, then to be understood
    You need to know both analytics and your colleagues missions and priorities
    Get people on your side informally reaching out to friendly colleagues
    sit in on meetings, the more you know the better
    Aim for small victories
    in early days especially: limit scopes of your projects
    clearly define scope and terms of success/failure
    A/B testing small web design changes (use Google Optimize)
    story of breaking button on mobile, hurt donations
    find easy visible wins that don’t break things
    build on small tings
    SMART goals
    email example
    email is primary communication tool
    they wrote a LOT more email than they thought they did
    only started tracking
    most people about 127 times
    179 most
    just from advancement.
    raised 4.7 million through online giving, email solicitation
    if increase overall click rate
    not an easy sell not achievable
    data suggested sending less emails
    can’t just cut emails in half
    seems right but not a SMART goal now
    combine emails
    consider alternative channels
    aggressively segment emails based not just on affinities, but on previous response to emails and drop highly responsive and non-responsive alumni
    example homecoming emails
    Pitfalls to avoid:
    Discovering huge issues and being overwhelmed and taking on too much
    suppress the urge to shout your discoveries from the mountaintop, be methodical
    You’ll know your data better in a year than you will in those first few months, even better after 2 years
    Change takes a long time and dedicated effort
    XKCD tornado app example

From Colleagues to Collaborators: How Building Relationships Can Pave the Way for Sustainable Change
Marissa Gentling

At the heart of her talk, full of examples of her methodologies in action, she breaks down 4 types of stakeholder and client. I have not hear of these 4 groups before, but it makes a lot of sense. The groups are The Enthusiast, The Investigator, The Loyalists (aka The Confused), and The Challengers. Her slides are a better resource for this than my scant few notes but I would love to dive into this theory more.

Raw Notes:
400 hours of video uploaded to FB every minute
1/3 people use FB
Credibility of trust
trust turns colleagues into collaborators
Mayo School of Medicine
10,000 applicants – only 250+ students in program
120 programs in allied health science training programs
school fo continuous professional development
4,000+ in school
97 countries
all 50 states
new site
old one: little to no images
text is generic and not conversational
duplicate content
lacks visual appeal
new one:
we work with you
new documentary style hero images
text is conversational
CTA buttons
Consolidates pages to eliminate duplication
have you ever heard: ‘Just put this on the web’
it does not work with the site
She had a request who explained down to her how web worked
read between the lines
understand the needs of and goals of both internal and external customers
start with what is important
Who are customers
colleagues goals
anyone using the site
target audience
why web governance
hands in different directions square vs circle
same directions easy
Franchise meets mom n pop
franchises are all about trust, same experience no matter who runs it
web services ‘mcdonaldized’ standardized services and templates
‘mom-n-popinized’ the delivery
so what now
some people don’t care or just lack understanding
some people work just different
basic principles of change management
make connections/build relationships
use evidence and data to support recommendations
people don;t buy what you do, they buy why you do it
start with why they should do or want something
trust brings change
bust how to build trust if time is limited or scarce resource?
and what about the skeptics?
Kendall Lee example
her customer
another one made first successful face transplant
types of customers
the enthusiast – dive into research to show how things improved
Investigator – questions validity
Loyalists (aka confused)
How to know?
see her slides for example emails from each
which one are you?
learn how you: absorb info, make decisions, give feedback and receive it
Establish Credibility
provide evidence be authentic
be human
Share the what
Share the processes and policies establishes for the website
with Leadership
internal intranet site
lunch and learns (buy it and they will come)
one-on-one consults
want it right the first time, easier once they know
be open to new idea
nothing is permanent

Once Upon A Time, I Wrote My First Hello World
Elyssa Naval

As someone who does not read session descriptions too closely ever, I really thought this was going to be a talk about her life journey to being a web developer. It kinda was, but in all reality it was a talk about cognitive bias and how to deal with it. Many a good take away from the talk but the one that distracted me while she was talking was her talking about Userinyerface.com which you should open in a new tab, otherwise you might not remember to come read the rest of this.

Raw Notes:
last year at California State Railroad Museum
Found a wall full of index cards with questions
she wrote down she wanted to be a SME on web design
working towards that goal
Curse of Knowledge
cognitive bias assumes they know same background knowledge
learning to cook with her dad
knife skills
Dad just tried to say ‘just to taste’
not great way to learn
Can you guess the song? (exercise with drumsticks)
Tapper and Listener study
1990 study listeners on;y guessed on;y 2.5% of songs
3 out of 120
before the guesses, expected 50%
real was 1 in 40
hearing the music in your head
words and phrases particular group
hard to learn because you don’t know the background info
sister wanted to “Buy a developer”
she was talking about beauty supply
project needs and requirements get messed up due to project vocabularies misaligned
importance of MVP and feedback project
swing analogy
donut analogy
analogies work because they use things we know
Empathy Gaps
Are we really designing for the users
client vs user view
Option A Option B “click the red button”
aditus.io button contrast checker
Developer Tea podcast
Learning is the core activity of a developer
no perfect roadmap but there are a few good Web Developer Roadmap out there
be proud of your skills
think about what you have learned
hello world

Get. Stuff. Done.
Day Kibilds

This talk was all about optimizing how you do some of the basic things in office life, like keep notes in a sane fashion and how to actually, without as much pain as it sounds, schedule meetings with any number of people. This one also won a Re Stapler and was repeated and both times there was a packed house. I personally think the Super Mario Bros. 3 theme throughout her deck had something to do with that, because come on, that is like one of the best games of all time. Lots and lots of little nuggets in this one to implement right away no matter where you work or what you do.

Raw Notes:
jack of all trades
learned to do the mundane stuff
emails people will read, taking notes, around the cool work that we do
stuff that sends us to happy hour
Not a PM talk,
pile of docs for admission example
instead of dealing with lists of things and bad search
using a wiki
search-able, tag-able, browsible, mobile
vertically and tagging across
click on tags to learn more
downloads docs and forms
when you set up a wiki, set it up with growth in mind
version nightmares
naming hell
use the cloud, one location, versions saved, can access control
sharepoint file
Date format YYYYMMDD
no letters for months in file names
pick your battles
scheduling meetings
scheduling flowchart
(find it online)
never ask ‘what works best for you’
give two options and only 2
notes shared documents
team meetings and agenda and notes
Use shared docs to take important meeting notes
action items
names first, change color
if people are not reading what you write, it is 100% your fault
should this be a meeting or trainings?
use bold and white space
large, color, whitespace!
Stop being polite
be polite at top and bottom, rest of email is
Fact, Fact, Action, Action, Fact
write like you speak
if only 2 seconds, remember what you want them to see or do
Manage your projects

Herding a clowder of cats: how Mizzou cost-effectively migrated hundreds of websites
Paul Gilzow
Royall Spence
John Boyer

I have known Paul for a while and he was the one that encouraged me the most to submit technical intro talks to HighEd Web in the first place. I have seen him give presentations before and I knew he was good. Seeing this presentation about his overarching work at Mizzou though put it all in a new light for me. He and his team are literally fighting uphill and performing tranformative miracles over there. For shear inspiration that with perseverance you can do anything, there are few better examples I can point you to than this session. Also there were the best cat gifs of the whole event in the slides. This talk won the Red Stapler for its track, so it is not just me bing nice here, this was outstanding.

Raw Notes:
set up standards but could not enforce them
not authority to
herding cats
difficult to support
Conflicts between Central IT, devs and Admins
not in sync
waiting for funding a lot to fix specific issue
from 13 to 2 CMS
dozens of ways to set up sites, many types of users
needed standards for Authentication
Flexibility – different stacks outside LAMP possible
more efficiency needed
few false starts
cultural challenge vs tech challenges
need better DevOps practices
integration hurdles
CMS strategy
domains and Apache debt
traditional ops services
Multisite – found more than anticipated – based on costs?
internally ‘tiger bucks’ interdepartmental charges accounting
Initial rollout
Drupal and WP upstreams
Upstream model
blueprint scaffolding for the deployment and automated tasks, like SSO
Shibboleth already set up
Dependency Management
just give up and use Composer
Initial Rollout – Alpha
dev education
Mental map changes
git adoption and workflow
Dependency management and composr work flow
no longer directly touch server code
Caching and HTTP request/response pattern
CLI overload
a lot of ways to do a lot of things
initial beta
local dev and HW challenges
standardized on Lando
think they ave moved 30% now of the total move
Workflow is stable
middleware built out as utilities
WP and D performance, way, way better 350% increase in WP performance
initial testing groundwork
standard local env
More auto testing
automated updates
how Platform.sh helped them
Standards based but there is no workflow imposed
carrot not a stick
have to do it the team’s way to get the benefit
faster in all ways
Flexibility to do what is needed
more efficient
multiple environments make it super fast to collaborate
backups are now consistent

Red Stapler Winner

Be the MVP of Managers
Joel Vertin

I missed this talk the first time around and was very glad this won a spot in the ‘Session Repeats by Red Stapler Winners’ which is a ‘best of show’ award where the session is performed one more time. Given that it is on the last day, after a few nights of revelry, and certainly after the most intense one, this is a mixed honor in my opinion. The talk was a mile a minute kind of great idea after great idea, butt it boils down to ‘be a good human and help others be good humans.’ This is one, that if the recording exists, should be sent to anyone with a manager or director title.

Raw Notes:
from UP of Michigan
right on the lake
Aiming this talk at team director and manager
wants to inspire to be better
Why be better?
HiPPO at every turn
Highly Paid Person Opinions
Giant piles of projects
short timelines
sleepless nights stress and anxiety
enrollment numbers craze
how do we survive?
We can change ourselves and how we manage our teams so we can survive
shine the light on the team it needs and deserves
Managerial skills
Emotional Intelligence
1 Leadership
what will you do for me as my manager – digital services staff member
Secret of success good leadership is about making the lives of your workers better
Get to know tour team as people
backgrounds and stories
personalities and preferences
Build compassion and care, empathy, respect, and trust.
be kind
Love is not a word you often hear uttered in office hallways or conference rooms. Yet hit has a strong influence on workplace outcomes
How do you show love?
Learn their stories
wine and dine them
hold regular 1:1s
make yourself available
tell them you love them
acknowledge their contributions
acknowledge who they love
be real with them
work your butt off for them
No right answer
different personalities
Open vs Private
Business v Personal
Shy vs outgoing
Isn’t this just being a human being?
yes. it is
Understanding motivation
different people have different motivations
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
physiological needs
comfortable working conditions, hours
Safety needs
Social needs – encourage cooperation, teamwork and social interactions
Esteem needs: offer praise, recognition
Self-actualize needs: empower, invite to participate in decision making
Achievement: Seek position advancement, feedback, sense of accomplishment
–missed it, 2 other points —
Cognitive model
equity and expectations
employees may adjust their inputs and outputs or become withdrawn if…
if they perceive unfairness
they do not believe their positive efforts will lead to valued rewards
they believe that inequities will go unpunished
goals can be very motivating
They direct attention
SMART goals
Job characteristic theory
1 skills variety
2 task identity – visible outcome exists
3 task significance – how much task affects life of others
4 Autonomy – how much freedom
5 Feedback – knowledge of results
in a perfect work, naturally all points met by job
Measuring the motivating factors
get to know 1L1
motivating survey – slides example – others online
Motivation strategy
individual and global level
Emotional Intelligence – EI
EU Ability Model
Empathy is the cornerstone of EI
putting yourself in their shoes
leads to stringer more meaningful relationships
success in the workplace
Personal styles
we all prefer to problem solve and communicate
Problem solving
Kolbe’s four Action Modes
1 fact finder – do the research before tackling the project
2 quick start – issues come to them, just want to do stuff
3 follow thru – previously established formula or example follower
4 Implementor – want to get hands dirty, innovate solutions by getting in there
Communication styles
1 in-person v electronic
2 Reactive v thoughtful
3 Space: Yours – Theirs – Neutral
our problem solving is part of our personality
that means there is no ‘right’ way
Practice makes better
improve if you can become self aware
trust and be kind
Create a system
monday.com as a PM software tool
groove for team messaging
Kanban cards – paper cards and physical card
stickers for finishing and nomination from peers
Structure with freedom
the more you can step away the better
look for cues from your team to help you understand where you are at
it’s about laying the groundwork for communication
with good structure, can really work well together
A few parting shots
Do team bonding,
they did a smelting tour
Share your strategy
Empower our teams
take the brunt of difficult clients
Value your people
Teach all this to your people
should make your team better
Graduate your employees, that is OK


It is not everyday that you get to see someone who has been on every talk show on the planet and who is such a widely read author. There was a buzz of excitement in the air as Erik took the stage and he followed through with an amazingly well thought through presentation that inspired and challenged the room to go out and focus on doing what you do well even better. I have not read his books before, but I now have one on deck in my Audible. He had an interactive part that asked for us to email him and he emailed me back. That is a classy move and will stick with me for a while as a great way to engage, really engage, with an audience.

Raw Notes:
video intro
digital leader – 2nd most likable author i the world
story about James Taylor on a plane
leadership – being human
digital leadership
voting with our thumbs
word of mouth is world of mouth
now everything has scale
Privacy is dead, lot of regulations
but no matter how you regulate it, genie out of the bottle
video showcases discomfort
Jeff Gordon in disguise pepsi ad
took them trying to 10 times to approval
a blogger called it fake
that is what happens when you pus yourself out there
Digital stamp – digital footprint + shadows
footprint is what we upload – some control on that
Shadow is what others post about us online
need to protect our digital stamp
how do I get more followers is the lead most people want to talk about
some things move slower than we anticipate
‘sprintz’ing books eyes don’t move you can read 500 – 1000 words a minute
how do we use this
behave like the Jetsons and Flintstones
refriger-dating – based on images from inside your fridge
what does it mean to be a
through coarse of conversation – figure out which one of these you are good at and go deep
Simplification, not about additive
it is not just another thing to do
Multitasking – no one is good at it
what do you want people to think when they think of you
start with one word
no one says billionaire or rich
always kind, just, considerate, etc
take word to sentence level
afraid to fail is what holds some people back
failing better
grew up playing sports, practice makes perfect
that is false
guided proper practice leads to improvement
fail fast, fail forward, fail better
customers who have issues resolved well are 3x more likely to repeat business than someone without an issue
things happen for you, not to you
aways step into your story
pioneers always get pushback
if no pushback, not a good thing, going to be disrupted
Post it forward
selfie mentality and use it outward
build the network before you need the network
NCAA headquarters story
what happens in vegan stays on Youtube
outside in thinking vs inside out thinking
everything you do will lead to smile, at the end
don’t see it everyday

My Sessions

Pre-Conference Workshop: Let’s Learn Git: No More Excuses

I love teaching mostly because there is no other feeling in the world than seeing the lightbulb come on in someone’s eyes when they first truly grasp a new idea. This session was full of such little moments and I am delighted to the nth degree by it. I am so proud that some people came in the room without having downloading Git before and left the room having successfully done a pull request on a forked repository. Together we built this site, though you can 100% blame me for the CSS choices you don’t like. This felt like the best way to spend my Sunday I could have spent and made the whole trip worth it for me personally.

Bash Is Magic # No It’s Not

If even one person left the room thinking “I can do this command line stuff after all What was I afraid of?” then I did my job. I want to empower the world by helping people unlock the power at their fingertips. I learned so much giving this talk, which I am going to retire as a session or at least retool based on what I have learned giving it. So thankful to all the people that helped make giving this possible and who believed in me.

Now that I am winding down the conference tour circuit life I think I might take this content and make it more consumable by way of videos and community outreach efforts in my new home city. I want everyone to delight in the simplicity of using command line and version control, which give you superpowers!

Wrapping Up

It was an event of connecting with folks from a slightly different walk of life from me, which to be honest made me feel like a bit of an interloper from time to time. Luckily those thoughts were always chased out of my head by a friendly voice and an encouraging word. I, myself, am not in higher ed, I will always be in awe of the folks who give their lives for educating the future generations. The unsung heroes of the fight who made sure the website stayed up and that the content was accessible to all are the ones getting the job done for the kids and for our future world leaders. I count it among the highest honors to have been part of this event and hope that, perhaps if circumstances reveal themselves to be correct, I will get another chance to come and be part of this event again. Maybe even in Little Rock next year for HighEd Web 2020

BADCamp 2019: Coming home to the Drupal community

There is only one camp I take BART to and it has taken place in Berzerkeley the last few years. The trip is about an hour door to door from my place in Union Square, but it is very rare that you will find me in the Athens of the West, but it is the first place in Northern California what gave me a place to sleep when I was moving from LA oh so many years ago. It gave me a lot of warm feelings that felt very familiar in not only geography but also in spirit of homecoming in the Drupal community since I had been spending a lot of time in the WordPress space recently. I was overwhelmed by the feeling of welcomeness and family I felt as I attended BADCamp 2019

Food and Fun


Wednesday morning was met with conference coffee which I would give a 5 out of 10 points for trying. Tea selection was really first rate though. Lunch time gave me my first of many excuses to go to arguably the best vegan deli in the world, The Butcher’s Son. Their plant based bacon is making my mouth water even as I write this days later. In fact, I ate there almost every day of the event. If I don’t mention lunch again, you can assume that is where I ate. Dinner time rolled around and some of us found our way to the plant based fast food establishment Veggie Grill which is always a bit greasy.


This has become an awesome staple of this event and DrupalCon. Organized by the really great Jason Mickela, this event invites everyone from the community out for a drink. I realize that is not everyone’s thing, but for those of us who participate it is a great night of lifting glasses and cheers. We started at Pacific Standard Tap Room, but things got really going when we hit the weird little club bar/BBQ joint Spats which just happened to have Karaoke that night. We sang and sang and sang.


I didn’t make it over to Berkeley until dinner time. I got there in time for DevOps After Dark by DDEV at Tupper and Reed. This is a place with super fancy, Alice in Wonderland inspired cocktails. I also made it the Amazee.io party over at Beta Lounge, where some of us had appetizers for dinner.


From Beta Lounge a small party of us found our way to Nick’s Lounge a 7 day a week Karaoke dive. Really just some of the best people in the Berkeley and Oakland area come here for a round of drinks and singing together. It is a wonderful cross section of what good people in the bay sound like.


The first day of sessions brought more coffee and tea. Once again I jumped at the chance to return to The Butcher’s Son for lunch. I also went back there for dinner. Friday night brought the official BADCamp Party. We danced and danced. There was an after event for sure but no proof it happened.


More coffee and more tea. Lunchtime took me to The Flying Falafel with it’s vegan fare and just super tasty fries. I took off before the end of day and slept through dinner plans. I did make it back for a few songs of Karaoke at Nicks for a final cap on the camp.


BADCamp has 2 days of summits and trainings and 2 days of regular sessions. The summits are industry specific conversations and workshops focused on helping non-profits and higher ed better adopt technology. I was just thrilled this year to be able to participate in the Non-Profit Summit as a panel moderator and general room volunteer. So many organizations turned up and participated. The main focus seemed to be how to think about adopting platforms and how to organize your processes for best success as an organization. I really liked the discussions I heard.

It was a really great day and many props need to be given to the head organizer this year Valerie Neumark Mickela who just worked so hard to make a smooth and meaningful event. Props to the other organizers, volunteers and panelists as well.


You Gonna Build a Process for That Process?
Anthony Horn

I love a methodical talk that unveils the ‘secret’ of proper process improvement. Namely, there is no magic formula aside from standardize and fine tune as you go. This was more a case study on how to get the process improvement mechanisms correct than a how to, although they shared openly all their templates they leverage for streamlining how they work with clients and ensure success. I missed the very first part, but luckily this and all other sessions are already online at the BADCamp Youtube channel

Raw Notes:
–15 minutes late–
Slide deck per meeting
ready mad
ready to go
more listening less talking
What are your project goals slide
Process builds logically
personas, user stories, anatomy of an issue
Trains the client to be the product owner
idea from 4Kitchens
some clients really into it
people wrote a lot of meaningless user stories
now has examples of actionable ones
no transitions or animations
ppt, pdf, key versions all with no issue
hosted in Box
Wireframes templates and libraries in Lucid Charts
with little work, model wireframe very quickly
UCLA example work they did
Duplicating success
UX Process (user experience)
hard to find things, firehose analytics consulting
looking forward want to have a UX process
old template didn’t fit the need
Reasons – popularly requested service
have provided bits and pieces in the past
team expertise
looking to repeat success
New Hurdles to creating UX
Missing expertises
No clear model for UX Process in higher ed
who going first?
one time or subscription
How much lifting will this take?
Another Process: Research Projects
Faculty are different than other groups
different tech needs
iterative, doing research, so not sure what they want
new ideas from the research emerges
Start with some knowledge, start there
iterate over and over again
just like Agile, LEAN, 6Sigma, all over the place
same thing
They are sharing the Client Engagement Process Materials
please take off UCDavid logos if you want to reuse it

The State of Drupal 9
Amber Himes Matz

The state of the D9 is good! I am not sure why this message has not gotten out better. At the end of a very great presentation, specifically given to assuage fears that people have about Drupal 9 coming out, there was still an audience member who could not comprehend that he should not wait for the Drupal 9 release to migrate from Drupal 7. Given that this is the first time a major release should not break backwards compatibility I get the disbelief in general, but the proof of deprecations by examining the code and the track record of on time releases to date with D8 make it strange people are still apprehensive. More education is needed apparently and this talk is a great place to start.

Raw Notes:
content production manager
Innovation in Drupal
Drupal 8 brought in 3 concepts
1 Semantic Versioning
allows to release feature updates in minor releases with backwards compatability
2 Scheduled Releases
minor releases every six months make versions predictable. New features introduced at a regular pace
3 experimental module
When features need more time and feedback to be finalized.
Backwards compatability is still supported
experimental: media library, workspaces
stable: demo
experimental media library
Stable, layout builder, JSON API
Third Party Optional Twig 2 support
So goals of 9
Update 3rd party dependencies
clean up the code
Symfony, jQuery, CKEditor, Twig 1
these need updated/removed
Symfony 3 end of life is 2021
year prior release
June 3 2020 is planned D9 release date
Drupal 8.9.0 is planned to be released same time as 8.9
2 minor releases a year are planned for D9
how long with D9 go forward
estimated EOL for D9 is
end of 2023
based on with CKEditor supported and Symfony 4 or 5 EOL
The Making of D9
Major versions were brand new code bases in the past
caused headaches and was expensive
Deprication process
backwards compatible APIs are included and slowly removed over time
new solution, old to be removed marked for deprecation
new code is in the code base, but old code there for backwards compatibility
same is true in Symfony 3
D9 is dropping the deprecated code and just new solution
D9 is 8.9 without deprecated code
Modules with no deprecations will all still work
D9 built in D8 step-by-step
same process planned for D9 too
Preparing for D9
Keep Drupal core and contrib projects up to date
code examples
PHPStorm already suggests and strikethrough deprecations
project overview
export project or subset of projects
issues are either warnings or errors
warnings are for ones that can’t be fixed, or identified
errors can be fixed now
drupal.org tools
enable static analysis with PHPstan
Project owners, update your plans on your page
Sprints are a great way to get work done
D8.8 is the last version to deprecate for D9
gives you a 6 month window to get up to date
should I create 9.x-1.x-dev branch?
NO, don’t do it
composer projects allows more granular control
compatibility with more than one major version
Already correct for everything past 8.3
issue with Contributes modules be compatible?
most deprecations are easy fixes
midcampers already opened issues based on reporting then
I got named dropped 🙂
not a tool for Twig template deprecation but see node 3054924
People should not expect new features for 9.0
just stable and non-event upgrade
Big deal is that it is not a big deal
D7 support got support expended to November 2021
contractual vendor support, until at least 2024
worked well for D6 support, til 2022 in fact
3 major versions at once for a year and a half
Upgrade to 8 NOW if you are not there
Contrib custom and Content
not trivial, once on D8 no migration again needed
Skipping D8 does not bring benefits
Waiting for 9 just shrinks the window for you with no benefit
Recap: Drupal innovated 2 times a year
D9 is built in D8
Keep up with D8 and you are ready for D9
D7 has no reason to wait to D9

Best Practices for Securing Your Site

I like going to security talks as I never feel I can know enough about this evolving subject. I also picked this talk since it was given by a speaker I did not know, who worked at Google. This talk was a little more beginner than I anticipated and a little more sales-y for using Search Console than I would have cared for otherwise, but some good nuggets in there for sure. There was a moment of group chuckle as she discouraged people from using software that could not auto-update. Still, I had not thought of using a mix of the first letters of the words ina passphrase mixe with numbers to make shorter but still random and secure passwords before. Some of my 30+ character passwords are going to shorten a little bit next reset.

Raw Notes:
Trust and safety team at Google in SF
1 ID hackers attacks n Websites
2 Recovering hacked sites
3 best practices
was text results at first
now it is much more media rich
+32% increase in hacked sites in last few years

  • Gibberish hack
  • Japanese keyword hack
    auto creates new pages with Japanese text
    Hacker add themselves as a property owner on Search Console
  • cloaked keyword hack
    On user side, pay attention to phishing or malware warnings
    safe browsing to push these warnings on Chrome
    Addressing the hack
    nohacked guide
    build a support team
    quarantine your site
    use search console
    access damage
    ID the vulnerability
    clean and maintain the site
    You become a potential target based on technical issues
    no HTTPS, out of date
    Safer Login
    Safer Website
    Safer Connection
    request a review on search console
    Passwords, Strong unique passwords
    updating passwords regularly
    Don’t use common, easy to find out things for you
    only you would know phrases
    passwhrae key
    Ih2d1ca3b – OK password
    2 step verification
    something you know and something you have
    Google Authenticator
    Safer Login Security Check-up
    Safer Website
    Outdated software is like an open shoelace
    might not be a problem but mught trip everything up
    keep updates software
    Enable automatic updates if possible
    “iffy if software doesn’t allow it.” (??? Does she know what Drupal is?)
    Postcard vs letter in sealed envelope
    new tech requires HTTPS
    progressive web apps
    push notifications
    ranking signal in google
    will serve HTTPS first
    Let’s Encrypt
    search console
    61% of webmaster who had been hacked could not be reached
    84% of those reached has successfully cleaned up the hack
    users and permissions
    manual actions
    security issues

Better Project Management Through Board Games

I have seen several talks in the last bit if my life that reference board games with project management. I even wrote a blog post about one of my favorites I have seen. This talk was less theory and more ‘if you want to learn X play Y game together.’ If there were a more practical approach to how to teach people some of these skills, I have not encountered it. Really amazing job from David and John and it exposed me to a number of games I have not heard of before. I look forward to playing all of them sooner than later.

Raw Notes:
Project management games
Write clear requirements
a game where the thing you build in the middle gets changed per teun with the cards
5 different colors 1 – 5 in them, you can’t see your own cards
Close Feedback loops
Make sure changes along the way can be addressed
timelines and things not being static
an open ended game, 5 minutes up to 5 hours
draw one card, play one card
cards change rules all the time
goal to win game changes too with cards
Captain Sonar
Like battleships with teams
PLan and prioritize
thinking through risk mitigation
Ticket to Ride
you are the railroad mogul
building track and connecting destination
game about spells in seasons, plot out a curriculum at wizard school
Concept: The Iron Triangle
Competing constraints on a prject
magic unicorn lives in the middle
Lords of Xidit
be not the worst at the most category as leader
Between 2 cities
one card on each side of you
take lowest score of the two cities you built
Making the project succeed,
not being a people pleaser and promising everything to everyone
Buy the Rights
Movie pitching game
gotta sell it
Dragon’s Gold
Negotiation of how to split the treasure
poor at negotation there is no way to win
The Networks
juggling act running a TV network
balancing all
Power Grid
Extending your grid out to other cities
power plants and expand at rate balanced with customers
resource management
Look ahead
staying on track
make sure things are trending in the right direction
Race for the Galaxy
like a deck building game
common pile of cards
all cards are beneficial
paying playing a card by throwing away other cards
round broken up into phases
if no one choses the phase, in secret, that phase gets skipped
City building game
look ahead to see how others are building their city
all selecting from common pool of available building
Concept: Be Flexible
things will not always go according to plan
tiling game, building a city
matching patterns on tiles
The Quiet Year
light RPG
Collaborative map making and storytelling game
flipping over a card and drama happens
Concept: Don’t Panic
Things change
people will follow your lead
might be planning to do one thing
someone might steal resources or blow you up
Mechs vs. Minions
fighting on maps
set out actions you going to take
set it down and see what happens
programmable action games
Common Traits
Do some research
don’t ‘discover together’ with the team as a PM
Clear objective
trying to get points vs building railway tracks between cities
more detail
why do we care?
Delegate where you can
cooperative vs competitive games
Forbidden Islands
The Entire PM Experience
What is the ultimate goal?
Winning isn’t everyone
Les Lim
How to Enjoy Board Games
Objective of a game is to bring people together
to solve puzzles
to immerse yourself in the theme
and to be excited to play again
Success of a PM is not on time or on budget
it is successful if they want to work with you again
Finite and Infinite games

Start Using the Emerging Layout Builder Ecosystem
André Angelantoni

I, historically, am not really a front end person. A layout of black and white text in a single column looks good enough to me for the most part. But I get it, people want ways to layout content that looks better than that. Enter the Layout Builder, a Core module now that not everyone is as excited about as they could be from what I hear. This was less of a how to and more of a talk exposing what is possible and the current state of the tooling. If I was going to be building content out I would be digging into this more. As of now, I am just glad to know the conversation for layouts is ongoing.

Raw Notes:
lot of modules to be released
quality initiative
Intro to layout Builder (LB)
Key modules
Patches to watch
souped up panalizer
You can create rigid layours thatt content editors can’t change or layouts that —
Video example
8.7 site
not individualized, new layouts apply to all of that type of node
by default shows blocks available inside Drupal
that is how you edit the layout for all page types
use it by creating content
Allow checkbox, layout tab appears
change per node
once you make content like that, can’t turn off Layout Builder
can but have to revert back to default layout, then tun it off
example site
some have more than 40 components on a page
easy to hurt performance when adding that many components
Key Modules
this is the future
Layout builder Asymmetric translation
If you want translation of layout, need this module, going into core just not there yet
Layout Library
make a library of layouts for content editors
Layout Builder Kit
base component based
common logic for components
custom block – price example
extra fields to blocks, much more flexible now
custom blocks get their own areas
Layout Builder Modal
adding drag and drop
lots of space instead of just scrunched up side
Layout Builder Restrictions
restrict blocks throughout the site to stop rogue editors
Layer builder Styles
Dynamic Layouts
Entity Browser Block
allows you to select ny entity Drupal has and place it on a page
Mini Layout
Unsaved issues
CohesionDX just got bought by acquia
Glazed Builder – superthemes
Layout Builder, if more people start contributing
Translation needs that other module
Node revision table might blow up
Under the hood, Anatomy of a component
where is everything stored?
storing multiple revisions of the same page?
not very useful
be clear on decisions when going through it
Location of Component
serialized string
row for every section
Component Configuration
Stored int he layout_builder_layout field
or us the FieldAPI
Block or Component in D8 interchangeable terms
each option gets own field
MOre you share fields between components, you create rats nest of interdependencies
Also, as an entity
Entity API+Field API
Configuration vs Field API vs Entity API
see slides
one insert per entry
Layout Builder Gap Analysis

Anonymous Personalization Without Leaving Drupal

I kinda think that most personalization is creepy, but I see the value of it in some cases. Especially if it is just data, like a geolocation or IP range which I don’t mind you having for most things I look up, I can appreciate automatic language swapping and regional special offerings. Contextual Conditions seems like the least creepy way to offer a catered experience without collecting and using data in disturbing ways. I also love the idea of an easier and free way to du A/B testing. There is a lot of promise to this tooling and this is for sure something to keep an eye on as it evolves from the alpha it lives in now.

Raw Notes:
Personalization helps people use the site
find what they need
Dynamic Content Recommendation
Individualized Tokenization – “hi MIKE, welcome from YOURLACATION’
Contextual Conditions – this is the focus of today
taking what we know about the user and curating the experience for them
Umami example
local storage
browser properties
device properties
visitor actions – what did they do
third party
and many more
Smart Content
at it’s core, an API and toolset for providing and provide reactions
it is not however an access control module
still need authenticated users to have access control
Smart COntent Block, Browser, all in smart_content module
View Mode, Segments and more to come
demo of module in action
bit of a widget system as well
reactions are what are shown in this condition
Check cookies
default variation to show is possible
not a blank space filling void
demo demo demo
how it works
Page is rendered with a placeholder for each Smart Content segment
JS to pass associated data
additional libraries also attached
Decision.js searched page for placeholder
if statements in JS
merged common things in conditional handler
look it up once from queue approach
back to decision agent then process
can cache the returned values
Use cases?
Targeting segments
Content based on Scoring
per device/os content
gated resources
new vs returning user
time of day content
A/B testing
Location based
Real world example
IP based, suggest content based on what they think that segment wants to see
project is in alpha, about to become Beta
hit some issues around storage
working through some issues
then 2.x into the future
because we can do better
2 year process so far
overusing plugin system
fewer APIs, tighter
make decision s and decide
reactions can depend on decisions without living within them
Further decouple storage from behavior
improve UX

Integrations Roundup: How to plug existing products and services into your site

After a lot of up front warning this was going to be a high level overview and not a ‘how to’ for these integrations they got started. Meg and Jason delivered a wonderful, and well paced, discussion on how to think about using third party integration tooling off the shelf, versus when to roll your own or find lighter weight alternatives. They were right after lunch in a small, dark, warm room and did a great job of keeping our attention in the sleepy afternoon. Really great information for any site builders out there who have client demands for more functionality.

Raw Notes:
High level overview of what is possible
when to and when not too
Pros and Cons
Pros: Decrease technical debt
increase security
quickly deply complex features
use a solution the site users alread kow
create data one, use it everywhere
Specific knowledge of external system
reliance on 3rd party security
can slow dev for simple features
changes in TOS can bite you in the A$$
How to pick the right integrations for your site:
ID your needs
Try not to jump on any bandwagons
leave room for future growth
keep 3rd party requirements in mind
Degrees of integration
Never lose sight of what you;re ultiplately trying to accomplish
importance of customizations
avoid the new hotness
might not be popular next year
consider community support over sexy code
leaving room for future growth
some integrations have a cost of API issue
down the line what might you want to do?
right for you in 3-5 years?
Third Party Requirements
review the format of the data being stored and how it is exported
Avoid adding elements with disprportonate page load times
embeds, iframes, and or scripts
ensure your data is with a trusted source
make sure it is not getting sold, exploited, etc
loading other people’s scripts may not be good scripts
ultimately comes down to custom work, no matter who you pay for code
API usage
Degree f integration
API takes a lot of client-side code )Hardest)
JS Library
Link to external site
Why would you even want to do this?
if looking at site and want to increase functionality but have limited budget
single out specific things to look closer at
Donations, shopping carts, CRM, Analytics
Payment Gateways
square/Paypal,/Amazon Pay – D8 module
Authorize.net, yes module, hard to use though
not in active dev
Stripe, D module in alpha, no being developed
Social Sharing
no integration is an option as well
email sevice provider
transactional email service provider’
Heavy Hitters Swiss Army Knife
Don’t paint yourself into a corner
all your eggs are in one basket
It’s dangerous to go alone
Work with people that know what you do
experts an bring new ideas and solutions to the table
‘development and programming’ mean a specific thing for Non-profit
standing on the shoulders of giants

My Talks

I was fortunate to give two talks this time around. My new talk Follow that data! Letting your users tell you what works. and one of my favorite talks I have ever given Making A Tour: Leveraging The Tour Module For A Better User Experience

For the first one, I gotta admit, I learned a lot in my research but I felt the talk itself, especially in this alpha release, was a little scattered. I realized half way through I had written 2 talks in all reality and didn’t really do either one of them proper service by combining them. The old saying is true though, you never really know what a talk is saying until you give it. I can fine tune from here, but this is likely the last time I will submit this particular title.

The Tour module talk on the other hand is one I am extremely proud of and one I wrote an article about earlier this year. It is always well received and some people always have the same ‘mind blown’ reaction when they realize it is in core, and has been since the 8.0 release. If I can help one dev or site builder explain one less thing in person for the 100th time, it will all have been worth it.

Wrapping Up

The thing I can’t really capture completely accurately in this post and in my notes in general is the sense of community I felt here. I know I say that a lot, but this time it really did feel like a homecoming. I am not trying to diminish the lovely and wonderful people in WordPress or elsewhere, but as far as tech communities go, Drupal is very special. No, it is not a utopia and there are some major hurdles we need to overcome, especially around diversity, but it does revolve around the central codebase that is technically great and captures the best sense of what open source code can be I believe.

As I wind down this part of my life as a traveling tech evangelist going to so many dang events all over the place, I am so, so glad my last Drupal event of the year was in the back yard of the town I have called home for a decade and a half. So close but so far across the bay at any given time I never visit there too often. I hope to visit next year, even if I have to travel quite a bit further for BADCamp 2020.

WordCamp Vancouver 2019: Getting to see the Evaporators and hear the mayor declare it officially Nardwuar day in Vancouver

I love Canada. I grew up within driving distance of Windsor, which meant I got to watch the CBC and listen to 89X CIMX. I had visited other places tot he east of of the Saltwater City, but had not yet been to the west coast town. I was in for a very pleasant time in a city with amazing food, just the nicest people and a really hip vibe, and I even got to marched in the Climate Strike as I visited the city for WordCamp Vancouver 2019!

Food and Fun

Speaker Dinner

I was excited to meet up with the organizers and speakers for the traditional Speaker Dinner and I walked the short hop over to them at
The Blackbird Public House. There was an unexpected DJ, who wasn’t bad, but was rather overpowering for the room. Not complaining here, as the drinks and the food, especially the cauliflower was very good. But it was a little loud. Heads up for other organizers, make sure you ask if there is any live music or DJ the night of your events.


Two kinds of really well made conference coffee, dark and medium roast, and a fine selection of teas met us as we started our conference day. We also had fruit and sone light parties. They even had vegan and gluten free cookies available. Lunch was a selection of sandwiches, including a jackfruit based ‘tuna’ vegan sandwich. That and a broccoli slaw made a terrific mid day meal. We even had a snack break that featured build your own bruschetta and hummus.

After Party

After the last session we traveled up to Gastown, home of the steam clock, to get together for the after party at Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar. This is in the same transit station as the SeaBus, which I took for an inexpensive sightseeing cruise the next day. Appetizers of all sorts flowed and so did the drink tickets. Eventually a real meal was needed and we concluded the recorded part of the event. It was a good night.

Since no tweets of the after party exist, so here is a post camp pic of a good looking dog.


Opening Remarks:

Understanding Your Customer Using Personas and Empathy Maps
Chris David Miles

This is a new talk for Chris but it seemed he had been talking about this topic for years, given the grace and comfort with the material. I have heard the jet seat story before, but I liked how he tied it in with the work they do at BlueHost and how it helps them scale. Don’t design for ‘average’ because no one matches those measurements. Design for ‘Bob’ or ‘Alice’ or any specific persona.

Raw Notes:
Who is making a product to reach customers?
Are you using data to do it?
It’s hard to be a good listener
If your method of listening to customers does not scale with you, the harder it is to hear your customers
Disastrous results from US Airforce
new planes in the late 40s lot of wrecks
blamed pilots, pilots blamed planes
cockpit design for a regular plane vs jet seat
anthropologist measured people’s hands at Harvard
no two people were alike and average represented no one
Anthropometric data
found that less than 3.5% of pilots were in the average
asked for Boeing to build a seats for each size
they were confident they could do it or were going to cancel all contracts
they made adjustable seats
turned out it was cheaper for Boeing too
It’s hard to be a good listener
Data is how we listen to our customers
We can do this too
Customer Avatars
Have a picture of specific users and clients in mind
put a name to the them and a face
align your goals according to avatars rather than averages
1) goals and values
2) Challenges and Pain Points
what is keeping them up at night?
3) Objections and role in purchase process
what are the perceptions, do they know who you are?
timing is important
Why AirBnB succeeded because of age of the internet
Role in the purchase process
is that person going to cut the check
4) Sources of Information
why do they trust?
what do they need?
who is going to get in an argument about this on Twitter?
There are other models
but how do you make sure you are seeing blind spots?
Empathy mapping
At center, customer avatar
See, Say and do, Hear, Think
Jif Peanut butter
asked about what people wanted in a coffee
what they said was opposite of what they actually wanted
Breaking Think into 2 category
Pains vs Gains
without a lot of cognitive load you can jump into other ways of thinking
Understanding what customers are Really telling you
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse”
What would they were really thinking of?
Faster point a to point b
if you plug it into the mapping, really is good information
study behavior
sell the coffee they are buying
Real world examples
Design case study
it is a search engine for dead people
researching, found people were looking for same name often
seemed weird
people searching for themselves
because they were not dead yet, so not there
what people were after was building family trees
tried to change copy to make people behave differently
came up with way to search for yourself
then add your parents and grandparents
search was way way better after that
listend to the customer
the way people anticipated the product
Case study Bluehost
one giant page originally
13 pages of skittles
biggest question was “what do I do now?” after logging in
how do they want to manage sites?
new layout and step by step helps new users much better
retention went up

My Session

Let’s Learn Git. No More Excuses.

This is likely the last time I am going to give this talk. It was a talk that took me from talking about business topics to technical ones. It taught me so, so much about Git along the way. I can only hope it helped others understand this powerful but ‘stupid’ tool a little better. I have been the most encouraged by the folks who tell me later they embraced Git for document management and it changed how they work. Knowing that I helped multiple people see that light makes everything I have ever done in this space feel very worth it. It was an honor to talk about this subject as many times as I got to and I hope others pick up the banner for their communities by speaking about it too.

Having Fun (But Not Too Much Fun) with Viewport Units
Richard Gilbert

Have you ever seen a talk that made you mad you had not seen it a few weeks prior. I am 100% serious that CSSCMS would look a heck of a lot different on the CSS end if I had seen this sooner and understood what viewports can do. As we enter into an age where I see CSS returning to the front and center of the conversation along with HTML, viewports are an easy way into making everything responsive. As I write this I am debating spending the cycles to rewrite my joke CMS to make better use of the tooling. My notes are not the best as I kept playing with stuff as he presented it. Go see his slides at bixgomez.com.

Raw Notes:
From Drupal
Uses Twig
Viewports are all over
no matter CMS
units of measure, where you use px or % or em
vh, vw, 5vmax
view width
1vw 1/100th (1% of the viewport
vmav = 1/100th of viewport height or width, whichever is larger
change dynamically as change shape
oonjuntion with font size, etc
px static
% is relative to the container
examples – see his slides
pracacle use cases
sticky footer v1
css calc function
.page-wrapper {
min-height: 100vh //this makes sure uses full screen, invisible to us. set to 200 for scrool 2x size
.region–content {
min-height: calc)100vh ….(missed it)
,page-wrapper {
display: flex;
flex-direction: column;
min-height: 100vh;
header {
(missed it)
full browser header experience
breakpoints (mixin breakpointsass)
real world examples
see his code, it is awesome
… max width fixed.
stopping when you get to max viewport
html {
font-size; 2vw;
body {
font-size: 1em;
not a good way to do it, but is fun and there is a use case for it
gentle text enlarment
html { font-size: calc(12px +0.75vw); }
gentle text reducer
calc(24px – 0.6vw);
built in easy reader mode
not ideal either
2 way enlarger
calc(24px – 01.25vw);
@include breakpoints($md)
calc(7px + 1.25vs);
wrote his sass function, wants too write a plugin

Design Principles for Web Developers: How to Make Your Websites Look Good
Anne Emberline

Anne is a true expert in her field of design. I really appreciate the skills designers have but honestly, I don’t get it for the most part. As we picked apart various websites for flaws, all I could hear in my head was the old Oscar Wilde quote ““Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” The most important take away for me was to trust designers who pick color pallets and make font pairing choices. Overall, people will like your output better if they are not caught up in not liking it for aesthetic reasons.

Raw Notes:
how rounded corners work was her intro to CSS
design concept examples
having the eye to see what is not good specifically is the skill of a designer
Concept 1
Visual Communication
red slide
what does it communicate
stop, error, passion, energy
blue slide
calm, learn more, peaceful
Lorem Ipsum
feminine soft font
shouty, bold
monospace, technical, small print
lot of screenshots of websites from local companies
see slides, lot of examples
issue sometimes is no piece of visual interest
maybe add interesting typefaces
6 visually interesting things on a page = ugly
one consistent thing repeated over the site is good
keep it overall simple
hierarchy and Emphasis
path eye takes through something
we naturally see differences first
need a strong nav
Spacing and alignment
area where people know something is off but can’t say why
kinda zig zag
looks messy means not lining up
remember to think view in motion, enough vertical space
colour and typography
it is something you might need help with
pay designers to make a custom color pallet and stick with it
or get one online
same with fonts
type and color consistently
headline and body font all you need

Tempted by the Dark Side
Rose Cass

Dark Mode is now a thing. Major browsers expect it. You can use CSS to turn it on when the page is loaded in such browsers. The why you would want to do that is a subject I am going to need to look into a but more. I know theoretically it saves energy or might be easier to read. Still, an excellent presentation on a topic I knew nothing about going in.

Raw Notes:
github page
light theme and dark theme
like a media query
apply preferred-color-scheme: value
dark, light, no-preference
but why?
where do you use it?
another tool in the toolbox
maybe clients have need
support IE and EDGE not well supported
obscure mobile browsers, no
flashy thing on main websites
can’t affect favicons with css only per theme
can’t use it with old browsers

Closing Keynote: Where We Go From Here
Morten Rand-Hendriksen

I had seen a previous version of this talk back at PressNomics but this one seemed much more hopeful and made me want to learn CSS even more. I feel it an honor above honors to have seen what Morten calls his last WordPress talk and am just as excited to call Morten a friend. There is a lot to ponder in this talk and I hope that this one makes it to WordPress.tv to inspire others to embrace the future that is fat arriving.

Raw Notes:
it has been less 10 years since Responsive Web Design become a thing
The future keeps arriving
it is faster and faster
the end of WP themes is in sight
concept of themes is over when the block editor controls everything
themes are different in the future at least
block areas
live demo prototype
year from now it looks like that video
everything we know about themes are about to change
all of us need to be part of the conversation
build it and define a path
Death of the monolithic CMS
this is not how the web works and will not be
treating WP as a data source
jekyll, 11ty, NuxtJS, Gatsby, HUgo
the Gatsbyfication of the echosystem is just geting started
The APIfication of the web and the internet
process info differently
assuming APIs exist
GraphQL, became the replacement of REST
WPgraphQL is how to do it,
REST is old hat
what query language wins is GraphQL
using the front end ot collect data from sources is how the web now works
WP is not going to be the one thing to buld a site
2012 end of the web as we know it article
content smushed together
content stream from multiple sources is the new norm
OSS Hippocratic License
Stallman had to step down in last few weeks
definition of who is in charge of OSS
OSS is privileged position to have
time and money, ethically not good
MIT license with a moral clause
people pushed back that they can’t control OSS like that
Open Source is evolving or devolving
this is an active conversation
Corporatization of open source
Automattic and Acquia raising money
OSS is a privileged, paid volunteers
step up in the ranks and you control it
easy to manipulate with money
Corps will consolidate their control over large OSS
accept it or do something
the Tech Reckoning
Pope felt it necessary to say something about it
in lieu of meaningful tech ethics, we’ll end up with onerous regulation
not in the conversation about how the intent and the web should be regulated
FB and Ready Player One
FB is building Oasis the way the book says
want to make HTML element a Geo location in space
AR glasses or app on phone
html appears at door
the age of web-content-consumed-through-rectangle-screens is already over, we are at the nd of it
the CSS Revolution
Variable Fonts
emerging tech
CSS houdini
low level JS API for the browser’s render engine
low level
all of it is happen
future is constantly arriving
visBug for Chrome
visual design in the browser, right now
CSS is about to become way more magical
the Next generation
this is likely his last WC talk
you need to build the future, not the old geezers
how will you build the future for yourself and the world?
he believes in this community

Wrapping up

I saw Nardwuar the Human Serviette perform with his band The Evaporators during Nard Gets A Star. There are many bands that influenced me over the years to believe in the DIY ethos and further, to believe in the power of punk rock. The Evaporators hold a super special place in my heart as I discovered them as a college radio DJ at 88.1FM WBGU. The first time I played Slap Ham it blew my mind and that is pretty much how I learned that punk was more then angry and loud. It could also be silly and positive.

Here is the kicker on this though. I had no idea this show was going to happen until I was walking around on Friday night. The first and only time I have ever been to Vancouver British Columbia Canada, I got to see one of my punk rock heroes. I got to stand stage side as he performed. I am still in awe of life lining up like this. Vancouver did it’s best to impress me and become one of my new favorite cities on earth.

On a more serious note, this WordCamp might have been my last for 2019. At the time of writing this post there is still a maybe out there from one more camp, but it is looking more like I am going to end my WordCamp year at this one. I have a lot of feelings about these events and this space in general, reflective of some of what Morten talked about in his Keynote. No matter if I keep on in the WordPress space or not, I greatly hope I get to return one day to Vancouver, maybe even for WordCamp Vancouver 2020!.

Moving mcdwayne.com to SiteDistrict

As of WordCamp Sacramento, I have moved the hosting of this site over to SiteDistrict.com. TL;DR: it is awesome so far. It lets me have more of an opinion for certain things and it feels custom built for the intermediate to advanced developer.

A Blog About WordCamps And DrupalCamps

My blog started at the very end of 2016 when I realized that I had been to a good number of events and could not tell you many specifics, as they all blurred together. I decided to correct this by using the go-to blogging platform and learn the back end along the way. I have an intended audience of 1, me in the future, so I can easily reference where I ate and what sessions I saw.

I had the extreme privilege to work for a large scale containerized hosting as a service platform at the time and naturally just spun up the site using their very opinionated tooling. But given my intentions for the site it meant that I was not the target user of the platform and ended up with some steps that, while well intentioned, caused me extra overhead to manage.

A Change In Life Meant A Change in Hosting For Me

After a few life changes, I decided to re-evaluate how to host this site long term, so I went shopping. I had several requirements for a host:

  • Performance must stay steady or improve.
  • Ease of code or deployment must be on par with current developer experience.
  • Support must be rock solid.
  • Backups at least nightly and easy to deal with.
  • Migration has got to be painless.
  • WP-CLI must be present.

After a lot of conversations and investigations into hosting reviews, I decided on SiteDistrict. So far, they have met every requirement and I really like the approach the team is taking on how to manage sites.

SiteDistrict administrative dashboard

Support and Migration

I got my answer to the migration and support aspects in one conversation where all I needed to do was supply a recent backup of my site. A few minutes later Matt moved the site and I was ready to test and change my DNS when I was ready.

WP-CLI support

The administrative interface gives me the access I want directly as I want it. No need to SFTP into my log files, they are simply there. No need to install a local command line tool, the built in terminal has WP-CLI already present and ready to use.

Although, the fact it is a platform built with WordPress in mind means the integration with the WordPress Admin feature set is pretty fantastic. I have full visibility into my plugins, themes and users without having to log into the WP Admin directly or making a WP-CLI call, which is the main reason I was using WP-CLI in the first place.


The automatic and effortless (from my seat) CDN integration with CloudFront means my performance is very much on par with what I had before with either Fast.ly or CloudFlare. Running speed tests on both sites was easy because the tooling to run those tests is built into the dashboard.

Development Experience

I have been used to enforced 3 server setup, so being able to work in development environments and move between servers is something that I knew I would have to grapple with. SiteDistrict makes this very straightforward as the clone/staging function is a simple button click. I can even spin the work out into a new site with a menu option if I was going to be making sites for a living.

Part of me was worried I would miss having a command line tool for the platform, but then I realized that with SSH access I have ALL the command line tools for the platform I could ever want. To be honest, I am kinda excited about the possibilities of tinkering with this kind of access and discovering new approaches to automation. Heading


Last on my list was the need for regular, painless backups. SiteDistrict gives me not just nightly, but periodic automatic backups throughout the day. As a person who has manually rolled back git a few too many times, a one button restore from an hour ago is very appealing.

Even more support

Ongoing support has already proven its value as the team has responded to my requests very quickly and been most helpful with my questions so far. I am sure I will have more as I dig in, but for now, I am super glad I have a new home for my site that is a little better fit for me as a developer. If you are feeling like your site host is constantly telling you ‘no, you are not doing it our way’ maybe it is time to move to a new district, to the SiteDistrict.

WordCamp Sacramento 2019: Enjoying the culture of downtown Roseville and dealing with the terrible traffic to get there

Every year I drive to one and only one event from San Francisco and that is in the drive to River City. And every year I am reminded why I don’t drive in the Bay area. Leaving at 1:00pm I thought would let me beat traffic, but I didn’t account for the largest student strike for environmental rights ever put together messing with San Francisco traffic. Long painful story short, it was 4 hours of driving to go the 106 miles from my house to the venue. Fortunately that was the worst part of the weekend as I had a fantastic time once I got there for WordCamp Sacramento 2019.

Food and Fun


Friday night the speakers, organizers and volunteers gathered at Siino’s over in Lincoln, CA. Only the salad didn’t contain dairy unfortunately but the drinks were comped. More importantly, it was the chance to see old friends and meet some new ones.

At some point I brought up the idea of bowling as the dinner was ending and a small group of us ended up at AMF Rocklin Lanes. This is the classic family bowling alley you can take everyone to at random on a Saturday and get a lane, play some video games and try your luck with the claw machines. A pretty epic time where everyone got to participate!


In addition to the coffee and tea you would expect, there was also iced tea and ‘spa water’ available to combat the dry heat of the Sacramento area. WordCamp Sacramento is well known for having an abundance of snacks at every table in sight. From Corn Nuts to Nerds and Laffy Taffy to Oreo Minis, there was no reason anyone would be in want of a snack the whole time. If there is a downside is that by the end of the say everyone has a sugar crash. If I am being completely forthcoming here though, I left the event with enough pilfered candy to last through the end of the year.

While I was a little let down by the lack of vegan options at the speaker dinner, the camp more than makes up for it at lunch but having food trucks that can cater to any and all dietary needs. There is even a whole post to prep attendees on what to expect so they can plan appropriately. This should be the model all camps adopt in my opinion. Well done.

Another thing that is fairly unique to this event, and that is the lack of a formal off site After Party. Instead, they have a networking reception immediately following the last session. I am always torn on this approach but I do really like the inclusiveness of it. There is no alcohol provided which is good for a number of reasons, but it makes some folks desire to go find a drink elsewhere sooner than later, but it alleviates the issue of encouraging drivers to have a drink at all. The appetizer and dessert spread was pretty alright, with 3 types of hummus.


Of course, dinner called us out of there sooner than later and I got a few other plant based food enthusiasts to go have a very colorful meal at the local vegan specialty shop Zest Vegan Kitchen. There were no boozy drinks, but awesome tea and kombucha. Later in the evening some of us found our way to the downtown Roseville area but no more will be said about that here.


Sunday met us with more of the same beverage service. A later start to the day, where the first session was not until 11:00am, meant there was no lunch, but there was an official snack break. Of course the snacks flowed all day long on the tables as well. I am kinda glad that not all camps give so much candy to be honest. It makes WordCamp Sacramento kinda like Halloween where it is OK to have so many sweets.


Opening Remarks

eCommerce: What Do You Start With? Audience, Products, Store?
Chris Lema

I have had the pleasure of hearing and reporting on Chris’s talks many times now and almost all of the talks he gives start out in the middle of a story for dramatic effect. This one had a much more traditional agenda laid out as this was a much more methodical ‘how to’ with some very thorough concept explanations. I learn something from every talk but this game me a new perspective on how online stores can be started that I had not considered before. When this one hits WordPress.tv I can imagine it being one of his most watched bits of content.

Raw Notes:
No right approach
most common is make product first
Historicaly Cost Plus model is what people use to
makes knowing price and costs easy to understand
THe challenge with being product-centric is that its hard to know when you are actually done
and mot people don’t start their marketig until the product is done
Mexico vs Brazil cell phone story from his dad
simple tech issue, but they sccrambled to remarket to Brazil
Other challenge with product-centric is the you can end up building what is possible to build
but that may not be what people want or need
If you have a team of folks who can build stuff, it may be a perfectly fine route to take
in recent years, there has been antoher strategy
Audience-first approach
when you have an audience already established, it’s easy to sell stuff to them
challenge is nothing is immediate
it takes to build an audience from scratch and there are not garauntees it wil work
Anh you have to have content marketing chops
you need to quickly evelop and it takes time
expensive and long game
if you already have a team who can create content this strategy may be the perfect way to move things forward with an audience-first approach
story of rainmaker platform
handful of affilate sales, Chris was one of those
the money was crazy good
There is a third approach
most people don’t talk about it
a Store
validation up front
take pre-orders
collect cash up front and validate concept in one shot
challenge is if marketing copywriting isn’t perfect, can seem like a rip off
nobody likes that
story of buying a video series that got cancelled, felt ripped off
best thing about a store first approach is that is can be a middle of the road approach
strategy, Resources, Risk, Benefits, Watch-out for,
product first
Development, developer, build the wrong thing, pricing and marketing, featuritis
Audience First
strategy, creative and writers
loe ROI/Cancellation, On-Launch-cash infusion, giving away everything
Store Fitst
pre-orders, Marketing, Audice Blowback, need is validated quicky,spending too much

My Talk

Bash Is Magic # No It’s Not

As I am winding down the year and am about to remove this talk from the repository of talks I submit everywhere, I am becoming more grateful for the opportunity I have had to learn Bash as deeply as I have. Knowing that I can literally make anything happen on my computer with a little logic in a script makes me feel like I can take on the world sometimes, especially when I feel like so many other bits are out of control. Getting to share my love of this tooling has been the best experience I have had so far as a speaker and I am so glad to everyone that has come to see this talk.

Speed Networking: Meet Other WordCampers And Grow Your Network

Another amazing thing that happens at this camp is the formal ‘speed networking’ session where we break the room into circles of no more than 10 people, then each person gets 1 minute to explain the following points:

  1. Your Name.
  2. Business Name.
  3. Who You Serve.
  4. What You Do.
  5. What You Need.
    Want to get good at pitching your company? This is a great way to lean to do it quickly and succinctly. I highly recommend you try this at any event you throw in the future.

Getting Into Position Zero: How To Leverage Content To Rise Above The Competition
Lindsay Halsey

There are not enough lind words to say about Lindsay as a person. Also, I am having issue with compacting my praise of this talk into a few sentences. Hearing so much practical information delivered so quickly and with such conviction, earned from real world experience, is just delightful. It has made me reconsider how I deliver blogs and content overall moving ahead. I had not considered the approach of being the featured snippet as something I could even attempt, but the SEO implications are just one of the benefits to this methodology. I need to do some serious work but the road ahead is much clearer now. This talk alone was worth the trip to this camp.

Raw Notes:
She works in SEO
heping people rank high in google
but it is possible to get to position zero
above the first free listing
featured snippet
content google extracts from site to google.com
format of the list view
parapgraph format
table format
it takes up a lot of space
now marketers and business seeing value
angling ot get into it
0 is the new number 1
why? increased engagement
clickt hroug hrate is quite high
establish brand expertise
position zero results are often used in voice search
11% os search results have a nippet and it is the first thing a lot of people clieck
how do I acheive position zero results?
it deos not matter where you are now, foundational building blocks
follow the process
ID keyword opportunties
create in depth content
publish on site SEO
amplify the content and SEO
1 ID keyword opportunity
Keywords that have a featured snippet
keyword you already rank for
if already on page 1, already on googles radar
why, what, when, who, was, how can is should which where are vs without will
asks google the topic
answer the public
qualitative keyword research
matrix of questions based on those starts
where to download WP themes for example
very specific peice of content to create
longform content
and art and a science in depth vs high level
2 In Depth Content for the win
that raises higher in the search if ou are not focused on a single content
share expertise
other people echo that the content is expert content – authority
business has trust, address on page
Sharing your expertise
longform cotent targets at least 2K words
unpack the topic
context is essential
outline, title
break the topic down into sections
what why where questions
if structure the framework, then google can extract value out about each component
context is king
put in 2 word phrase and image search
filters by other topic suggestions
words google already uses, take note for your writing
snippet bait
depends on your goal
1 Paragraph (81% of featured snippets): 40-60 word blok of content

  1. list 11% of featured snippets
  2. table is lowest
    3 Publish with good on-site SEO
    content right below the question
    making life super easy on the user
    don’t be a politician, yes or no in first sentence
    give the content right away
    elements on the web page helps search get content meaning
    titels tag anam meta
    who will win the click?
    ad tests
    sentence of content in link on search results
    that is meta
    Unique for all pages
    include a focus keyword
    title tags between 15 and 4o characters
    Meta descriptions in sentence formats
    think like a marketer, think about competition
    Structure via Headers
    H1 main title
    h2 what are wp themes
    snippet bait
    deep dive into answer with internal and external links
    snippet bait
    deep dive into answer with internal and external links
    recipe website
    alt text – more context about images for search results
    be descriptive
    avoid keyword stuffing
    explude ‘imageo of;
    buttons and icons use alt text
    Internal links
    spread ranking power throughout your site and show the search engine with pages are the most important
    Don’t forget Off-site SEO
    we used to be isolationist SEO folks
    expertiese authority and trust
    2 biggest area
    link building and social media
    rey on relationships
    build authority and trust bu getting your professional relationships to give you a high five online in the form of a social media share or even better a link
    deep link example
    tossing a link in the middle of content that links to articles
    collectively get all the network to rise
    How to I help my clients with Position 0?
    It starts with education
    Unpack an example within their industry
    work together on the first post
    get them excited about the results
    Can I really do this? YES!
    identify position 0 opps
    create in depth content
    link graph, internal links

Drip, Drip, Drip to Convert Website Leads to Sales
Amy Hall

I am not in a state where I want to leverage the drip campaign yet, but I fully plan to in a future endeavor soon. Seeing her clean layout of how a proper campaign should engage the prospect or customer was very helpful in visualizing the process. It also gave me some ideas on how to think about onboarding from the client perspective instead of things I as the vendor would want you to know or do. Providing value is challenging but is well rewarded when done correctly.

Raw Notes:
65% of business say generating traffic and leads is the biggest challenge
Drip campaign
series of emails automatically sent over time
every subscriber starts the campaign at email #1 and progresses though the campaign
object is to keep your name in front of your readers
one of the touches needed to get some one to buy
welcome campaigns
educate customer about your product
confirm appts or reservations
onboard new clients
she runs 4 to 10 email campaigns educate them
you have a captive audience in an onboarding process
96% of visitors who come to your website are not redy to buy yet
drip vs nurture campaign
sales campaign
a series of emails based on reads behaviour and automatically sent over time
each subscriber gers emails specifically created to walk them through the sales process
The object is to sell your products and services
answer their fears and apprehension
abandoned shopping carts
membership renewals
reminders to use a software or a service
re-engage with customers what arn’t opening or clicking on emails
Tha ability to segment emails lists and individualize email campaign messaging are the most effective personalization tactics – ascend2, 2016
Give people what they want when they want it
use segmentation to make it useful
personalize the emails with first names or Products preferences for better conversions
Transactional emails receive 8 times as many opens compared to regular marketing emails
plan your campaign
how any emails will you send?
what will you sell?
in what order?
whats the time frame?
what are your triggers?
what will success look like?
Easy drip campaign sequence example
groups and tags
group external organizationf ro your groups
pepole can pick waht groups to be in
only place subscriber can see what groups are is on subscription form
internal organizational method
you select these, subscribers never see these
activecampaign is #1 in deliverability
mailerlight is next
number 3 is constant contact
mailchimp is next in line
very small difference in deliverability
automated email messages average 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher…

Checking Under The Hood: Auditing Your Website For A Smooth Ride
AmyJune Hineline
Sean Dietrich

This was a methodical talk that walked people through a thorough approach to understanding the issues of a website, from a code and a content perspective. I think a lot of folks in the room were excepting a little more ‘use this plugin’ and less ‘look at the code’ but this is how the pros do it and I am glad this talk had a mostly full room. Also, there is no magic plugin for Accessibility, which was another focus of the session. Making sure that everyone can use your site is the goal and it is a good reminder it is a moving target that we all must do our best to hit.

Raw Notes:
39% of people disengage if not attractive layout
39% will stop engaging if images missing or take too long to load
When they get a new site, they audit it
preliminary checks
versions of things, top logged wrrors
healthcheck page
review modified files using WP-CLI
check for patch documentation
Examine the theme
file structure, organized
functionality tied to theme
a page builder in use?
flatt CSS, SASS, etc?
JS best practices?
Check SEO
Using stiemap?
Search Console
what is Pagespeed rank
Assess code quality
run custom plugins though PHP codesniffer
check for code comments
Review code for possible improvements
Read the docs
is there any documentation?
How does it get set up locally
what tools/dependencies are needed
Test your eccessibility
Ensure all users, regardless of abilities, can interacti in a meanigful way
Push the performance
review hosting and are they are on the right plan?
why design for A11y?
26% of people in the US live with a disability
KEyboard only nav
spik features in app?
Does keyboard focus work
images contain alt-text
are tables used for more than tabular data?
does the screen reader read all the content as presented on screen?
Can test be resized without obscuring any content
Landmark regions properly defined between Aria and HTML5
FIrst rule of Aria is avoid using Aria and do it natively in semantic HTML
Visual Needs
Motor needs
Auditory Needs
Cognative needs
Content is an important as code
Global stage
English is a privledge
Aim for 9th grade reading level
20 words per sentence and 5 sentences per paragraph
break up content bullet points and lists
captions, subtitles and alt-text
H1-H6 in order
Audits are important
audit consists
understand why users are using the site

The Power Of Recurring Income
Nathan Ingram

Nathan used to be a preacher and it shows up when he is fired up about a particular subject. He has this desire, really a passion, that everyone should be tapping into recurring revenue vs going after new business as the only way to feed yourself. It is downright inspiring. The analogy of Blockbuster vs Netflix model of repeat sale vs subscription really drove the whole point home to me. He even provides a free worksheet to figure out how to get on the recurring revenue train sooner than later. A lot of value in this talk.

Raw Notes:
— in the room about 5 minutes late —
“Recurring revenue is the foundation of a successful freelance business”
Is every dollar worth the same?
The more predictable the money is the more valuable it becomes
recurring is value
blockbuster vs Netflix
repeat sales vs recurring revenue
Car dealerships. How do they survive?
service department
GM autocredit is most profitable
carwashes even moved to this model
ore consistent revenue stabilize your finances
more profitable relationships positions you into a valued partner
How to create service for recurring revenue
Starting place is WP care plans
no reason not do do this
Hosting Services, why you should!
You control the environment
more productive and there are no surprises
You are leaving money on the table
every site needs it and you built the client relationships
it is better for your client
one contact, no blame game (they are going to call you anyway)
Not seting up the server rack yourself in the basement
Partner with a trusted web host that provides phenominal support
VPS/Dedicated or Managed WP
Offering WP Update Services
THis is a valuable service
Regular proactive updates
Compatibility issues
Use a centralized management dashbaord to update multiple sites simultaniously
automatically on a schedule
full site and easy restore
backups should be stored offiste in cloud storage
Offer security services
secure server
lets encrypt
WP Security plugins
creating other services
3 basic questions
what do my customers need?
What services cn I create to meet those needs
what resources do I need to perform those services
packet of worksheets
6 page booklet

Death Star Security: A Live Look At How Sites Are Hacked
Chris Teitzel

If there is a person with more experience or authority on certain aspects of security, I would love to meet them. Chris brings a lightheartedness to a very grave subject and makes it fun to learn terrifying truths. I will admit my notes are a little sparse on this one as I was busy trying out a few of the things he suggested we try out. This is one every singe person designing any kind of system should be made to watch a few times. There is no such thing as too much security know how.

Raw Notes:
How the rebels blow up your deathstar
3 things he built there
Storm Trooper
Customer Targeting
taking email and injecting in without sanitization
inherent trust in user input is DANGEROUS!
update uption email commander
you many forget where input comes from
using terms like blog_name and Remember Alderan
user add with admin priveldge
if you are not watching and these options get set
never assume users are limited to your inputs
DDOS DIstributed Denial of Service Attack
time intensive operations
Can exfitrate data on the screen or sessio cookies
trick user into action on a target site they are logged nto
CORS, don’t allow origins to come in unless I set them
nonces CSRF blockers
wp_nonce_url (acionurl, action, name)
easy to check them back
sanitize inputs
handle options with care
use PHP codesniffer to find errors
Highlights syntax errors and helps you writte better code
Viusalize insecure code

What Trying To Farm Taught Me About Open Source
Vasken Hauri

I wanted to go to this talk mostly because I was curious how he could tie mushroom farming into open source. What I left with was pure inspiration to go and tinker more and make software do what I want it do for my own needs. I also wasn’t aware of the new breed of smaller family farms that ae emerging to provide open source food for us. Seriously. The Monsanto corporation has copyright and patent on much of our food to the point it is an act of punk rebellion to feed ourself without their approvals. I have neve been more inspired to support local farmers more in my life as an expression of my love of Open Source tech. Plus Vasken gives a great history of how software went from open to closed to open again.

Raw Notes:
Things he cant farm
tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, squash, fruit trees, kale
things he can farm: Mushrooms!
2 restaurants as customers + farmers market
tech early days apple
Farming is doing something and not knowing if it worked or you messed up for months
Tech moves at a ridiculous speed
a lot of the same lessons
older industries like agriculture can tach us a lot about how things change
old school farming
plant seds
fence the plants, weed the weeds, chase off rabbits
save some of the seeds
graze the land
plant something new
repeat, over and over
lot of work
repetitive work, manual
no way to automate the whole process
we must innovate
scaling mechanically
tractor combine
more mecahnization
reduced labor
increased amount of land that can be farmed be one person
encouraged monocropping
chemical farming
reduced labor
enabled monocropping
replaced soil health with chemical inputs
old vs new way
larger farms
expensive inputs
perfect veggies with no gross bugs
kale 40 day growing cycle
20 types of pestiside on average kale
still a lot of work
smaller margins due to higher inpot costs
chemical pst and weed resistancce
infertile soild require more inputs
higher costs mean loans, debts, foreclosure
A killing season Monsanto be herbicide
resistant weeds
dicambra resistant soybeans
a lot of farms lost crops
escalated a fight to murder
but I’m at a WordCamp
back to history of computers
earliest computers
large mechanical problems
altair 8800 a few K of RAM to program
a few grand up front and royalty model
without basic you had no OS
copyright law was very vague in early days
“you are all theives’ Bill Gates to computer users
Apple vs Franklin Computer
binary code is not copywritable until this case in 1983
franklin orignally won
appeals court overturned and now software was copywrightable
7-8 years of locense gold rush
a lot of people got shut out
took a lot of people
they can’t just take your code and hide it
this made Linux possible
because people could build on and contribute to code
without people yanking it away with license
since 2005, 15,600 devs have contributed to Linux
As of February 2015
80% of Linux kernal devs are paid
Microsoft 144K employees
45% are engineers
a lot fo them now do work on OSS
closed source software
built for mass market bu a company looking to invest and targeting the largest possible market
by contrast
additive contrib is guaranteed not to be exploited
enables the hobbyist to become professional again
hog farmers run it through anaerobic digester to compress methane,run trucks and tractor
post modern farming
emphasis on high quality
smaller farms with less investments
more reliant on labor and expertiese
direct connection with consumer
more specialization
WP if free like the original seeds
OSS jobs exist becuase eople need specialized
Jobs building core
just like farming, OSS puts the calue back in you, the creative engineer, designer, strategist, and not n the software
starting in farming or OSS
try somethings and maybe fail
succeed at something
focus on that
optionally add more things

Wrapping Up

As I prepare to leave California for the next set of adventures elsewhere in the US, I find it fitting that WordCamp Sacramento is one of the last events I am going to do for the year. It is the closest camp I have to my own home city of SF, but it is far enough away that it feels alien every time I visit. I have no idea what the future holds exactly but I am grateful to each and every person I got to hang out with and who has supported me emotionally along this trek. I know I am far from perfect and I do try to improve everyday. No idea if I will ever again make that drive from SF to the central valley, but if I do I will be looking forward to another WordCamp Sacramento at the end of that drive.

PressNomics 2019: The value of conversation with the right people in the hot Arizona sun.

I had never been to The Old Pueblo before this trip. If United Airlines had anything to say about it, I would still not have. Long story short, 2 cancelled flights, a missed connection and an overnight stay in Denver, which you can read further about over on my new personal/tech-tinkering blog dwayne-mcdaniel.com. Once I got to Tucson I realized I had only booked a room for one night, but thankfully my status and points get me into the overflow hotel for the event. Pretty quickly, the quality of the setting informed me that I was at no WordCamp, but rather at the gathering of the best and brightest business minds in the WordPress space. I was at PressNomics 6, 2019.

Food and Fun


I arrived on Wednesday just in time for lunch. I joined a wonderful crowd of folks going to one of the ‘official’ restaurants that was expecting a lunch crowd from the event, Wild Garlic. A bit pricey, they had a very friendly and competent staff. Only one real vegan item on the menu, but I left completely stuffed on deliciously prepared quinoa and veggies.

After the day of intense sessions ended we gathered in the courtyard for a happy hour reception with drink tickets and a few appetizers. Pretty soon a full meal was called for and I joined a few folks at the on property The Terraza Garden Patio and Lounge. Eventually a few nightcaps at my hotel with some of other conference folks staying there and I ended day one. No tweets exist of these parts.


Breakfast was at the all too fancy The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa where my status got me free vouchers for the meal all week. I have never had more bland avocado toast to be honest, but the coffee was great!
Over at the venue we had iced tea, coffee and teas to keep us hydraded and awake. There were also afternoon snacks. Really solid options but at the price point, I would have been sad it it had been any lesser quality.

For lunch, I found out from my old vegan brother Josh who has family in the area that one of his favorite vegan joints in the world was a few miles away. We gathered a plat based foods enthusiastic crowd and headed to Lovin’ Spoonfuls which not only had an amazing selection and just astonishingly well prepared food, it was also very reasonably priced! If all vegan places delivered such value perhaps meat based chains would quickly go out of business around them.

After a day full of informative sessions a group of us explored one the culinary marvels of Tucson, Culinary Dropout. Imagine someone taking a car dealership worth of property and making a massive restaurant out of it with ping pong tables, cornhole and an entirely different lounge/restaurant inside of it. The kitchen has windows from chest level to the ceiling and we could see exactly how each bit of food was carefully and quickly prepared. They only had one vegan dish on the menu, but it was so well spiced and balanced that it made up for the lack of choice quite well. Also they had great funny named drinks. Thanks to the generosity of James Law for the meal! It is not the only Culinary Dropout in the country and here is a tweet from another one from a previous PressNomics.

After dinner we headed back to the Hacienda del Sol for a little light live music and drink tickets with a full bar. My favorite part of the whole party was the moment when out host, the awesome Mr. Strebel granted me a near god like power when he commanded the bartender to ‘give this man any drinks he wants’ before walking away to find where he had left the extra drink tickets. I went home and to bed earlier than you might expect as the day was long and the next day was an adventure awaiting me.


After another breakfast at the hotel, I joined a group of folks to go explore Kartchner Caverns. I have not been in a cave in many years and it is always humbling to think about geologic time, where a few hundred thousands years is a blink of an eye. Helps put some things in perspective in all reality. Unfortunately no cameras are allowed in the caves so I have no first hand source for you.

After a very full morning of bussing to and exploring the magnificent natural beauty of the caverns, we went to the place that reportedly invented the Chimichanga, El Charro. They had a full on vegan section of the menu and the margaritas were very good. I ate way too many chips with salsa, but it was a wonderful time. This capped off a really wonderful event. While the evening had a couple more drinks with folk at the hotel, our tale more or less ends here.

One last giant thank you to Jay and Keanan for the ride to the airport. As I am self funding these trips now, every little bit of help helps a lot.


Due to the nature of the event, which does not record sessions to make everything a ‘had to be there’ type of experience, I am not going to release my full private notes here like I do on almost all the other posts. The schedule is indeed public, so no secrets there and I want to record some reactiond for myself in the future that might seem cryptic if you are reading along and not me. If you want to see what any of it looked like, I am not including the normal tweet proof of sessions as I typically do, but the twitter stream is also not private.

The Ethics of Open Source.
Morten Rand-Hendriksen

Every once in a while you get to witness something truly historic within a space. THe more I think on Mor10’s words the more I questions a number of things I am doing with my life. After meeting Richard Stallman I have been questioning quite a number of things about my belief in OSS. Morten answered a few of them directly and I now feel less conflicted about some of the choices I have been pondering. I know that is vague, but hearing from someone who has helped train over 1,000,000 people on WordPress say some stuff out loud that needed said was enlightening enough to be worth the whole trip for me.

WP Community.
Rian Kinney

I felt like I was watching a court case based episode of a documentary series on A&E. I mean that in a very surreal sort of way. The emotions ran very high and the sessions went a bit long and I don’t want to reveal much more specific details of the talk here. If this had been positioned anywhere other than right after Morten’s talk I am not sure it would have been as much of a gut punch, but since it did follow Morten’s talk I can say this was the most emotionally charged thing I have maybe every participated in semi-publicly. Keeping an eye on her twitter will be a good activity moving ahead is all I am going to say to close this out.

Security Blunders.
Robert Rowley

Security is hard and we must keep updated to stay safe. The single biggest takeaway from this ‘real life lessons learned’ talk was ‘never trust user input and never, and I mean never, unserialize something unless you have used a hash check to make sure you were the one to serialize it. Other than that, read your dang PHP salmon colored warnings more closely, they exists to keep us all safe.

Tax/Retirement Planning.
Jon Bickerton

I learned a lot about taxes for earnings brackets I aspire to. Also, leveraging property as a business owner is a good idea if you have a lot of money to defer. The truth is you can not get out of paying your share of taxes, so don’t attempt that. You can and should defer your money as long as possible to avoid the tax penalty up front. Good solid advice and several people said that they learned a new tax strategy to investigate with their tax consultants.

Personal Journeys and Mental Health.
Brooke Siem

New name for me and it turns out it is because she is not really a WordPress user. Her story is one of identity and needing to quit the medications she had been assigned as a child as she grew up to get any sense of her own identity and to find a reason to keep living. Moving from a mindset of awaiting death to one of squeezing every moment from the life you have left, she inspired us all to think about the days and hours we have of our own. I have some thinking to do about some of what she said. I can say I am very grateful to all the support of everyone who has helped me get to this point in my life and I am looking forward to thanking each of you in person, hopefully soon.

Stories from the inside.
Maura Teal
Jeff Matson

Did you know that Page.ly invented WordPress Managed Hosting? Did you know they help enterprise customers with infrastructure and DevOps in amazing ways? Did you know they have a new serverless offering called NorthStack that greatly simplifies deploying just about anything for almost no cost and then is metered like Netlify, but promises to be way simpler? If you did you could have skipped this session. But in all seriousness Maura and Jeff did a great job of giving us the inside scoop of why they love doing what they do. Beyond anything Page.ly related they really did an amazing job of sharing their passion for tech and the community they belong to. I kid a bit here, but they encouraged us all that tech might change but serving clients is always going to be central to any stack.

Wrapping Up

The biggest benefit of PressNomics is not the food or fun or even the sessions I don’t think. It is the benefit of getting to talk about serious business issues and questions with very successful folks also there to learn from other successful folks. Getting to pitch my ideas around Process Digital Consulting and sharpen what those offerings even are helped me evolve certain things faster than pretty much any other methodology I can think of. Sure, the parties are legendary and the whole attitude is at once completely relaxed and overwhelmingly invigorating, but the space they creat for valuable conversations is second to none. As of the time of writing this, I am not certain what my future in the space looks like to be honest. But one thing I know for sure, I am going to be buying the tickets as soon as they go on sale for PressNomics 7, 2020.

WordCamp Las Vegas 2019: Where 103 degrees does not feel as hot in the desert and having a WordCamp in a casino

As I landed in Sin City I tried really hard to recall the last time I was there. It had to be more than a decade ago and in some ways the “Marriage Capital of the World” had certainly changed, as I flew in I was kind of astonished how large the dessert town had expanded and how much construction was happening. In other ways though, it was exactly as I remembered it and I had deja vu more than a few times. In one way, it was specifically identical, insofar as my luck not being good while there. Let’s leave that last statement as the only comment about gambling I need to make in this post. After all, I was there not for a crazy weekend of debauchery, but was there for a weekend of community and learning at WordCamp Las Vegas 2019

Food and Fun


Friday night kicked off as soon as I landed, as I went straight to the speaker/sponsor dinner held at Famous Dave’s. While I am not a huge fan of their menu, which is 90%+ meat based at the moment, though they do have plans to add Beyond Meat to the menu this year, but not yet at this location. I still got my fill of corn, fries and various assorted veggies. It was great to hang out with so many folks I had not seen in a while and meet some net folks there as well.

Afterward, legendary good time planner Mike Demo introduced us to the largest tiki bar in the world by taking us to the Golden Tiki. It was a fun night of flaming drinks and good conversations. It seems most drinks taste better when they come to the table on fire.


We were greeted with convention coffee and a tea assortment at the lovely yet aging Plaza Hotel and Casino where the event was happening. It was OK coffee, right in the middle of the pack and nothing to note further on it. We also had branded bottled water, which I always find amusing for some reason. Like am I going to do more business with this hotel because their name is on the water bottle?

Lunch was boxed lunch sandwiched and wraps. I want to specially say a huge thank you to the organizers who made it easy on the folks with dietary needs to have a filling and quality lunch. Part my lunch was a little salad in a cup which was just enough and the cup let me shake the dressing thoroughly throughout.

The after party was in the same venue but outside by the pool. This is the hotel pool and a number of folks, including myself assumed we would have a private party there. Instead we got to share with the other hotel guests and that made for an interesting experience. Still a good time and I actually got to soak in the hot tub for a bit while the thermometer on a building across the way told us the temperature was 104F and dropping as the evening wre on.

While the drinks at the party were great, I ended up needing a meal at some point. Did you know that White Castle has an Impossible Burger slider? I got to introduce some people to it.


We tried to get some singing done, but the way Cat’s Meow ran things unless you paid a $30 line cut fee, you would be eternally bumped down the list. It really does not help that between every single singer the staff did a song and tried their best to manufacture a party atmosphere which you can see in the photos. I guess some people like that experience but after a coulpe hours of always being 5th or 6th in line and getting a little sick of the staff singing, some of us bailed without singing. At least they had buy one get one free well drinks.


More coffee and the exact same lunch were on tap for Sunday during the event. Afterward, one of my favorite firebrands in the world Beth Livingston and I took to the skys above Fremont Street to zipline all the way way down the 5 block stretch thanks to the Slotzilla Zip Line experience. It was terrifying and amazing and gave me a glimpse into what Superman might feel like with people staring up at a person flying through the air. It was the best bet I made the whole trip. Since I could not use my phone on the ride here is a tweet of someone who did


Opening Remarks

Backward Compatibility is Good for WordPress, Not Mental Health
Bridget Willard

Bridget is my friend and we were in the trenches together heading the WordPress Community Marketing Team for almost 2 years. Almost that long ago she pitched me the idea of a talk on mental health and I have been encouraging her to give that talk ever since. I am very glad she did. I have a ton of self doubt and I do find myself being self deprecating a lot. It was startling to realize how much of that I have actually been believing lately. I am grateful that I got to support Bridget here, but in all reality he supports me emotionally as a friend far more than I can write.

Raw Notes:
Been in the space for a while
supportive amazing women
but people with issues
1 and 0s do what you expect
people don’t
What are worthiness issues
Friend’s therapist told her to work on worthiness issues
what does that even mean?
like backwards compatibility
clicked for her friend then
We talk about mental health a lot, but we need some breaking changes
Believes negative things about herself
we are way harder on ourselves than we are to our friends
why does self-talk matter
Self talk is insidious
it changes the things we choose in our lives
do we make friends easily or figure they’ll hate is anyway?
Do we make self-deprecating jokes?
Do we try better jobs? Better clients?
Do we self isolate?
Are we brave in our relationships? willing to trust someone?
are we vulnerable to someone? maybe a therapist, but trust someone
Listen to Corey Miller, Don’t see everything underneath
How do we make breaking changes
have to find the bugs, they are not features
Find someone to talk about it wiht
recognize the patterns in word choice
practice self awareness
write: “I am” statements
what are you goot at?
What do people say about you?
Who do you want to be?
Write it down

Lucky 7: Don’t Do Anything Until You Hear This WordPress Presentation
Joe A Simpson Jr

Joe has one of my favorite origin stories for a WordCamp organizer. Basically, my super short version of his tale is “Joe got tired of driving to LA for meetups, started his own and it got so successful that he did a WordCamp within the first 2 years of starting it.” Joe also has lived the life of a developer who had to learn on his own and lean on community to get unstuck at times. As a result, his wisdom is some of the richest of any speaker I can name. Though this talk was basics for beginners kind of feel, it was chock full of great nuggets and reminders of best practices for folks at any stage of that WordPress life.

Raw Notes:
Luck be a widget tonight!
First visit to vegas like you getting into WP for the first time
it can be overwhelming
Today, he is our welcoming party for WP
2 years ago he got tired of driving 2 hours for a meetup
started his own
they had own WordCamp already
started about 10 years ago, inherited Headway theme blog
WP has come a long way since then
they had budget fortunately
moves to VIP, got to go to summits
everyone helped him when he was new
issue 1
“I bought too much hosting up front..”
there are so many hosting companies
buy small and level up
what kind of traffic do you expect
are you selling products
is site speed important
will mutliple
“Why doesn’t my theme look like the demo?”
“how do I add a thing to a theme?”
page builder maybe?
“A11y makes me angry”
he got punched in his shoulder once at a meetup about a11y
be advocate for a11y
NFL colorrush example
colorblind and SEO
color should not be only way to ID content
Awwwared wining site failes basic contrast checker
free tools from webaim
chrome color contrast analyszer
test tab useage and no mouse
Start with an a11y theme
“Can’t I google a theme to do all this for me?”
redising his brother’s website
Hymaze from somewhere on Google
unmaintainable mess
“I’m still waiting on my client to send me website content”
so many tools to help you write more efficiently
Grammerly – typo and rich text
“This is too basic, I want more advanced..”
get involved
look for events in your community
libraries lynda.com for free
quick hits
two-step uthentication
Strong passwowrds
Royalty free images
avoid cowboy coding – don’t work directly on your live site

What you thought you knew about WordPress security! (With real hacked site stories)
Rob Marlbrough

You can not learn enough about security. I don’t care if you think you are an expert, attending security talks are always a good decision. Hearing some of the anecdotes from Rob’s work over the years make you realize not every takes security seriously, which makes it super important that anyone working professionally as a web developer or site owner does.

Raw Notes:
care about passwords
they can read table prefix, so not a good path anymore
Real total cost of a hacked webstite
Cost of a hack repair does not include
cost of reputation
shareholder distrust
GDPR lawsuites, CC protection services
Cost of wasted digital as spend FB/Insta ads
cost of wasted tv/radio/print ads
cost of email or other sign ups
cost of memberships sales
Security befoe getting to your website
Network security WAF, at the ISP level, at the data center level
Server securty at the host level
Often hear, I can’t control these things” Yes you can!, you ca change webhosts
prepaid $3/m for 3 years? so what!, still worth changing hosts, one hack site could comst more than 3+ years of cheap hosting
Strong passwords
don’t rely on obvious solutions
Block IP based on behaviour, nimber of failed logins, guessing usernames, looping through known URLs
2factor authentication!
Update daily!
security patches are relased daily
hackers are alerted daily to vulnerbility
get free SSL cert for many a reason, SEO, http/2
behind a network scanning/filtering sytem
choose a web host that protects networks and servers
don’t shoose a host based on affiliates only
WordFence is great, install on all sites you manage
Securi: free plugin scans site
reinstalls pugins from repo in bulk
backups can be worthless
no protection is site is deleted from their servers!
Dialy and Off Server and Tested or Worthless!
hourly or continous backup for ecommerce/membership sites
UpdraftPlus: reliable and free plugin
Jetpack and Vaultpress, Backup BUddy and many other quality plugins out there
Free services for WP website maintenance
Free can be expensive, time consuming, stress-filled
Advanced Automatic Updates plugin email alerts failures
Music lessons website hacked
redirected random visitors 1 out of 10 or so, redirected to porn website
vulnerable cross scripting plugin
recovery: backups for 90 days – still infected
search/replace DB tables to remove injected JS, patched the plugin

She Said, He Said: Hackers’ Guide To Coding
Shelby Sapusek
Jim Raffel

I met Shelby and Jim at the speaker dinner and I knew immediately that I wanted to see their talk. They are the definition of seasoned WordPress site builders. I think between the two of them the have encountered just about every weird situation WP can throw at a person and they were happy to share that battle hardened know how with everyone. There is a chasm between the typical WordPress user and the developer who lives in the terminal and code editor. This talk is a step toward the latter for folks who find they cant do all they need to with off the shelf GUI tools, but also which of those tools can solve some of the tricky problems.

Raw Notes:
Partners for a while
why is coding or hacking necessary?
Our compnay has grown and taking on more complex
Are we coders? If not, are we hackers?
If you have written any HTML, you are a coder
Hackers – negative connotation
Black hat
White hat
Grey Hat – looking for a payout
Programmer – compent cook
caution with coding
always back things up
staging sites
css, PHP, etc, file copies
Consider how changes will impact other parts of the site
Document all changes
safety first
work with minimal number of frameworks, (genesis)
Logo and header change example
inspector – old was firebug
customizer additional CSS
theme editor but DANGER!
what to edit and where
Tools within customizer
Custom HTML widget
Additional CSS under Customize, often underlooked
diff tool
Elementor Plugin
drag and drop editor
design pallete pro
Google Maps
Responsive Slider

Inclusive Content Strategy
AmyJune Hineline

This is not the first time I have seen AmyJune speak but I can’t recall seeing her speak at a WordCamp before. I have known her for a while now from my work in the Drupal community and I always look forward to hanging out with her. She has a lot better technical chops than she lets on, but her focus is on the human side of things for the most part, which is the skillset she is shared in her talk. We can’t overthink being kind and accessible to our fellow humans and just hearing the best practices out loud push us all in the right direction. Let’s all use more people positive language!

Raw Notes:
Verna Myers
diversity is being invited to the party, INclusion is being asked to dance
inclusive mean accessable
Visual needs
motor needs
auditory needs
cognitive needs
Meaningful Content
inclusion of all race, religion, contrie of origen
gnerder ID
and all thing
Ableist language
people with a disability vs the disabled
use people centric language
never lazy, crazy, retarded
Gender Nutral
Humankind not mankind
Folks vs guys or dudes
mansplaining is not gender neutral
enter the WYSIWYG
styling is for coders and designers not content authors
WYSIWYG should be for entering content
never for styling
use style guides or stylesheets
an a11y is goal
events a11y for everyone
families, neurodiversity
people who live with disabilities
avoid acronyms
numeronyms (a11y, i18n)
problematic to screen readers
screen reads can’t even deal most of the time
buffer and twiteriffic can make
use camel case

Accidental Business Owner: Now What?
Mike Demo

I already mentioned Mike earlier and his amazing organizational skills. He has many other skills as well, which I have not heard him talk about too much, as the only other talk from him I can find my notes for is his ‘Which Way Does Your Duck Face?’ talk. His general advice to get over yourself and go fill the need you see at a price point that just works is much needed in a world where speakers routinely talk about firing clients and rejecting work below a certain threshold. Both those world views can hold true but not for everyone. Mike has a great head on his shoulders and I am downright inspired by him, as well as dang proud to call him friend.

Raw Notes:
Mike was building CMS sites when his school told him no one was using
now in OSS
Epcot, spaceship earth
history of communication
like the web
democratize publishing, making the web and world better
free software as in freedom of speech
If you can dream it, you can do it (not actually Walt Disney)
used to sell timeshares
Fell in love with the community
loves the passion of the community
everyone wants to get to that next level
don’t have a vision of grandure when you are getting started
3 page websites
Accidental business owners: started to learn jus for fun, then built a site for family
plugin 15K active users, can’t kill it
day job as well that id getting in the way
just build without a plan
passion without a way to get there
make a plan for your clients before you start the work
goal of more sales, what does more mean?
clients hate launching websites
never selling single website contract again
“never have to make a new website again”
launching basic website with a large wishlist
goals vs wishlist, pick what is impactful
we are guessing as website designers
people think they know their clients
protect yourself and get the money you are owed
Step 1 get users
step 2 ??
step 3 profit
charge for every change
reprice per the reality that the client presents

How to Outshine Your Competition in Our Exploding WordPress Market
Beth Livingston

This is not the first time I have see Beth talk about this subject, but this is the best version of the ideas so far, as she has been refining it throughout this year of camps. The ideas she is helping people get on board with are in line with the writing I have been doing on my LinkedIn blog about impriving processed and project management theory. She is coming from a very practical standpoint on this subject, taking what works in the corporate world making the concepts easily digestable for all who sell services. Keep your eyes open for her content and check out her site for some awesome stuff right now.

Raw Notes:
millions of websites, hundreds of thousands of devs for WP
lot of copetition
Clients spent a lot onf costinvetment
some of timeline
almost none on solution
compoeting on price is a losing bet
unique value prop
not a call to action
not headline: subtitle
not an explanation ot your service
not an into to your business
communicates the unique value provided to your target customers
what you do well vs what our competition does for your clients
SEO is not a unique prop
What clients care about most
timeline – scope creep, delays
on time and i budget
What business problem will your solution solve
clint management plan
this defines who your ideal client is
ideal client avatar
who do you want to work with?
stop penalizing the client for not understanding how websites are built
help them understand consequences for not following process
have a change budget
define process and consequences for non compliance
use incremental acceptance
set acceptance criteria up front
font on the website
8 essential questions
–could not type fast enough here —
once you have answers to all those questions
give the clients the same list of questions to show the other guy

My talk

Bash is magic # No it’s not

I keep running out of time when giving this talk. There is just more content than time about this subject that just delights me to explain to folks. It is ike revealing t hidden secret club to the world where everyone was actually already invited and all are welcome. Introducing experienced command line users to tools like BackstopJS and behat is also a thrill and so far the comments I have recieved have ben overwhelmingly positive. I think I might need to do something else with this content moving ahead to reach a wider audience.

Building Successful Client Relationships in a Digital Age
Jodie Riccelli

I thought I had seen this talk before, but in a city where I was getting deja vu all over the place I was not sure. Checked my notes and sure enough I saw a similar version once before. However this did not hinder my enjoyment or the quality of content for me at all. It was awesome to be reminded that learning all our skills don’t need to have an immediate payoff, as sometimes it takes years and multiple opportunities before it all clicks. It was also a reminder that multitasking is not a good idea. I have been terrible at this, trying to do to many things all at once. I am actually inspired by this talk to find some more productive habits in the days and weeks ahead.

Raw Notes:
loves to learn
worked at a car wash
learned to detail cards
then upsell the customer
music promotion
she learned WP and GIMP to make artist websites
sales for a small agency in Philly
magical coming together of skills at that point
then moved to WebDev Studios
She is not everything though,
not a great speller, not the one with all the answers
paul barnwell
My students don’t know how to have a conversation
in a world of digital life is there any more important skill?
Don’t multitask, be present
record calls, take notes later
video or in person
close all the things
feather triangle string
segment the room
just moving through segments, want to engage with each group
breaking down the audience to connect with her
imagine you are holding feathers and need to move the feather to back wall
Triangles are the joints
string is your head, string out the top of your head
Choose your words wisely
this is why we are the bst vs this is how we can help
problem vs challenge
pick up the phone
zoom is my friend
saying ‘I don’t know’ is not just OK, it is essential
what measurable goal can we set
be authentic
remove qualifying word and phrases
thank you notes or cookies
principle of reciprocity
the psychology of persuasion
thank you notes increase registration
productivity rule
if task takes less than just 2 minutes, just do it now
say think you
file paper away
looking away for a minute “eye care chrome extension”
The four agreements

Wrapping Up

As I start wind down my life of constant travel to dozens of events per year, I am taking stock more and more of the opportunities that each and every one of those events has granted me. I suffer a but at seeing the trees but not the forrest. This trip put a few things in perspective for me and I could not be more grateful for the folks who have been there for me along the way. The biggest revelation to me is that I have spent so much time absorbing such a wide, wide range of subjects that the road ahead seems like it has way too many option for me. Picking one is going to take some more thorough thought than I have been giving it for the last few months. I have know idea what the future looks like but I am planning to plant some roots and figure out what that feels like before too much longer. This trip to Las Vegas might be my last for the foreseeable future but I hope to retain the friendships and connections I made at WordCamp Las Vegas!


WordCamp Minneapolis 2019: Seeing Friends In The North And A Good Time At The State Fair

The last time I visited Mini Apple was way back in 2018 for Twin Cities Drupal. I am a fan of this town for their progressive politics, growing vegan foodie culture and efficient public transportation. It is on my short list of places to possibly move one day. I landed at MSP early and got to see some old friends before I attended the reason I was really there, WordCamp Minneapolis 2019.

Food and Fun


Speaker Dinner

Though there was a day of training this year, which I was not part of, the event officially stated for my on Thursday evening, at the traditional Speak/Sponsor/Organizer/Volunteer dinner. It was great to see so many folks I know and to meet some new folks as well. We gathered at the The Trading Floor at Fueled Collective, which is in the old Grain Exchange. The Trading Floor is where, at one point, they actually bought and sold grain futures in Minneapolis, which is the seat of all things agricultural for the whole region. A beautiful building turned into a giant and bright co-working and event space. A few of us ended up at Tracey’s Saloon for a nightcap before getting ready for a busy next day at camp.


Coffee, tea and water awaited us there at the McNamara Alumni Center, the host venu. Coffee was good enough in my opinion, so I stuck with that for the duration. Lunch was upon us before we realized it and the vegan option, which was very filling included salad and a quinua dish. I will never complain about quinua if I can get enough of it, which some catering struggles with for some reason. This was serve yourself so I was pretty happy. Afternoon snack was a build your own granola bar, which was OK.


Being so close to one of my favorite vegan/vegetarian places, Hard Times Cafe I of course had to make an attempt to rally the WPVegans. There were a lot of cometing distractions and only a small but hearty bunch of us did succeed at getting some of the best vegan seitan in existence! We also played some Foodtown Throwdown, my current favorite game.

Some of us ended the night at Otter’s Saloon to attempt some karaoke, but sadly, we arrived too late to sing.


Saturday was a repeat of day one’s coffee and water service, but this time I had a bit of breakfast at the local vegan friendly craft cafe Simpls. Go support this place if you are in the area. The vegan breakfast sandwich was so good I am going to be craving it and trying to replicate it back home.

After Party

Lunch was provided as part of the after party, since it was a half day of sessions. We gathered over at Loring Pasta Bar & Restaurant for some craft drinks and a pasta lunch. Vegan options again were available, which were anchored with a pretty hearty and tasty spaghetti dish. The space itself is massive and has a claim to fame that Bob Dylan used to live there when he was a student in what is now their ‘Red Room.’ It was great to have so much space to mix and mingle and reflect on all we learned at the event.

Also, while not officially part of the camp I got to join a couple WordPress colleagues for a good time at the Minnesota State Fair later in the evening. It awesome to be part of the opening weekend and I even got to see Herman’s Hermits perform. Definitely worth the visit!


Opening Remarks

The Developer’s Spectrum – From Junior to Lead
Jeff Holland

Sometimes things that seem obvious are hard to define, like what does water taste like? Or what do you mean by Senior Develover vs Architect? Thankfully Jeff gave us a low down from his vantage point as someone with a lot of experience on a large team at USA Today. I found it pretty helpful to be able to put myself on the scale of somewhere between Junior and Mid Level based on what he shared, and depending on what we are talking about. If you are on a growing development team, or are just curious about it, this might help you navigate as well.

Who is on the team
The Junior
right out of bootcamp
very mallaeable
you can teach them ‘your way’
they are quick learners who work extra hard
spending hours outside of work hours to learn more
pair well with senior devs
experiences are somethign they look forward to
very risk averse
have to draw them out and comfortable with ‘I don’t know’
Process change is difficult
first time using Git, or Jira, or communication tools
lot of questions about ‘how you do things’
They identify with their code
they take it personally
need to help them to feel seperate from their code
stay blunt but explain things in code reviews, not much criticism
“Here is how you can do it”
and tell them don’t identify with your code
The Junior is fresh out of school or changing careers
Ambitious, ready to talk about new ideas
Solved something – have some sense of accomplishments
Apt to make mistakes
On;y address one solution to a problem
have to peer review with them
Unaware of edge cases, debug errors and not know what to test for
over confident quickly once they start seeing patterns
Errors lead to imposter syndrome
How do they get better?

  • They need to code
  • Study and Read, but they need to read code to see how others are doing things
  • Pair program
  • meetups – meeting others makes you feel less isolated
    How to scale?
    Improve your skills
    Learn new languages
    Learn to context switch
    Mid Level – The workhorse of your team
    Very competent in their domain
    industry, languages, problem sets, etc
    Reliable output of work
    Shiney new ting syndrome
    Over reliance on their favorite tool
    Focus on a piece of the puzzle (tunnel vision)
    How Midlevel grows
  • Try new things
  • Mentor
  • Take on Challenges
  • Speak or Write!
    Mid level Scale?
    Personal to team level
    The Senior!
    Able to take on new things
    Architecture over implementation
    future thinking
    They are patient
    knowledge know things
    wisdom, know when to apply that knowledge
    always discussion, don’t huddle them together
    The old way works fine
    can over engineer for business needs
    The Lead and the Architect
    the roles at the top
    Lead manages dev work and communicatio with other teams
    Hels build team member’s skills
    insulates and advocates for the team
    keep people out of meetings
    make wins visible outside of the team
    insulate team from problems
    Lead spends less time in code
    The architect manages the infrastructure
    Need to juggle the industry trends with org needs
    has to do it without working with all teams

My Talk

Bash is magic # No it’s not

I love this subject. There is no higher compliment to me than to have someone come up after a talk and say “You made Bash fun and a lot less scary.” Though one of me other favorite bits of feedback was from someone who uses the command line everyday saying they learned something new as well. Learning together is the heart of open source and I am so happy I get to share that learning experience with the community.

Automating Site Creation
Dan Flies

My notes for this are short because you should just go check out the code itself. I was introduced to Dan at the speaker dinner and I could tell immediately we had the same genreal passion for tech nerdery, which I mean as the highest compliment. People of our ilk like to tinker and find new, elegant ways to solve issues in general. His support of my talk, which was delivered right before his, was also encouraging to hear, as some of what he spoke about assumed oyu had a general understanding of Bash and how WP-CLI commands work. He is managing a lot of scale and watching a devops master explain the tips he has learned about error checking and speeding up the build process was just pure gold. If you are managing more than a handful of sites, this talk and his code might just change your life!

Like Bash there are good reasons to use it
need scripting
code at github.com/danflies/wptoolsdanflies/wptools
Using PHP to run WPClI
Bash scripts got messy quickly
but all WP-CLI run in exec()
wp theme install, doing it locally
installing plugins like he does themes.
if theme is alreeady active check
using exit codes from is-active
activate and check if activated , then active plugin list
array[name => value]
key example in repo
adding pages managing widgets managing menus

Alternative datastores – When CPT, Taxonomies, Options and Object Meta aren’t enough
Gary Kovar

Ever since I saw {Felix Arntz’s talk at WordCamp Portland](https://www.mcdwayne.com/2018/11/05/wordcamp-portland-2018/) last year about the WordPress database structure, I have been more interested in talks about the subject. Most of the them are of the nature about how to work around the limitations inherent in the Post and related fields structures. I can foresee this being a future overhaul for WordPress, where we set out to fix the structure and make it much more tuned to getting individual Gutenberg blocks in and out of individual fields in the DB. For the time being, using alternative data stores when you can seems to be the prevailing path many are focusing on.

WP Storage
WP Stores Datain MySQL
WP has strongly Defined Models
one table per data type
SP does not do it that way
gets ugly quick
MySQL oversimplified
custom tables/views
list with the rest of tour WP Data
no extra config from host
allow you to store your data the way you intend to use it
Great for search
Super Fast Responsive ime
External Service
Eventually Consistent
can miss things in shards
Lightning fast
May not be persistant
key value pair
Location CPT with lat/lng Field
query slow
make a custom table
change where it looks up certain things
Geolocation – elastisearch
Task Runner
make the site run faster
Tsk runner redis
Add a key/value for each task
taskname plus uuid
multisite stuff
I want to post something to 1 site in Mltisite and how it on Other Sites

Keynote: Collaboration and Communication: Success in Community and Business
Cami Kaos

Cami is someone I consider an inspiration. Her no nonsense attitude toward pretty much everything I have ever dealt with her on is downright refreshing. AS a speaker she is witty and always has fantastic slides. As someone who is now working from home, as that is my office these days, I really appreciate her advice on work/life balance and just all the general tips she gave in this keynote. For sure a great one to check out if you are working from home as part of a distributed team.

Edd of a long day keynote
not 100% serious, going to tell jokes to entertain herself
Distributed work
found herself in a scary situation
been out of the workforce for a while and was getting a divorce
made a name as a mommy blogger and podcaster
didn’t want to disrupt being full time mom
wasn’t sure what skills to mark
customer management and retention
built on WP
co-working space in an accelerator for startups, next dae at pub with good wifi
other main contrib. in Denver
boss was out most of the time
she became a distributed employee
part of a movement
different kind of workforce
being normalized
WP is what she does and with tech makes sense to work form anywhere
Distributed school as well
distributed work has beed around for a while actually, with mail and telephone
distributed 201
strength and weaknesses of a DW
a bunch of her co-works and friends from working from home slide
working for a distributed team on a distributed project
the good
no brick and mortar
more convenient for employees
good for opening up to larger set of the best people
underrepresented groups and diversity are enabled by
very few people like to commute
removes the late for work part of the equation
additional me time or time for family
What about work life balance
more relaxed schedule
but have to be mindful, it is work to maintain work/life balance
The bad
most frequently
how do you know they are working if they are not at their desks all day
Communication is the way
call center productivity 13% increase when could work from home
increase was due to reduction of sick days.
Distributed or disturbed
time zones are a real thing
not a happy thing to work with
no great answer, just kinda sucks
The Ugly!
Not bathing for days
take care yourself
happy hour zoom
get a coworking desk
dedicated work space
alternate login on your computer
if you know you need social activity, schedule it
Going to gt coffee shop
morning ritual
if he has to relocate he does it once in the day
limit context switching
brick and mortar learn to work together
Distributed teams need to be built with intent
loss of sense of belonging is core of feeling isolated
mission statement that means something to you and building community to reflect it
78% of people she surveyed miss it
know how to have a workaround
Slack, WP, Google Docs and Zoom
In her survey other peple brought up
zendesk, helpscout
githb, basecamp, trello, telegram, twitter, instagram, FB, Mastodon, Asana, Calednly
All communication tools
social is important to follow along to other people’s lives
Distributed companies do well
Stakeholders, clear vision of company
Also compensation
benefits, insurance, money, retirements
hopefully find something you care about working on
Resources are self explanatory
working with a communication
easier in company than a project
when there is a meeting, P2
slack small conversation
digital breadcrumbs to get where you need
include everyone in the project, makes it more accessible in many ways
welcoming place
Passion Project
Better together, what can they learn from one another, projects and companies
Great ideas come from anywhere
next million $ idea
communication is key!

Code Organization and Optimization for Blazingly Fast Rest Applications
Pete Klein

I ran into Pete the day before his talk and the very idea of accessing data for specific use cases intrigued me. Ultimately, the CMS is just a fancy GUI to model and access a database, so changing how you access that data in a progressive, timesaving per cycle way makes a lot of sense. I really appreciated how straightforward he was with the limitations of this approach and how it is not a one size fits all situation, which is a trap many less experienced devs fall into as they chase the new shiny thing. If you are optimizing front end search or any anonymous content, Short Init is definitely worth exploring as a code pattern.

fast queries vs the RestAPI
Primer on the WP DB structure
guide on easy benchmarking
primer on $wpdb an MySQL in operator
what talk is not
Universally applicable
A step by step walkthrogh of Rest
user authentication
have anything to do with WP caching
Not a lecture, as questions
code examples setup
PHP Intellephense
An Example:
Travel Review App
Destination custom post type
feadured content
editor content
region taxonomy
Our Rating – post metadata
hotel link – post meta
Reviews Post Type
WP DB structure, been the same since 4.4.2
terms have term meta
our endpoint
— see slides, moved fast —
2 ways to implement
Short Init
measure speed
Apache Bench built in to mac
ab -n 100
science of waiting
update: 6 seconds before you lose all attention these days
navite = 343ms
short init = 58ms
quick comparison: default WP
Data access WP_Query
look at functional code
now the short init way
endpoints are stand alone files, not theme or plugin code
skips all the authentication and such
files start with
Require_once ../wp-load.php
All data access is done through $wpdb
ID’s as array indicies are used to return results
no WP_Query
no WP_Usr object
can’t be used for complex querys
good for frequently hit, unauthenticated queries that need to be fast
Featured Content
User Profiles
Anything on a homepage or first page of an app
Code Examples again
it’s a bucket
that holds data
has methods to fetch and access that data
just making it clean and reusable

Who Needs Themes When You have Blocksets
Wil Ranney

Having sidestepped actually using the current WordPress code editor, thanks to Markdown and WP-CLI, I have realized recently I am not up to speed with some of the current thinking about the direction blocks are generally headed. This talk gave a pretty compelling argument that we should be thinking about block collections as a different path to the same outcome Themes gives us today. It feels we are in an in between time, where blocks are not quite understood enough by the masses and are being imagined differently by the advanced camps. It will be interesting to watch the story of the editor unfold over the next few releases.

Used to use Divi
Conversation at WCUS 2017
Divi is a theme, not a plugin
how would they use Gutes
layout packs
Limits of themes: static sections
each theme in WP treats this differently
4 different design systems
working on replacing widgets with blocks, but why stop there?
another limit: proprietary code
Another issue: Global Settings
customizer a good step, but aspect ratio change is hard
Most things we use themes for can be reduced to blocks and blocksets
group of blocks arranged in a way and stored together
reusable blocks
not in the main WP menu yet
export these blocksets as JSON
“Pages are wrapped inside themes, where blocks operate inside pages”
rarely do you see theme settings for single page
Page level theming is what we want
projects always get stuck on content
we don’t need a block repo, we need a blockset repo
New, better blocks
Gutes Blokcs – ultimate addons for Gutes
Stackable – gutes blocks
Page Builder Gute Blocks – coblocks
Kadence Blocks – Gutes page builder toolkit
Blocks Lab
Premium Blocks for Gutenberg
Gutes Bloks and Template Library by Otter
ACF Global blocks
Give some time to help make it better
One more case for blocksets and not just blocks
Wix, Weebly, Squarespace all have blocks
Like Divi a few dozen blocks and layouts
can’t compete with the community to make it happen

Gamify task management. Take your turn, strategize, and WIN!
Justin Foell

I kinda really love board games and I have been pretty focused in my other writings about process management and better workflows. So, to see a talk that I would actually like to give at some point was both validating and just downright inspiring. The term ‘gamification’ threw me off a bit but thinking about how games have rules and patterns that are identical to project management principles feels exactly right. I need to get my hands on that Kandan the board gameand that Project Management board game I discovered at NERDSummit this year.

Linux on his personal machine!
Gamify Taks Management for the win!
tasks and tickets, he uses them interchangeably
hates Candyland/Shoots And Ladders
all chance
let’s talk about strategy games
Jeremy Ward Board Game enthusiast and stickler for details
complex games
some could be considered punishable
Before we start, what is the goal
we have to cooperate and communicate
Pandemic game example
Can openly trade cards
good analogy
Victory points!
feature launch or a theme redesign
product launch
full site launch
make sure the goals are clear
also we have to know the roles
Project Manager (dealer)
Production Team (Devs and Designers)
The Client (the Driver)
project manager does board setup
this is not your out to say “that is the PM job”
everyone needs to know setup and rules
game example – complex
know what the standard information is
when managing tasks, flags, statusus, labels
a meaningful view of what is going on
Can we reduce complexity?
Setup is a big part of gaming
simple terms
an example in Jira
so customizable, can be cumbersome very quickly
if set up simply, it is one of the best solutions out there
Jura, Milestones are Epics
Theme Redesign
Customize Content
Backlog – adding tasks
potentially a long list of stuff
clever way of hiding the stuff you are not working on at the moment
try to hide the mountain of work below the fold
agile development – we will go through terms
Agaile sprints, just set amount of time, wek or 2 or a month
resonable amount of tasks completed in that time
typical gameplay on outside of the box, helps with planning
setup time not counted in there
take the tasks we want to and add to sprint
you get to set the rules of this game
might not hve sprints if just reactively doing tickets
kanban – timeboard
To Do
In Progress
invented by auto industry to make sure supply/demand was efficient and manage workforce
Pro tip, game called Kanban
once set up, default screen you see
addint another status with the + button
winemaking game with seasons
planting, growing, harvesting, vinting
phase moving from one place to another
just got to be aware of what is going to make this cumbersome
Take your turn
Order or flow of ticket as it moves from person to person
have to spell out which people and which roles will be doing wich actions
software example

  1. Client requests a feature
  2. Project manager enters ticker into Backlog
  3. Dev provides an estimate
  4. Client approves budget
  5. PM assigns dev based on workload(prints/ToDo)
  6. Dev does work (in progress)
  7. Lead dev revies work
  8. Client reviews the work and it gets deployed
  9. PM completes it
    Castle Panic game example
    Draw Cards (pick a task)
    Play Cards (do the work)
    Move the monsters (Hand it off)
    moving the tokens are fun
    Trello does this too
    jira owns Trello now
    Remember post-move actions
    last step should be reassigning it to the next person
    Do necessary documentation, tell people what you did
    links, screenshots
    Add/Remove label or a flag, etc
    Reassign it to the next person in line
    Who’s turn is it?
    Sometimes there is a lull cause people are masterminding a plan to win
    not asking who’s turn it is is bad
    asking it is right thing to do when in doubt
    it is important to know when it is your turn and what todo on your turn
    My CLient Refuses to use our Task Management System
    Coach them on the rules
    Remind them that it’s their project
    play the game for them (when they go to the bathroom), play fair and good
    Celebrate the wins
    Review tasks at the end of a milestone, let each dev or designer show off work
    Talk about what went well and what coule be improved (adjust the rules)
    Provide a peer-to-peer reward system
    peer to peer feedback better than top down
    Take our turn, Strategize and WIN!

Wrapping Up

I rarely have to say anything negative about a hotel experience but I need to get this pne off my chest. The Moxy Downtown Minneapolis was a terrible experience for me. Thursday night going into Friday the fire alarm went off at 1:30am and due to an alarm malfunction they could not turn it off on the floor I was on. I had to change rooms at 3:00am. My new room had very thin walls and for the next 2 nights I had some noisy neighbors. This all added up to the least sleep I have gotten on a roadtrip in recent memory. It might be a hip, kitschy vibe but my stay there was the opposite of why I want to stay at a hotel.

Other than the lack of sleep this was a fun trip. It was great to see everyone and I walked away not just learning some new cool stuff, but I also walked away excited other folks are as into process management and project management optimization as I have been recently. As my life changes and I am recognizing my frequenting of so many WordCamps might be winding down, it makes me appreciate every second I spend out on the road to support the community even more. I have no idea when or if I will every return to Minneapolis, but I look forward to that day. Maybe it will even be for WordCamp Minneapolis 2020.

While not part of the camp, this got published while I was there: