Speaker Profile: Beth Soderberg

As WordCamp NYC approaches, we are featuring some of our speakers on the blog. Be sure to get your tickets before they sell out! 

What do you do?

I am a developer who focuses on WordPress, Drupal, and front end projects at CHIEF in Washington, DC. Before I learned to code, I worked as an online news writer/editor and I love being able to work with clients to tie their content strategy needs together with the websites I build. I also have dabbled in user experience and graphic design work and love weaving all of these threads together to create useable and beautiful sites. Recently I started writing again on my blog, Responsive Geometry.

Why do you use WordPress?

I use WordPress not only because I think that it’s a flexible, extensible platform on which to build websites, but also because the community that surrounds WordPress is so strong. I love that generally, if I have a question about how to do something I can reliably find an answer in the documentation, in the forums, by asking people I know, etc. By its nature, web development is a fairly solitary profession, but WordPress really has a friendly, open community that is intent on giving folks the resources to keep improving their skills and leveling up.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

I was a content manager and editor who knew absolutely nothing about WordPress (or how to build a website) when my employer sent me to WordCamp Boston 2010. I attended a few of the developer sessions at that conference even though I had no idea what many of the words meant or how to write code of any kind. When I went home I started tinkering with WordPress (2.9 I believe) and suddenly I was on the path towards becoming a developer.

What’s your favorite thing about WordCamp?

I love that WordCamps always feel like an empowering space and experience. Sometimes conferences related to technical subjects are really intimidating and WordCamps make a point of creating an environment that is welcoming to everyone, regardless of skill level.

Tell us something awesome about yourself that’s not WordPress related.

I cook to relax and will eat almost anything that isn’t meat. I figure that part of the privilege of living is that you get to eat multiple times a day, so why not make meals really yummy things? If you need a recipe for a good hearty vegetarian stew, I’m your gal!

Name someone in the WordPress community who inspires you.

There are SO many people in the WordPress community who inspire me and who have encouraged me along the way that I can’t name just one. In particular, I am constantly inspired by the smart, witty, driven folks whom I’ve met through my local meetup (WordPress DC) and the WordPress Training Team.

What’s your favorite WordPress related resource?

My absolute favorite resource is WordCamps. There is something about in-person learning that helps me really focus and figure out how things work. A close second though is WordPress.tv, where I can pretend to attend all of the WordCamps I can’t physically go to!

What will attendees learn in your talk?

My talk is all about how to bring a thoughtful user experience to the WordPress administration panel as you’re building a custom site. The talk is definitely technical, but the main highlight will be how and when to use code to make these types of changes, not necessarily the code itself.

Where can we find you online?

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bethsoderberg

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/bethsoderberg

Blog: http://responsivegeometry.com/

Website: http://bethsoderberg.com/

My Company: http://agencychief.com/