WCSTL Speaker Interview: David Needham

David Needham will be presenting Presentation Skills for Humans. He is from Champaign, Illinois, and works as an Agency & Community Training Manager at Pantheon.

Here is David’s interview:


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

DAVID NEEDHAM: I first started using WordPress because, like many people, I needed my own website and I wanted it to be a blog. I was learning web design in college and I wanted something that would let me stretch my development expertise (or lack thereof.)

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

DAVID NEEDHAM: Tools like WordPress empower people. The communities behind WordPress and other open source tools have significantly influenced my life for good. I have dozens of deep friendships gained by people volunteering their time to help.

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

DAVID NEEDHAM: This is only my second WordCamps. Last year when I attended WordCamp Peoria I met a bunch of people I didn’t even know I was connected to! It’s really a small world.

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

DAVID NEEDHAM: Don’t give up! There will be times where nothing seems to be working right and there’s no solution in sight. In those situations, I’ve learned that a good night’s sleep does more than I can imagine at the time. And there’s no better way to grow while making friends than asking for help.

NILE FLORES: What is your favorite feature in WordPress?

DAVID NEEDHAM: Approachability: I appreciate the flexibility that many themes and plugins give to non-developers.

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

DAVID NEEDHAM: My favorites:

  1. WP-CFM: Export your configuration into code so you can add it to version control and easily deploy to Test and Live environments (without overwriting the database).
  2. WP-CLI: WordPress at my fingertips in the command line. Not exactly a plugin, but it’s too amazing not to mention.
  3. Pantheon Migrations (with Blog Vault): In my last job I worked for an agency that used Pantheon. Migrating WordPress sites was always fast and easy thanks for this plugin!

NILE FLORES: What is your favorite WordPress theme?

DAVID NEEDHAM: There are so many it’s difficult for me to decide.

If you’d like to meet David, don’t be shy… buy a ticket and come on out to hang with us at WordCamp St. Louis, on March 18th!