Featured Speaker: Jared Novack

Jared is the founder of Upstatement, a web design firm located in Boston that specializes in responsive websites for media companies (like BostonGlobe.com which they designed in 2011). At Upstatement he directs projects and uses WordPress to build and prototype sites. Jared was formally the newsroom developer at the Houston Chronicle and Boston Globe and an adjunct professor at MassArt. He graduated from Syracuse University in 2006 with a BA in Computer Art.

Presentation: WordPress Templates are Broken! (but we can fix them)

In my talk I’ll be covering Twig, a popular open-source template language for PHP. By integrating it with WordPress (via the Timber plugin) developers can take advantage of a dramatically simpler theme development process that reduces errors, speeds-up coding and makes it easier to work with front-end designers.

What do you want people to learn from your presentation?

The WordPress theme layer is the part of WP code that most people interact with. Yet in comparison to Rails, Django and Node it’s difficult for novices to understand and hard for pros to take full advantage of.

I want people to learn about the Template Language approach, based on the MVC style of other systems. Beyond that, we should evaluate how by making processes easier, we can push WordPress into more areas of application development and what the web can offer.

What attracted you to WordPress in the first place?

It’s a system that conforms to your needs. It gives you an incredibly clean and simple base to make really powerful sites and applications. The WordPress community is unlike any other — it really embraces new members and encourages different approaches to big problems.

What are you most looking forward to at WordCamp Toronto?

Google’s great when you know exactly the piece of code you need to solve the next problem. But when it comes to big ideas, WordCamps are always the best. Almost every session there’s some new idea that helps give me a better road to what I’ve been doing.

Why did you decide to speak?

I think I’ve found a really cool approach that makes WordPress themeing way easier (which is what most WordPress devs do) — I’m really eager to share it and get others’ feedback.

What is your favourite plugin or theme, and why?

Advanced Custom Fields from @elliotcondon transforms WordPress into the best damn CMS in the world. Its options and power sometimes seem unlimited.