Speaker Spotlight: Jeff Pearce

jeffikusWe are happy to confirm Jeffikus Pearce – Jeffikus for those in the know – lead developer at WooThemes and WordPress wizard as speaker at WordCamp Cape Town 2011. Jeffikus will be hosting a session on our developer track on viewing WordPress as a development framework.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m currently one of the lead developers at WooThemes, a recovering Business Analyst and former .NET developer. I also have a passion for education – in particular in the field of web development.

Why WordPress?

Well, at my first job after studying I was tasked with choosing a CMS to run client platforms on, and eventually after many Joomla projects gone wrong I settled on WordPress.

What are your thoughts on the WordPress community as a whole? And the South African WP community?

I think there’s been a huge improvement in the overall quality of developers in the community over the past 2 years. A lot more emphasis has been placed on code quality and security which I think is a good thing. I’d like to see more developer conventions being followed in terms of code structure, in the same way a coding framework like CodeIgniter does for example. The South African community has some community ‘names’ like WooThemes and Obox flying the flag, but I’d like to see more dev houses adopting WordPress and doing some cool stuff with it, even contributing back to the core. There still seems to be a perception in the ‘corporates’ that WordPress isn’t good enough for them (which isn’t true).

Why did you decide to speak at WordCamp Cape Town?

I was very kindly asked to πŸ™‚ after I had the opportunity to speak at WordCamp Spain I hoped to speak at more WordCamps, so thanks for the opportunity!

What is your talk going to be about?

I’m going to be talking about viewing WordPress as a development framework, not just a CMS. I’ll be showing some of the little used (but really powerful and extremely useful) advanced functionality of WordPress.

What are you most looking forward to at WordCamp Cape Town?

I like meeting other developers and talking code with them, that’s always an idea factory!

What is the one thing you want people to walk away with from your talk?

To realize that WordPress is more than a CMS/Blogging platform – that at its core it’s a programming framework with much more capabilities than you realize.

What is your favourite WordPress theme and/or plugin, and why?

My favorite theme would have to be Listings (bias) πŸ™‚ and I just really enjoy how customizable it is. My favourite plugin would have to be the tumblog plugin, not just because I built it but because I write every post on Jeffikus.com using it – straight from my dashboard or my iPhone.

Share one WP tip

Spend some time going through the core WordPress code. There is a goldmine of learning in there! It might be daunting at first, but I’ve learnt the most from spending time just reading the code.

Who in the WordPress community inspires you? Who do yo u follow?

Pretty much the whole of the Woo Team, we’ve got a really creative crew and that’s more than enough inspiration for me πŸ™‚ but I also follow Matt Mullenweg, Ryan Imel, and Sarah Gooding for general WordPress news.

What is the most exciting feature/addition/improvement to WordPress that you have noticed in the last year?

Menu’s was really big for me personally, but I gotta say that the recent backend speed improvement have really impressed me.

Where do you see WordPress 2 years from now?

I’d like to see more developer conventions being followed. People building pluggable functions, and more developers not being afraid to get their hands dirty.

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