WCSTL Speaker Interview: Aaron Graham

Aaron Graham will be speaking on Developing with WordPress Multitenancy. Aaron is from St. Louis, and a Web developer for Washington University.

Here is Aaron’s interview.


NILE FLORES: What was it about WordPress that got you to start using it?

AARON GRAHAM: I had been writing HTML for years and just started to use PHP when I discovered WordPress in 2010, I was excited by being able to be able to build on top of an already great system with a wonderful community surrounding it.

NILE FLORES: What motivates you to give back to WordPress and its community?

AARON GRAHAM: I’ve made so many friends in the WordPress community and have seen the amazing things they do for people that if I can give back one tenth of what they do I’ll consider myself to have left this world a better place than I found it.

NILE FLORES: How many WordCamps have you been to, and what was your best 1 or 2 experiences that you had when attending WordCamp?

AARON GRAHAM: This will be my 8th WordCamp. My favorite WordCamp experience will always be my first, I went to WordCamp Kansas City in 2012 and met a (relatively unknown at the time) developer named Pippin Williamson, I consider myself very lucky to consider him friend and mentor to this day. The second best would be meeting Greg Homyak (aka the host San Diego Beer Talk) at WordCamp San Diego 2016 and getting a personalized tour of some of the best breweries in one of the best beer cities in the world.

NILE FLORES: What is your number 1 tip for WordPress users?

AARON GRAHAM: Don’t be afraid to ask questions, I have yet to meet an unfriendly person in the WordPress community.

NILE FLORES: What is your favorite feature in WordPress?

AARON GRAHAM: The Filters and Actions system is one of the handiest things, I get really frustrated when I’m trying to build something with another system or framework that doesn’t have as many places to hook into the core code. (Bonus: The fact that WordPress is open source and if you’re patient enough you can walk through the code and figure out where/when/why just about anything happens in the system).

NILE FLORES: What are your 3 most favorite WordPress plugins?

AARON GRAHAM: Easy Digital Downloads – like I said above I consider Pippin a mentor and I love using is plugins (and how-to’s) I also love reading through the code and seeing how he does things.

Advanced Custom Fields – when I discovered this plugin I thought I had just worked myself out of a job, that’s how powerful it is.

Jetpack – I have a love/hate relationship with Jetpack (usually based on which blog post about it I’ve just read) but I like it mainly for its WordPress.com single sign on.

(Bonus: I would have listed the WP REST API but since it’s now part of core I can’t call it a plugin anymore but when it was I had it installed on all of my sites )

NILE FLORES: What is your favorite WordPress theme?

AARON GRAHAM: I’m a big fan of Twenty Seventeen. As a developer I’m a big fan of Automattic’s Underscores, but since it is more of a framework you have to do most of the heavy lifting yourself so I wouldn’t recommend it for most end users.

If you’d like to meet Aaron, and sit in on his talk, you’ll have to go and buy a ticket to see him on March 18th!