A simple, quick and cheap setup for filming WordCamp videos

I have been attending WordCamps for a long time now. My first was back in 2009 for WordCamp UK in Cardiff, my most recent WordCamp Manchester 2018. More recently there has been the trend of filming the talks and these are then placed on the WordPress.tv website.

Filming talks is a great idea and allows attendees to see videos from the alternative tracks available as well as allowing people who could not attend the event to view the talks. However recently it seems to be taking a long time to get things onto WordPress.tv. With that in mind, I set about trying to find a quicker solution that still produced a good quality video and did not cost the earth in terms of hardware and post-production time.

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Talk: Transitioning to a block based WordPress editor in a pre-Gutenberg World at WordCamp Manchester

How do we move towards a block-based admin UI in a pre-Gutenberg WordPress?

With the rise of page builders and ‘block-based’ layouts, and the imminent arrival of Gutenberg – WordPress’ new block-based editor – we needed a solution for transitioning towards this new way of editing content while sticking with the mature and stable technology stack that we know and love.

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Talk: The fundamentals of creating sound plugins

Thanks to WordPress core making plugins to add functionality is not that difficult. However for each plugin you make, there are some sound principles you should follow in order to make your plugin the best it can be.

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This talk will teach you some of the principles to follow when making your plugins, which will make it easier for you to develop and upgrade your plugin, as well as allowing other developers to make changes in a safer way and keep things secure. Ideal for beginners and intermediate developers in plugin development.

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Talk: A deep understanding of WordPress actions and filters

WordPress is known for its extensibility – the ability to change the behaviour of the software without breaking the core code. This is added through plugins and themes.

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Understanding how to extend WordPress is essential if you want to develop solutions using WordPress. This talk will teach you how actions and filters work, with some practical and theoretical examples to illustrate their functionality.

Attendees should hopefully come away from this talk with a greater understanding on how actions and filters, or hooks as they are collectively known, can unlock the door to building greater things with WordPress, and as I worked out being able to say “Wow, you can do (almost) anything with WordPress!”.

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Talk: WordPress is a CMS, not a CMS

WordPress allows users to manage their content through the WordPress admin screens. This means users can add, edit and delete content and media and manage their sites without the need to ask developers for every change. WordPress is a content management system, but all too often it can end up becoming a content mismanagement system when editing and managing the site is just too difficult, This talk goes through some of the ways in which we build sites so they are easy to content manage, whilst allowing clients to edit pretty much all of their site. It will cover the different methods we use to make content management easy and some of the problems that we see with sites we have been asked to improve. Hopefully by the end of this talk attendees will come away with some practical examples on how to make content management with WordPress easier and quicker for users.

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I received some great feedback about the talk.

Talk: Computing in UK Schools

In 2013/2014 the UK government made major changes to the ICT curriculum, most notably removing a lot of the traditional “how to use” content and replacing this with a Computing focused curriculum. As a former teacher at the time I went through this transition.

In this talk I outline what is now taught in UK schools at the moment along with some of the techniques and software programs used to get these skills and knowledge across to our youngsters. The talk touches on the role WordPress could and perhaps should play in the curriculum.

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View the video below. My talk starts at 18 minutes in as I was the second speaker.

Talk: Tremendous taxonomies

Taxonomies have been around in WordPress for a long time as a way of grouping things together, but did you know there is a lot you can do with taxonomies which you may not know? In this talk I will outline what taxonomies are and how you can create your own custom taxonomies. I will share some use cases for having custom taxonomies as well as some different and interesting ways in which I have used taxonomies on some sites in the past. In addition I will looks at some of the ways in which you can optimise the admin UI for taxonomies, making it more appropriate in some cases. The talk will also look at how you can associate data with different taxonomy terms.

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Talk: Publishing a plugin on WordPress.org

How do you get a plugin onto the WordPress.org repository? What steps do you need to take? Are there any specific requirements? These are just some of the questions this talk, aimed at anyone who wants to push a plugin to the WordPress.org repository will answer. We will go through the steps you need to take in order to prepare your plugin, some best practices in the plugin code and how to submit it to .org.

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Talk: Beyond FTP

We have all used FTP as developers to move files from editing them locally to our production server. Developers know the problems this can cause and why alternatives are needed. In this talk I will introduce my WordPress development process and how you can move on from FTP to a more robust development and deployment system.

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