Top 10 Tech Talks

So far in 2020 I’ve submitted talks to two WordCamps that are happening in the next few months. The talk I submitted is similar to the one I gave at WordCamp NYC in 2019, but with the plan to tighten it up a bit and expand on just one of the topics that I feel I can really speak to.

I’ve been finding it difficult coming up with new ideas for talks, and brought this up to my manager the other week, who then tasked me with 10 different talk ideas that I feel I could give. He pointed out that my white board was blank and I should use that to get my thoughts out.

I’m not sure if it was being tasked with this or something else, but I found I could quickly come up with some decent ideas if I just set aside some time to think about it. So far, this is what I have. Maybe something here will actually become a talk I could submit. We will see.

Gutenberg: Locked & Loaded

In some of my spare time I’ve been working with a few others to build a better Meetup platform in WordPress. There’s more to talk about there, but I’ll save that for another post. While working on this, I’ve been getting my feet wet with Gutenberg. Mostly, I’ve been focusing on custom post types with predefined layouts and blocks that are locked in place. I think as I explore and learn, there may be a talk here.

Debugging WordPress

Something I could probably get better at myself, but I do have a working knowledge of Xdebug, Charles Proxy, Chrome Dev Tools, et al. Some other neat tools could include GA Debug, Tag Assist and other tools specific to a certain aspect of web development.

Learning Development Later in Life

Some don’t know this, but I changed careers when I was 30 years old. I didn’t go back to school, but I did take a lot of online courses, went to a lot of Meetups, and many late nights of freelancing and practicing my craft. This talk would be a story of my journey, and maybe it could inspire others to take the leap.

Deep Dive into Google Analytics

More than just plugging the UA code snippet in and calling it a day. This talk would explore the Google Analytics API including custom events, custom dimensions, and so on to see the bigger picture of what’s happening on your site.

Spaghetti to Spectacular: Steps to Improving Code Quality

This talk would discuss the approach I would take to improving code quality of old code you have running in your application. Things like unit tests, code sniffers, and how to go about refactoring and breaking up functions that do too much.

View the Source, Luke

I have a friend who likes to say this. Basically, a look under the hood and learn how WordPress works. Reading code helps you get better and figure things out. Not everything is in the codex, but the code always tells you what you need to know. Hell, you’re sure to find something neat that’s not documented at all. I’ll use some examples of neat things and interesting bugs I solved from poring over core code.

OOP, Yeah You Know Me

This talk would focus on writing object-oriented code in the context of WordPress. I would cover some popular patterns, scope, namespaces, and new features that have been made available in more recent versions of PHP.

Introduction to Unit Tests

I would focus on PHPUnit since I know that best and look to cover what to test, code coverage, and approaches to testing code.

WP-CLI for Fun & Profit

I’ve done quite a bit with WP-CLI in the last 7-8 years and even did a lightening talk 6 years ago on it. Maybe I can come up with a full length talk on some of the interesting problems I’ve solved using WP-CLI both using the built in API and expanding it.

Introduction to Genesis Child Theming

I like Genesis and have done quite a bit with it. Genesis has its own way of doing things that leans heavily on WordPress actions and filters. I know a lot of folks have trouble getting started, so maybe a talk on the basics would help.


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