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Join me at WordCamp 2018

I love WordPress. It was my gateway technology into feeling like a real web developer. When I did my capstone for the UARTS Web Design program in 2017, I created a WordPress theme from scratch. I started with an index.php and a styles.css and I was off. It was tough in the beginning, so I reached out to a former coworker who was a developer for some much needed help.  I referred to him as the WP whisperer. After many tutoring sessions over Dan Dan noodles and gchat messages about this and that, he was able to guide my understanding and I was able to build my very first WordPress theme.

After that, the bug hit. I started playing around in WP and digging in the source to figure out how it worked. With my newly minted swag, I did my own WordPress on AWS workshop at my house and I even TA’d an Intro to WordPress  class for GDI.




Fast forward to 2018. I took the WordPress show on the road. Liam Dempsey, the organizer for Philly ‘burbs WordPress MeetUp asked me to bring my workshop to his group, so I did a talk for  on how to deploy WordPress to AWS at one of their spring MeetUps. Next, I joined forces with Ebonie Butler, a WordPress developer in Philly to do an Intro to WordPress workshop at the CodeLand Conference in NYC. She is also an organizer for WordCamp Philly.

My love for WordPress and the Philly coding community runs deep. When I discovered the opportunity to become an individual sponsor for WordCamp  2018, I didn’t even hesitate. I appreciate all that I’ve learned from this very welcoming community and I’m glad to be a sponsor this year.

Join us October 27-28 for WordCamp Philly 2018 at The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. 600 South 43rd street.  Registration opens Saturday morning at 8:00 AM and the keynote kicks off at 9:10 AM, done by the wonderful, Tracy Levesque of Yikes! and GDI Philly fame!   Day 2, Sunday October 28th is contributor day. Bring your laptop  and get ready to  dig in and get involved with supporting the WordPress open source project. Get your tickets now and I hope I will see you this weekend. If you see me, please stop me and say, Hi!

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WordPress on AWS MeetUp

I was invited to Philly ‘burbs WordPress meetup to give a talk about how to install WP on AWS. I’d given this talk before in an impromptu setting, my dining room table, to my monthly coding group. It was more of a workshop, really hands on and at the end, everyone was a command-line hero in my book. Most, never having logged into a Linux server before, let alone deploying a server in the cloud.

Speaker gesturing towards monitor

Photo Cred: @accessamy

Liam, the group leader, saw a tweet about it and invited me to present it to his group. Here are the videos and the slide deck from the MeetUp.

WordPress on AWS Part 1:
WordPress on AWS Part 2
WordPress on AWS Part 3




Image of iMac and Second monitor

I completed the UARTS Web Design Professional Certificate Program

After a year of attending classes back to back, I finally finished the UARTS Web Design Professional Certificate Program.  After several starts and stops, once I got really into the Philadelphia coding community via Girl Develop It, becoming active in the #CodeNewbie online community and meeting new and seasoned developers at local MeetUps, I knew I had to finish to see where this skill could take me.  I’m currently in tech, as a systems administrator. Learning to code is a skill that has been quite helpful in my current job, albeit indirectly.  The problem solving skills in coding are some of the same skills I use in my daily life and learning to code allows me to understand more about scripting, dig deeper into how web servers tick and being aware of how the LAMP(Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)  stack really works.

My last class was the capstone and the final project really tested the limits of what I learned and pushed me to step out and teach myself a new skill, WordPress theme development. I learned HTML and CSS over the course of the program, took a WordPress workshop (taught by a UARTS CE grad) and took a PHP course this spring. What I didn’t know was that I could parlay that into a custom theme starting with just a HTML and CSS file.  I hit road blocks, but I was able to call upon a code friend to get me through it.  Michael Kappeler, a developer and former co worker came to my aid and gave me a better understanding of how it all worked together. Explaining the hierarchy, the loop, template tags and creating functions, he showed me the why’s not just the how’s.  After talking to him, the light bulb went on and I was off and running to finish my project and pass the course with an A.

UARTS has helped folks I know change their careers and transition into a career as a developer.  Giving people the tools needed to make the leap has been what has helped me stay focused on my goal of transitioning into a developer.  I’m working on how to bridge my current career into development, using systems administration and programming together can be the 1, 2 punch I need to land that first job.

As I work on my resume and build my site personal site, I’m still learning more about theme creation and PHP. After a few more themes under my belt,  I’ll get back to JavaScript and move into Node.js.  There is so much to learn and that’s what keeps me coming back for more.  I have a few months until the certificate ceremony, where I’ll actually receive my ‘piece of paper’ and be christened a University of the Arts alum with all of its rights and privileges. Until then, I have the #100daysofCode challenge that keeps me up on my skills daily.